Pork chops never interested me in the least bit. All previous experience with this "other white meat" had been bland, dry, and completely unappealing. So when I moved to Philadelphia, and thus began cooking dinner nightly for M and myself, his relentless requests for pork chops were unsettling. What could possibly be alluring about pork chops?
Since cooking with them for the past year and a half, I have most certainly discovered their appeal. Mainly, by choosing good cuts, not overcooking them, and exploring a variety of preparation methods I have come to really enjoy pork chops. I've found that bone-in is delightfully rich and flavorful, and also that the bone is useful for holding the meat together when it is going to be stuffed with delicious fillings such as cheese and prosciutto. Center cuts are great for coating with breadcrumbs, toasty pecans, or crunchy cornmeal.
This recipe is for a juicy, center cut pork chop that is smothered with freshly prepared spicy jerk rub. Don't worry, it all only sounds laborious. Really, it's incredibly easy and fast for a weeknight meal that only tastes like it took hours to prepare.
Spicy Jerk Pork Chops: (serves 2)
1/4 cup diced white onion
1 t. dried thyme
1 t. sugar
1 t. salt
1/2 t. black pepper
1 t. cayenne pepper
1/2 t. pumpkin pie or allspice
1/8 t. apple pie spice
1/2 t. cinnamon
two 1/2 inch thick center cut pork chops
Mash together the white onion, thyme, sugar, salt, pepper, cayenne, and spices into a coarse paste. Alternatively, pulse the ingredients in a small processor.
Preheat a lightly oiled ribbed grill pan over medium heat. Pat each pork chop dry, then rub on both sides with the jerk paste. Try to cover the chop in as much paste as possible. Using tongs, place each pork chop down on the grill pan and allow to sit without moving (for grill marks) for no more than 4 minutes a side to retain juice and flavor.
Serve with a side of fruit & nut couscous, and enjoy!