The Purple Pig's Pork Chops

June 12, 2012

The chef duo put a Mediterranean twist on Grilled Pork Chops.

    Pork chops
  • 4 - 1 inch thick pork chops
  • 1 gallon of water
  • 2 cups of salt
  • 1 cup of sugar

Mix salt, sugar, and water together. Submerge the porkchops in the brine for 24 hours

  • 2 qts dandelion greens
  • 1 cup of swisschard
  • 1 cup of spinach
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 1 red onion sliced
  • 1/2 tbs fennel seed
  • 1/2 tbs coriander
  • 1/2 tbs mustard seed
  • 1 tsp of chiliflakes
  • peels of two lemons

Toast the garlic in olive oil, then add the sliced red onion. Cook down for a few minutes then toast the spices in the olive oil quickly. Shortly after add the lemon peels. You then add all of the greens to the pot. Cook it down so it releases most of its own liquid. Especially to draw out some of the bitterness from the dandelions. Shortly after just cover the greens with water then cook down until they are super tender about one hour. Add salt and pepper to taste

    Fava Salata
  • 1/2 cup of fava beans
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/8 cup olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • lemon to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste

Boil fava beans until tender cool down in ice water. When cool add the favas and garlic to a food processor with the olive oil and puree till smooth. Then add the greek yogurt to the food processor. Afterward, add the fresh lemon juice, salt and pepper.

To assemble the dish:

Turn your grill to medium high heat on one side, then medium on the other half. Season the pork chops with only black pepper, drizzle olive oil. Then place on the grill. Sear well both sides of the porkchop on medium high. Then finish cooking on the medium half of the grill, until just cooked through. Before taking off of the grill hit it with fresh squeezed lemonjuice. On a large serving plate, place the fava salata down first. Followed by the horta which should be heatedback up in a pan with loive oil, lemon juice and salt. Finally plate the porkchops on top.

The Purple Pig
500 North Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611
312-464-1-PIG (744)


Jimmy Banos: Chef/Partner, The Purple Pig; Chef/Owner, Heaven On Seven

Jimmy Bannos, a third-generation restaurateur, worked at his parents' diner when he was growing up between the age of 9 and 20. After receiving his formal culinary education at Washburne Trade School, Bannos became infatuated with Crescent City cooking in the early 1980s and worked with famous New Orleans chefs, such as Paul Prudhomme at K-Paul's, Frank Brigtsen and Emeril Lagasse.

Bannos' bustling New Orleans-style Heaven on Seven restaurants have been one of the most popular eateries in Chicago for 32 years. Serving a highly personalized interpretation of New Orleans and Southern cooking, Bannos has smartly reinvented his food and his restaurant over the years to keep his concept fresh and vibrant. Today, he marries Latin, South American, Asian and Western European methods with New Orleans techniques and ingredients.

A collector of both modern and antique cookbooks, Bannos entered the publishing world himself with The Heaven on Seven Cookbook: Where It's Mardi Gras All The Time! and Big Easy Cocktails, Jazzy Drinks and Savory Bites. They invite food lovers into his kitchen and share some of his favorite down-home recipes.

What separates Bannos from the rest is his ability to season aggressively without overpowering the palate. While he uses cayenne-spiked seasoning blends and red chili pepper sauces, he also incorporates milder, well-rounded seasoning agents. The result is a complex layering of flavors that is consistent with New Orleans cooking principles, while bringing the region's food into the 21st century.

Jimmy makes regular appearances on The Today Show as well as local shows such as WGN, ABC, NBC, CBS and FOX highlighting some of his seasonal specialties, as well as demonstrating his versions of holiday classics and family favorites. He is a leading figure in the community, and has donated his time and efforts to such causes as Hurricane Katrina relief, Meals on Wheels and March of Dimes. Jimmy received the Chicago Chefs Hall of Fame Award (2007) and March of Dimes, Chef of the Year Award (2011).

Jimmy resides with his wife Annamarie in Illinois.

Jimmy Bannos Jr. Chef/Partner, The Purple Pig; Chef/Owner, Heaven On Seven

Jimmy Bannos Jr., a fourth generation restaurateur, was 'born and raised' in Heaven on Seven. Put to work bussing tables for his father at age five, Jimmy learned the trade first hand while spending days at the family owned Louisiana style restaurant. Jimmy quickly discovered that he shared his father's passion for people and food and made the decision to attend the College of Culinary Arts at Johnson and Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island. While there, he worked at the critically acclaimed Al Forno restaurant, located near the university in Providence. As part of his studies, Jimmy also completed an internship at Emerils in New Orleans, Louisiana. Upon graduation Jimmy returned to Chicago to assist Gabriel Viti with his opening of Miramar Bistro in Highwood, Illinois. He also teamed up with Scott Harris for the opening of one of the Mia Francesca locations. Although raised on gumbo, Jimmy let his passion (and his palate) guide him to more Mediterranean styles of cuisine. He soon embarked on a six month excursion to Italy, in order to immerse himself in the culture and cuisine. Upon his return to the states, he made the move to New York City. There he spent three and a half years working under Mario Batali at his Del Posto, Lupa Osteria Romana and Esca restaurants.

Jimmy has returned home to Chicago, bringing his love for Italian food, the restaurant business and his family to become Chef/Partner of The Purple Pig, offering cheese, swine and wine at 500 North Michigan Avenue in Chicago.

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