Escabèche translates to “marinade” in English, which is exactly what you’re making here: a bright, tangy, smoky marinade full of pickled vegetables that makes an ideal sauce for sweet fatty pork chops. This escabèche is inspired by those floating spicy jalapeños, carrots, and onions that I’ve mouthwateringly gazed upon many times at my local taqueria’s salsa bar—but without the overwhelming heat. I call for less hot Padrón chiles, but other small mild peppers like shishitos also work (and if you’re really in a pinch, some sliced cubanelles). This all-purpose condiment keeps getting better with age (up to two weeks), like Parmigiano-Reggiano, sauerkraut, and my favorite celeb, Ryan Gosling.
Thick-cut, bone-in pork chops work better here for two very good reasons: Thick-cut chops usually have a little more fat, which contrasts nicely with the bright escabèche, and that bone equals more flavor. One last thing: I prefer to start chops on the stovetop and finish them in the oven to avoid the inevitable spatter from prolonged high-heat cooking. It also helps them cook more evenly and be less prone to drying out.