Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Mozzarella Topped Pork Loin Chops with Tomato Sauce

Tonight I was facing the problem that we defrosted the wrong pack of meat. I wanted chicken breasts but pork escallops were defrosted. I had planned on chicken breast with mozzarella which we will now have some other time. But I wanted to use the buffalo mozzarella and came up with this recipe. At the moment we have lots of fresh herbs growing in the garden so I used them as well. The combination of fresh herbs and tomatoes is a real summer treat and goes very well with the pork and mozzarella cheese and deep fried sage leaves, crispy and delicate complimenting the pork meat. 

Ingredients for 4:

4 pork loin chops, 2
 small sprigs of rosemary,
 salt and pepper,
2 teaspoons plain flour.

For the tomato sauce:

2 teaspoons olive oil,
2 shallots, finely chopped,
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped,
1 tablespoon tomato purée,
100ml white wine,
400g ripe tomatoes, chopped,
1 teaspoon each freshly chopped oregano, thyme, sage and rosemary,
salt, pepper,
1 teaspoon sugar,
a pinch of cayenne pepper,
300g buffalo mozzarella, sliced into eight portions.

For the deep-fried sage leaves:

1 tablespoon of olive oil,
20 big sage leaves,
salt and pepper.


1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas 6. Pad the chops dry and season them with salt and pepper, turn them in the flour and shake any excess off. Set aside until needed.
2. Heat the oil for the tomato sauce in a sauce pan over a medium low heat, add the shallots and fry for 5 minutes until soft but not coloured. Add the garlic and stir for another minute. Add the tomato purée to the onions and roast it for few minutes. Add the chopped herbs and stir for another 2 minutes; add the white wine and stir until most of the wine has evaporated. Add the chopped tomatoes and 4 tablespoons of water. Season with salt, pepper, cayenne pepper and sugar. Bring to the boil then simmer for 15 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, heat a frying pan with olive oil over a medium to low heat and deep-fry the sage leave in the oil. Make sure you do not burn the leaves or they become bitter. Remove from the pan, drain on some kitchen towel and sprinkle them with salt and pepper. Set aside until needed.
4. Add the rosemary to the sage infused oil and fry the rosemary as well. Increase the heat and add the pork chops. Fry on both sides for about 2 minutes until just starting to get brown edges. Do not over cook the pork or it will get tough.
5. When the sauce is cooked, transfer it into an oven proofed dish, place the chops into the sauce and cover the meat with the sliced mozzarella.
6. Place into the oven and bake for about 10 to 15 minutes until the cheese has melted. Remove from the oven and serve hot with oven baked potato dice and a green salad or peas.


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