This is one of my grandmother’s signature dishes. Another simple dish with few ingredients, but when put together becomes amazingly tasty. I have never seen this dish served anywhere or seen anyone else make it. The sauteed broccoli with the garlic and oil combined with the oil cured olives puts this dish in a taste category of its own. When combined with the pork chops they become the perfect accompaniment. And when eaten with some Italian bread, gathering up the broccoli and olives, it just doesn’t get any better. Another one pan meal.
Breaded steak, grandma’s broiled chicken with lemon, pork chops and broccoli, orange salad, my grandmother had a knack for puting together simple ingredients that tasted truly amazing. And whenever I eat any of these meals they fuse my connection to her. When preparing these dishes all I have to do is close my eyes, take in the aroma, and I’m instantly transported to grandma”s kitchen on 77 Street in Brooklyn. There she is in front of the stove in her kitchen apron, stirring and tasting, tasting and stirring. Adding a bit of this and a bit of that. A master of what she does. Years to perfect. Buying what she needed each day from the local grocer, the man with the vegetable cart that came by every day , pushing the heavy cart down the street, the fish monger who drove down the block with his fish on ice and would call out “FISH! FISH! FISH!…FRESH FISH HERE!”. The truck would stop in front of my house after he saw my grandmother on the porch waving him down. She would get deliveries of Hammer soda from the soda guy and he would have bottles of seltzer water with the spigot on top. She even got her bleach from the delivery truck. You could hear them a block away screaming, “Javell….Javell WATER!”
I remember looking in my grandmother’s refrigerator and never seeing it very full. That’s because she once lived a life without that luxury and bought fresh every day. It’s hard to break old habits. And I’m glad she never did.
Thanks Grandma for leaving me with such tasty memories!
Pork Chops With Broccoli and Olives
- 4-5 pork chops
- 2 pounds of broccoli, trimmed and cut into individual florets
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil plus 1/4 cup
- 4 ounces oil cured olives
- Salt & pepper
Pat the pork chops dry with a paper towel to remove any moisture. This will help the pork chops brown better. Season both sides with salt and pepper.
In a large pan, large enough to hold pork chops and broccoli, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil on high heat till it just starts to smoke. Sear the pork chops on both sides, about 2-3 minutes each side till brown. Remove the pork chops and keep warm. They will finish cooking later.
Turn the heat down to medium. In the same pan you cooked the pork chops, add 1/2 cup of water and add the broccoli. Cover and steam the broccoli till tender, about 9-10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Uncover the pan and allow any remaining water to evaporate.
Push the cooked broccoli to one side of the pan and add 1/4 cup of olive oil and chopped garlic. Saute garlic this way for 1 minute. Add the oil cured olives and mix well.
Cook for about 5-10 minutes, stirring to mix everything. This is old world cooking so you want to cook the broccoli really well.
Add the pork chops and any of their juice that collected in the plate to the bottom of the pan with broccoli and olives and mix well. Cook on medium heat covered until pork chops are done, about 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper if needed. The broccoli should be really cooked down and soft.
Serve immediately with plenty of fresh Italian bread.