“Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.” — F. Scott Fitzgerald,
The Great Gatsby
As if Zuni Café’s roast chicken with bread salad wasn’t good enough for a Sunday dinner another shining star sat ready to be devoured as the only side dish that I made…a recipe from Food 52, brown butter tomatoes. With a pile of Kumato tomatoes and a huge container of the yellow sweets it only seemed right to have them again with our pistachio-panko crusted pork chops. Rainbow Meadow Farms pork chops!
If you love tomatoes and have access to some of the good varieties of heirloom tomatoes give it a try of course summer tomatoes are the best, but I have had good luck with some store-bought or farm stand tomatoes. Even the brownish green Kumato tomatoes that have great flavor in the off-season are pretty good when ripened properly.
The brown butter tomatoes recipe adapted from Food 52
2 large or 3 small ripe beefsteak tomatoes (an assortment of tomatoes will do)
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
Flaky sea salt
Coarsely ground black pepper
Fresh baguette for sopping up the butter
Core and slice the tomatoes about 1/3-inch thick and place on a serving platter. I often have several kinds of tomatoes on one platter.
Place the butter in a small heavy-bottomed saucepan and set over medium low heat. Let the butter melt completely. It will begin bubbling. Let the butter simmer away, cooking off its water, until it begins to smell nutty and brown.
Swirl the pan every 30 seconds or so. When the butter turns the color of a hazelnut, remove it from the heat. Spoon the butter over the tomatoes. They’ll sizzle! Season the tomatoes with salt and pepper serve immediately.
Pistachio/Panko crust ingredients for the chops:
4 bone in pork chops
1 cup of ground pistachio nuts
½ cup panko crumbs zest of 1 lemon (reserve lemon and slice for a quick pan sauce)
freshly ground pepper
2 whisked eggs in separate breading tray
Pan sauce not necessary, serve with lemon slices.
Place ground pistachios, crumbs, lemon zest and pepper in breading tray, blend. Dip chops into the beaten eggs and thoroughly coat and transfer to crumbs to coat. Place on a plate and refrigerate to set crumbs, about an hour will do.
Turn oven on 350° to preheat.
Heat some olive oil in a sauté pan and brown the chops on both sides, place in oven to finish. I look for a 135°-140° internal temperature and allow to rest on a clean serving platter. I made a simple pan sauce with the pan drippings, the lemon slices, a little white wine and chicken broth, reduce for a few minutes whisking and scraping the little brown bits for a flavorful quick sauce. Taste and adjust if necessary.