Monday, February 16, 2009

Top 10 - Brown Sugar & Basil Pork Chops

Considering it's been a full 2 weeks since I made these pork chops and LOVED them, I cannot believe it's taken me this long to post about them. Although, I really wanted to include a picture and I NEVER know where the little adapter thing for my camera is so I can upload pictures, so I suppose that stalled the entry a bit. Either way, I'm posting now and officially adding this insanely simple dinner to the top 10 list I'm trying to compile. I'm most excited about these simply because they involve pork - not chicken, steak, or pasta, which tend to be the 3 dinner staples in our house. Being able to throw something different in the meal rotation is thrilling for a new cook like myself. Another added bonus - I had no idea pork was so cheap. This 4 pack of boneless chops was just $2.50 at Target! I served this with some roasted smashed potatoes and corn and had my brother and his girlfriend over for dinner with Dan and I, and all of us agreed that this dinner is worth making again.

I got this recipe from Dan's friend Jeannie - not sure if it's hers originally or not, but either way I'm crediting her with it since she introduced me to it. :) So with that, I suggest every pork chop fan out there take a stab at these, and let me know if you enjoy them as much as I did!

Brown Sugar & Basil Pork Chops
1/2 C brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
2 tbsp olive oil, divided
4 boneless med thick pork chops

In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and spices. Stir in 1 tbsp of olive oil until crumbly. Coat chops on both sides with the rub.

In a large skillet, cook chops in remaining olive oil over medium heat, about 7-8 min per side or until done.

Um, yum.

A couple of things I learned while making this dish:
1. I am severely paranoid about cooking meat - or better, UNDERcooking meat. My meal took longer than the recipe suggests simply because I flipped the chops every minute or so checking to see if they were done. My brother finally took the fork out of my hand, put a cover on the skillet, and told me to step away. A few minutes later we had finished chops and a gooey glaze had formed in the pan to pour over them. Phenomenal.
2. When you're buying meat, the store often puts the best looking piece on top, so you don't quite see the whole package. In this case, all 4 of the chops were lean and good, but 2 were much smaller than the others. With mine and Erica's smaller appetites this worked out great for us, but seeing as I've picked out meat at the grocery store a grand total of maybe 3 times, it was still a bit unexpected for me.
3. If I'm going to be posting pictures of my food, I may need to invest in a couple of pretty serving plates for the photos :). I have a plate from Pier 1 similar to this but with a pretty scalloped edge... maybe it will become my official "I'm going to blog about this dish" plate. :)

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