Pan-Fried Pork Chops With Olives in Lemon And Turmeric Butter Sauce

by Trans Chef

Growing up, pork chops, specifically pork loin chops, were a regular feature on our dinner table, often appearing at least twice a week. I can vividly recall walking into the kitchen and finding the sink filled with pink liquid while my mom yelled, “Don’t you dare get anything in my pork chops!” To this day, I’m still uncertain why she didn’t opt for a large plastic bowl, but her response was always, “It tastes better in the sink.” In the South, pork chops were typically shallow-fried or baked and often served with a brown gravy featuring onions made from the fat rendered by the chops.

Years later, during my exploration of Middle Eastern cuisine, I stumbled upon a dish that piqued my interest. It intrigued me because it combined olives, lemons, and turmeric in a way that was unfamiliar to my upbringing. Back then, lemons were primarily served with seafood, sweet tea, or lemonade, olives were reserved for salads, pizzas, or cocktails, and turmeric was practically unknown to us. It’s worth noting that in the Middle East, this dish is typically prepared with poultry, lamb, goat, or beef, as pork is not widely used due to religious reasons.

To my delight, when I finally tasted this dish, the vibrant lemon flavor beautifully complemented the earthiness of turmeric. The combination worked in harmony with the richness of butter and the saltiness of the olives. It transformed what was once a somewhat ordinary weekly dinner into a mouthwatering culinary experience.

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