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Pork Chops with Lemon, Oregano & Caper Crumbs
125g day-old LOAF ciabatta, crusts removed
80ml (1/3 cup) extra virgin olive oil
4 x thick pork loin chops (about 275g each)
1 tablespoon finely chopped anchovies
2 tablespoons finely chopped capers
Finely grated rind of 1 lemon
Small handful oregano leaves, chopped
Lemon wedges, to serve
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Don’t like anchovies? Leave them out. Rather use basil? Be our guest. Fancy chucking in some pecorino or chopped olives as well?? Knock yourself out...this is one of those simple, versatile recipes that you can take in various, Italianate directions. Chopped sundried tomatoes also work well in the mix. And all these chops need once cooked are a few roast spuds and some steamed green beans. Or salad leaves.
Preheat the oven to 180C. Tear the bread into pieces then place in a food processor and process until coarse crumbs form. Place the crumbs on a small roasting dish, drizzle over half the olive oil then bake for 15 minutes or until golden and crisp. Cool slightly then transfer to a bowl and add the anchovies, capers, lemon rind and oregano. Stir to combine well then season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Using a sharp knife, make a cavity in each pork chop by cutting through each chop horizontally along the fat side. Stuff each cavity with some of the crumbs- you will not need all the mixture. Secure each opening with toothpicks. Heat the remaining oil in a large, ovenproof frying pan, add the chops and cook for about 2 minutes on each side or until golden. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake for 5 minutes. Scatter over the remaining crumbs and bake for another 5 minutes or until the chops are just cooked through but still a little pink in the middle. Serve immediately with lemon wedges passed separately.