Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Fiesta Spiced and Spiked Pork Chops

Pork is a delicious and wonderful addition to any occasion or menu.  White meat pork is just as low in saturated fats and cholesterol as white meat chicken.  Pork makes a great canvas for just about any marinade and cooking medium, depending of course on the cut and location on the animal.  Some cuts, as with other animals, are more suited for searing, sauteing, frying, baking etc or gentle methods of cooking  like cutlets, thin chops and tenderloins.  Other cuts like roasts, ribs, country style and spare variety, shoulders, ears, feet and organ meats like chitterlings require more aggressive cooking methods or a combination of the two.  Searing and braising or searing and baking is popular, especially for this featured recipe and cut, 1 inch thick bone-in chops.  Offal, also known as "sweetbreads", or the thymus gland of the pig and the liver  are the exception, which needs gentle preparation, to retain it's shape and preserve it's delicate flavor.
Pork is a staple in many ethnic groups all around the world.  We love our pig products here in the U.S., but it's also popular in Latin American locales  Mexico as well areas of Asian ethnicity like  Thailand and Vietnam, bottom line, everywhere!  Markets in my area do not offer chops this beautiful often, so I took advantage of the opportunity and came up with a recipe to do them justice! I hope you get the chance to try it and love it as my family and I did.  Enjoy.
2 1 inch thick pork chops, bone-in
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. Himalayan Pink Salt
1/4 tsp. Sazon seasoning
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
4 brandy soaked pineapple rings (marinate in 1 oz. brandy for 30 minutes to 1 hour in resealable bag) Drink or discard pineapple marinade:)
fresh cracked pepper
olive oil for drizzling
Sprinkle chops with seasonings and drizzle with olive oil.
Rub chops vigorously to work spices into meat, both sides.
Place in resealable bag and position a pineapple ring on top and bottom of each chop.  Squeeze out excess air and seal.  Marinate in refrigerator for 3 to 24 hours,  the longer the BETTER!
Let stand at room temperature before before searing and baking or grilling.
Remove pineapple slices.  Drizzle with olive and grill over medium high heat or Foreman type grill until juices run clear and pork is opaque, about 155 degrees for medium well. SPST.   Let rest for several minutes before serving.
Pineapple may be grilled separately and served with pork if desired
Serves 2 for special dinner occasion or serves 4 sliced and pre-plated.
Recipe shown with Asian inspired Couscous.

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