Sunday, June 17, 2012

Grape Tomatoes - Cook 'em Until They Pop!

I have a confession....I hate raw tomatoes.  I've tried them over and over again and just don't like the flavor or texture.  It could be because I was traumatized once when  my sister shoved a tomato wedge in my mouth as a kid....

However, if tomatoes are cooked, roasted, or sauteed, I absolutely love them.  One of my favorite ways to cook grape tomatoes is to saute them until they burst.  They start to break down, and the flavor intensifies.

In the recipe below, adapted from Cooking Light, pork chops are browned, then shallots, garlic, and tomatoes are cooked with some balsamic vinegar, just until the tomatoes begin to burst.  The combination of flavors is incredible.



Ingredients:
4 teaspoons olive oil, divided 
4 (6-ounce) bone-in center-cut loin pork chops, (about 1/2 inch thick) 
1/2 tsp. salt, divided
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, divided
1/2 c. thinly sliced shallots
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 tsp. minced garlic
2 c. grape tomatoes
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

Directions:
  1. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon oil.
  2.  Sprinkle chops evenly with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add pork to pan and cook 5 minutes on each side. Remove pork from pan. 
  3. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil, shallots, vinegar (don't stand directly over the pan when you add the vinegar!), and garlic to pan; saute 1 minute, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. 
  4. Combine tomatoes, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a medium bowl; toss gently to coat. 
  5. Add tomato mixture to pan; cook 5 minutes or until tomatoes start to burst. Sprinkle with basil. Serve tomato mixture with pork.