SAUTEED PORK CHOPS IN CREOLE SAUCE
4 to 6 servings
In a medium heavy saucepan, sauté onion in hot olive oil over moderate heat until just crisp tender but not browned; drain off remaining oil. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, bay leaf, parsley, thyme, and cayenne pepper or hot pepper sauce; season with salt and pepper to taste. May add Creole seasoning to taste, if desired. Bring to a simmer over moderate heat; reduce heat and continue to simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Add green pepper and celery; continue simmering over low heat, uncovered, for 7 to 8 minutes. Remove pieces of bay leaf from sauce.
While sauce is simmering, brown pork chops, all sides, in hot oil in a large heavy skillet (or electric fry-pan) over moderate heat. Drain off excess oil from skillet
Evenly spoon one-half of the sauce over the pork chops; turn pork chops over. Spoon remaining sauce over the chops; reduce temperature, loosely cover, and simmer about 20 to 25 minutes or until pork chops are fork tender.
Arrange a pork chop on 4 to 6 warm dinner plates. Spoon Creole sauce over each chop, dividing evenly. Garnish each serving with sprigs of parsley and thyme, if desired.
Variations: Add ¼ cup dry white wine or dry sherry to sauce.
Cut 2 medium yellow squash into slices (crosswise) and add to sauce.
Add 1 cup sliced fresh or thawed frozen okra to chops and sauce about 8 minutes before end of cooking time.
Sauté 8 ounces sliced fresh mushrooms with the chops and add to sauce.
Spoon Creole sauce over hot cooked rice and serve with the pork chops.