You know how it is. You see that package of pork chops on sale and you’re like, ‘Oh, Damn! That’s a good deal! I can feed the 5th battalion with that! Word.’ And so you buy it and stick in the fridge and some days go by. You open the refridgerator door several times a day and those pork chops stare at you. And then, they start editorializing. “You know we are going to go bad soon, right?’ ‘SLAM!’ The next day … ‘You know you didn’t save any money if you just end up throwing us away, right?’ ‘Huff! SLAM’
And then it gets really sad, because the editorializing pork chops turns into a conversation. “We’re still here, you haven’t cooked us. You had grand plans to feed the fifth battalion. Basting and spice options were pondered and considered. And yet, here we are. Still sitting here about to turn gray. It’s fine. We already knew you were a failure as a human being.” You can’t take the pressure any more so you yell back, you know, at the pork. “Gosh darn-it, the 5th battalion isn’t coming. I don’t even have a phone number! It’s just that thing you tell yourself when meat goes on sale!’
Well, fear not, well-meaning, if not over-committing, fellow travelers. I, too, found myself in this situation. And yeah, I yelled at my slowly graying pork. But I snatched them back from the oblivion and knocked it out of the park. Here’s how.
- 6 boneless pork chops
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Cayenne Pepper
- Crushed Red Pepper
- Ground Cinnamon
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
Coat a 9X13 inch glass baking dish with EVOO.
Place pork chops in the baking dish. The pork needs to fit snuggly together to tenderize and conserve juices. If you put them in the dish and they look like a bunch of married people after the sex went out of the relationship, knock it down a size.
Now, for the fun:
For my recipe I used EVOO liberally, salt, pepper, cayenne, crushed red pepper, and cinnamon. I measured nothing. It was all on a wing and a prayer and, lord have mercy did it turn out amazing.
Now that you have had fun bedazzling both sides of your pork chop and you have made sure they are all snuggly tucked together, your oven should be ready!
Pop them in on the middle rack for 16-18 minutes, uncovered. You want to reach an internal temperature of 145. Let the pork rest for about 5 minutes.
That’s it. Seriously. 10 minutes of prep, 20 minutes of cooking while you pound pinot grigio and spoil your appetite, and dinner is ready.
Whoa, wait a minute, what about sides?
Oh, honey, the sky is the limit. You can pair pork with anything. My rub is spicy, with a hint of ‘what the hell?’ because of the cinnamon. It paired well with stuffing. If you want a really low carb meal it would be lovely with some french green beans sautéed in butter and salt and pepper. Want to get a little fancy, lay it on a bed of asparagus.
Honestly, this pork turned out so well – juicy, complex and delicate at the same time – your side doesn’t matter. Stick with your own dietary goals and restrictions. Otherwise, the protein stands alone. It’s the star of the dish, as it should be.
~Nom On, my over-commiting friends.