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Chop Chop, Pork Chop

Chop Chop, Pork ChopPineapple combines with cilantro to add a sweet-savory accent to these succulent, thick-cut pork chops. Recipe courtesy of Bob Blumer, The Surreal Gourmet.

Recipe Ingredients:

4 (12-ounce) pork loin rib chops, (non-marinated), 1 1/2-inches thick

Pineapple Brine:
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
6 ounces pineapple juice (3/4 cup)
1 cup water

Salsa:
1/2 fresh pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into 4 long pieces*
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 or 2 fresh serrano, or jalapeno chiles, thinly sliced
4 small green onions, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt

Cooking Directions:

  1. For brine, stir together salt, brown sugar and 1 cup water in small saucepan. Bring to boil, stirring occasionally, until salt and sugar are dissolved. Remove from heat. Stir in 3 cups cold water and pineapple juice; let cool. Place pork in large, resealable bag. Pour brine mixture over pork; close bag to seal. Turn bag to evenly coat pork with brine. Refrigerate for 3 hours, turning bag occasionally.
  2. Remove pork from brine; discard brine. Pat pork chops with paper towels, then brush with olive oil.
  3. Prepare a medium-hot fire in grill.
  4. Grill chops, uncovered, over direct heat for 12 to 16 minutes or until internal temperature of pork reaches 160°F (70°C), turning chops over halfway during grilling.
  5. At the same time, grill pineapple until slightly golden and caramelized, turning over often.
  6. Transfer chops to cutting board. Loosely cover with foil; let rest for 10 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, for Salsa: Finely chop pineapple. Place chiles, pineapple, green onions, lime juice, cilantro, maple syrup and salt in medium bowl. Gently toss until mixed. Serve salsa with chops.

Makes 4 servings.

*If fresh pineapple is unavailable, use a 20-ounce can crushed pineapple, drained (do not grill).

Nutritional Information Per Serving (1/4 of recipe): Calories: 380 calories; Protein: 44 grams; Fat: 15 grams; Sodium: 630 milligrams; Cholesterol: 105 milligrams; Saturated Fat: 5 grams; Carbohydrates: 17 grams; Fiber: 1 grams.

Recipe and photograph provided courtesy of National Pork Board.