This article was originally featured in The 30 Second Wine Advisor's FoodLetter on Thursday, Oct. 27, 2005.

Cookin' Creole

INGREDIENTS: (Serves two)

1/2 sweet onion
1/2 green bell pepper
1 stalk celery
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon (5g) salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard powder
1 bay leaf
2 thick pork loin chops, about 8 ounces (240g) each
Black pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3/4 cup chicken broth


1. Chop the onion, bell pepper and celery and mince the garlic. This should yield about 1 1/2 to 2 cups of chopped vegetables in all.

2. Mix the salt, black and white pepper, cayenne and dry mustard powder in a small bowl and set this spice mix aside with the bay leaf.

3. Sprinkle the pork chops with a little salt, black pepper and cayenne. Heat the vegetable oil in a heavy skillet until it sizzles, then brown the chops, 2 or 3 minutes on each side. Take out the chops and hold them on a warm plate.

4. Put the chopped vegetables in the remaining fat in the hot skillet, stirring them frequently. When they start to cook, add the spice mix and bay leaf and continue stirring until they start to brown.

5. Put the pork chops and any accumulated juices back in the skillet and pour in only as much of the chicken broth as you need to come about halfway up their sides. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to very low, cover tightly, and simmer, turning the chops once or twice, for about 30 minutes. Check occasionally and add a little more broth if needed.

6. When the pork chops are done, check for seasoning, adding a little more salt and Louisiana hot sauce to taste. (If your guests are timid or if you're serving the dish with a fine wine that would be spoiled by excessive heat, skip the hot sauce or pass it on the side for those who must.) Serve with plenty of steaming white rice, French bread and a salad, and laissez les bon temps rouler!

As noted, in Cajun country you'd likely find this served with sweet tea or an ice-cold beer from longneck bottles (or maybe a good Louisiana microbrew from Abita Brewing, which happily avoided the worst of Katrina's wrath). I throttled back the heat to accommodate wine, and thought it went spectacularly with a fine, rich California Rhone-style white, Tablas Creek 2001 Esprit de Beaucastel Blanc. Any richer, fuller-bodied dry white or quality off-dry white like a good Riesling or Chenin Blanc should be fine, too. Or for a celebratory chuckle, pair it with the festive pop of a decent sparkling wine.