Lafayette Blend is one of a series of blends created by the Soprano family in Morganza, Louisiana. This mustard-based blend is perfect for pork. The savory notes from the garlic, thyme and celery combine with the mustard and citrus to make a blend that's unique to anything else in the store.
5 large yellow onions, sliced
2 Tbl butter
4 Thick-cut pork Chops
1 oz Soprano's Lafayette Blend
Salt to taste (optional)
Caramelizing onions is a labor of love…and patience. The trick is to allow the onions to brown and stick just a little, but you must stir before any burning takes place. Five large onions will yield about two cups caramelized onions. A pinch of sugar will move the process along, but there's enough natural sugar in the onions to do the job. In a heavy sauté pan, melt the butter and add the Arbequina Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Add the onions and cook over very low heat. Stir often and add drops of water to keep the onions from burning. Cook until the onions are softened and golden brown--the entire process will take about 30 minutes. Adjust the flavor with a pinch of salt. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lafayette Blend is salt-free and can be used as-is. If desired, you can lightly salt the pork chops on both sides, then season both sides with the Lafayette Blend. Set the chops aside and allow the flavors to develop--for about 15 minutes. In a cast iron skillet, heat the Avocado or Pecan Oil over medium high heat (the smoke point of these two oils is high enough to handle the heat of the cast iron.) Sear the pork chops on one side until they are well browned. Turn and move the skillet to the oven. Cook the chops until a meat thermometer registers 145 degrees.
Carefully remove the cast iron from the oven. Move the pork chops to a plate and allow to rest. Move the caramelized onions to the cast iron-have water at the ready to cool things a bit if the pan is too hot. Move the onions around to deglaze the skillet and reheat the onions. To serve, top each pork chop with the onions. Delicious with mashed potatoes or white cheddar cheese grits.
Note: In 2011, The Dept of Agriculture lowered the safe cooking temperature of pork from the longtime standard of 160 to the new approved temp of 145 degrees