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The family will beg for seconds when they taste these terrific pork chops!
Ready In A Jiffy
These pork chops are done in less than 20 minutes. This has got to be one of the easiest and fastest “real-food” dinners around that doesn’t rely on any convenience ingredients. And I bet you have most of them in your pantry and freezer.
For the chops, you may find it easier to do what I do when I want boneless chops. When whole boneless pork loins go on sale, I buy one or two. Depending on how big they are, I cut them into two or three sections–like small roasts–and vacuum seal them. That way if I want to make a roast, I’ve got a piece. Likewise if I want chops, I can cut them from one of those sections. I don’t cut the chops before I freeze because the meat stays much nicer if cut after defrosting. And the best part is I can cut chops as thick or as thin as I want! I’ve been getting the whole loins for around $1.69 per pound and you can’t beat that price for chops. There’s no way thick-cut chops will be that cheap at the store! And did I mention it’s really easy? You don’t have to have any butcher skills at all!
Chipotle Chili Powder Is A Must
This is probably the one item you don’t have in your pantry that you will have to buy. I’ll be upfront and say it is not cheap. However, it’s very worth the cost. You will find it in the spice aisle of your market, but it will be with the fancy gourmet spices or the organic spices. Please resist the urge to bypass it and use regular chili powder. You need that smoky taste that you get from chipotle. It’s critical for this flavor. If you cannot find it in your store, it’s available here.
In fact, the taste of this chipotle chili powder is so good, you’ll find many ways to use it in other recipes. It’s nice mixed with mayonnaise as a sandwich spread or for the dressing in a potato salad.
Cast Iron Is Best
Since these chops not only look better but taste better when they’re a bit blackened, you’ll need a good heavy skillet that conducts heat very well. This is the place to use that cast iron skillet you have in the cupboard! It will produce excellent results. A good tri-ply stainless is good too. In either case, you have got to let the pan get super hot before adding the oil or the chops. You’ll know it’s the right temperature when you put in the oil and it will immediately begin to smoke…it’s supposed to do that! Just add the chops quickly and resist the urge to peek underneath for at least 4-5 minutes. With stainless, that’s important because until the connective tissue or collagen (forget which one it is) breaks down, the chops will stick and you want to avoid that! That’s why I recommend using cast iron–and it’s naturally non stick too. As far as Teflon or the ceramic non-stick coatings, unless that’s the only type of skillet you have, don’t use it. Non-stick pans are not very efficient at browning.
Spicy Chipotle Pork Chops
- 4 thick-cut boneless pork loin chops about 1-inch thick
- 2 tbs olive oil
For the Rub:
- 1 tbs chipotle chili powder
- 1/4 tsp oregano
- 1/4 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- Mix all rub ingredients in a small bowl.
- Sprinkle each side of the chops with the rub then rub in to distribute well.
- Heat a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat; add the oil—the oil will smoke. (I use cast iron)
- Add chops to the hot skillet and brown very well on each side, about 8 minutes each side.
- This should cook the chops completely, but test with a meat thermometer to be sure. They should be 160 degrees internal temp. If not, they can be finished off in a 350 degree F oven for 10 minutes.