Soul-Satisfying Pork Chops with a Good Dose of Healthy

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IMG_0440Pork Chops with Sofrito and Saffron Rice

 

It’s week 2 of the Publix Pork “Good and Good for You” challenge (if you missed it last week, here’s my recipe for Slow Cooker Pork Tenderloin in Red Wine, Garlic, and Herb Sauce). This week we’re featuring boneless pork loin chops and talking football food.

I wanted to do dishes I thought would be great substitutes for some of your more traditional, fatty, fried Superbowl foods. From the Pork Be Inspired site, I cooked Pork Chops with Sofrito. Sofrito is a slowly sauteed mix of aromatics; in this case, onions, bell peppers, and garlic. I *just now* realized the called-for “salsa de tomate” is actually tomato sauce, not salsa. I used two small cans of a Mexican “medium” salsa from the Hispanic Foods section and it still turned out well, although I can see where a little more liquid might have been helpful.

Out of the four adults that ate my meal of Pork Chops with Sofrito and Meyer Lemon BBQ Pork Chops, three preferred the Mexican-style chops (although everyone liked both). I went with the BBQ ones – not out of pride, but the sofrito sauce was so spicy I could hardly taste it. I think that’s probably chalked up to my use of medium salsa rather than tomato sauce. But again, everyone else LOVED that heat, so use whichever you choose if you decide to make the recipe. It’s a great substitute for something fattier, like enchiladas or even layered dip. And you can still serve some chips and salsa or guac alongside it for a well-rounded party meal.

IMG_0438
Meyer Lemon BBQ Pork Chops
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For our other taste-test, I made pork chops baked in a bath of thin barbecue sauce. These would work well in place of hot wings or ribs. The sauce is extremely flavorful and not full of the high-fructose corn syrup you might find in a storebought variety. Yes, there are a lot of ingredients … but stick with me, it all just gets tossed in a blender.

It’s a fresher barbecue sauce that doesn’t taste particularly lemony, but still has a little note of lemon and the lovely scent of thyme. It would also be perfect as a slow cooker meal.

Meyer Lemon BBQ Pork Chops

Adapted from Food Network

Ingredients

  • juice and zest of three Meyer lemons (can sub regular lemons)
  • 2 T honey
  • 2 c. water
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 T dried minced onion
  • 3/4 c. ketchup
  • 1/4 c. soy sauce
  • 1/4 c. cider vinegar
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 1 T paprika
  • 1 T chili powder
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 2 T fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • 2 T fresh basil leaves, chopped, or 2 tsp. dried basil
  • 4 center-cut pork chops
  • all purpose-flour seasoned with salt and pepper

Instructions

Add everything but pork chops and flour to a blender and pulse until well-combined. Set aside. (You can make this in advance and refrigerate – or freeze and then defrost – until needed.)

Cover the bottom of a skillet in olive oil and heat to medium. Dredge pork chops in flour mixture and shake off excess, then add to skillet and cook for 2 minutes on each side, to brown. Transfer chops to a deep baking dish that will fit them in a single layer.

Pour sauce over top chops. Yes, they will be swimming in it. That’s OK.

Cover dish with aluminum foil and put on top of a cookie sheet in case of overflow. Bake at 350F for 1 1/2 hours. Chops should be very tender, almost falling apart. If you’d like a slightly thicker sauce, uncover and continue baking at 400F for 10-20 minutes.

http://www.jessieweaver.net/2012/02/soul-satisfying-pork-chops-with-a-good-dose-of-healthy/

At the end of this four-week series, I am giving away a great package including coupons for $40 of fresh pork, a meat thermometer, a reusable bag, a pedometer, and a nice reusable water bottle. To enter, comment on any post in the series. You can comment once on each one, and then you’ll have four entries! I will choose a winner after the fourth post goes live around February 17.

Just leave a comment answering this question: what pork chop recipe from the Pork Be Inspired site looks good to you? I think I’d like to try Jamaican-Rubbed Chops and Thai Lettuce Wraps with Satay Pork Strips.

Thank you to the Pork Board and theMotherhood for sponsoring this series of posts. I received coupons, a gift card, and a stipend for my time and groceries, but all opinions are my own.

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