Music: Sublime, 40 oz. to Freedom…went a little old school on you
Menu: Cocoa and Chile Rubbed Pork Chops, roasted green beans & mushrooms, cheesy grits
Let’s talk about spice, baby. Let’s talk about you and me. Let’s talk about all the sweet and spicy things that make these pork chops…that includes a little S & P. Was that too chessy?!? Maybe…but these pork chops surely are not. The recipe (courtesy of Food & Wine) calls for pure ancho chile powder. Well, I did not have ancho chiles, but I still have a TON of cayenne peppers from a few years back when I tried making my own chile spiked vodka as a Bloody Mary base for X-mas gifts one year…let’s just say the vodka is killer…and I mean that literally and not in a “dude” way.
N-E-ways. I grounded up some cayenne pepps, combined some cocoa powder and brown suga’ and wall-la! Friggin’ amazing! These were spicy, like really spicy. If you don’t like spice I recommend a basic mexican chile powder or as the recipe suggests ancho chile powder. Here in Denver, you can find whatever chile your heart desires – fresh or dried – in the regular supermarket. But in case you aren’t sure what the h-e-double hockeysticks an ancho chile is, it’s actually just a dried poblano pepper. Poblano are the long, wide dark green chiles. Ancho is the dried version and like a poblano they are much milder than a cayenne.
Oh, oh, oh…one of my fave side dishes! Roasted green beans and mushrooms with garlic, shallot amazing-ness! Add some EVOO and S & P and pop in the oven for 12 minutes and literally one of the best side dishes…at least on the Callahan scorecard.
Lastly, I must tell you that grits for dinner is perfectly acceptable. This is coming from the household that goes through a canister of grits in about 1 week (does that qualify as an obsession?!?). I will share my most perfect grits recipe, but later. Time for the spicy sweet pork chops that look oh-so-delish.
from Food & Wine
- 2 quarts water
- 1 1/2 tspn crushed red pepper
- Pork chops – 4 thick boneless pork loin chops
- 1 TB unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 TB light brown sugar
- 1 TB pure ancho chile powder
- In a large bowl or your regular marinating dish, combine water, red pepper, and 1 1/2 tspn. of salt and stir until salt dissolves. Add pork chops and let brine at room temp. for at least an hour.
- Light a grill (create an indirect heating scenario: if you have a charcoal grill, move all coals to one side or for a gas grill, just light one side).
- In a bowl, mix cocoa, sugar, and chile powder, with 1 TB salt.
- Drain pork chops and pat dry. Brush or drizzle with EVOO.
- Press pork chops into cocoa rub and press to help adhere. Repeat on both sides and with each pork chop.
- Grill over moderate-high heat for 4 minutes, turning once, until lightly browned on each side. Move chops to cool side of grill and cover and let sit for 10 – 15 minutes. Thermometer should read 135 for medium meat. Let chops rest before digging in.
- Serve with veggies, grits, and water to cool down the heat!