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Giardiniera aioli and Cumin coriander pork chops

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Jeremy made his aioli thick, almost chunky. It was closer to a spread or a dip than sauce, not unlike hummus. I opted for a thinner version, slightly more free flowing, but still not a drizzly sauce.

In looking for something to pair with the aioli, I quickly settled on pork chops. No reason other than I like pork chops. The Indian tacos made me think of cumin and coriander. You could go with simple salt and pepper, but this spice combo lets the chops bring something to the flavor party too.

Winter having finally gotten serious in Chicago, I pan seared them rather than firing up the snow-covered grill. These chops would be delicious grilled. And the aioli would be delicious on fish, grilled chicken breasts or sautéed tofu (especially seasoned with cumin and coriander, I think). For the chops, I used a technique I often use with lamb shoulder chops to tenderize them, coating them with a layer of kosher salt and letting them rest for 20 minutes, then rinsing the salt off.

Giardiniera aioli
Makes about 3/4 cup

5 tablespoons oil-packed giardiniera, drained (see Kitchen Notes)

1 large egg yolk

2-1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2-1/2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil

Combine drained giardiniera and egg yolk in blender and purée until smooth, scraping down the sides of the jar with a spatula as necessary. Combine oils in a measuring cup. Drizzle oil slowly into running blender, a little at a time, again scraping down the sides as needed. Blend until oil is emulsified in giardiniera mixture and creamy. If you want it slightly thinner, add a little more oil.

Can be made ahead and refrigerated. If you do so, be sure to bring it out of the fridge before you need it, so it can come to room temperature and reach the right consistency.

Cumin coriander pork chops
Serves 4

1 tablespoon cumin seeds (or 1 tablespoon cumin powder)

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