Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Key West Pork Chops

First thing, it's probably best you not associate this dish with today's Key West. As Jimmy Buffett sang over twenty years ago, "The old town has changed," and so much more even since then. My first visit to Key West was just for a weekend in the very early seventies. Shortly upon my arrival, I was one of two patrons at a Duval Street Bar. I'll never forget the converation that other patron was having with the barmaid. His specific words that I still recall were: "I've written a poem about everybody on this island," It wasn't until the LP AIA was released and I recognized his picture on the cover that I realized who the other patron was.

This post goes back yet another ten years at least. The recipe that follows may have fallen by the wayside with everything else that's changed, but it should please.


3 tablespoons salad oil
6 lean pork chops
1 1/2 cups raw rice----basmati works great
salt to taste
6 large onion slices
6 lime or lemon slices
6 tablespoons chili sauce (use the Heinz kind)
3 cups tomato juice or water
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce

Preheat oven to moderate (325). In a Dutch oven, heat the oil, add the chops and brown on all sides. Remove the chops and drain off all but four tablespoons of the fat. Stir in the raw dry rice, coating all the grains with fat. Arrange the chops on top and sprinkle with the salt. Place a slice of onion, a slice of lime, and a spoonful of chili sauce on each chop. Add the tomato juice and Tabasco, cover closely and bake until the chops are tender, about one hour.

From The New York Times Cookbook, by Craig Claiborne, New York, 1961