(Family Features) When looking for inspiration on the grill, nothing beats the tender, juicy pork chop. This hearty protein is a versatile canvas for a wide range of mouthwatering rubs, glazes and marinades that will ignite taste buds with bold new flavors.
To fire up your grill creativity, look to simple, fuss-free recipes that pack big flavor. Take your pork chops on a jaunt through the Mediterranean with a savory Basil-Garlic Rub. Or, spice up the chop with a Fire-Lovers Rub, featuring a robust blend of Southwestern-inspired spices. No matter what tastes you crave, the pork chop is your perfect partner on the grill all year long.
For more on how to get the most out of pork on the grill, turn to these tips from the National Pork Board:
Know your chops. Did you know there are five different pork chop cuts? From the richly marbled blade chop to the lean iconic loin chop, there are many delicious options for quick-cooking chops on the grill. Ask your retailer or butcher to help choose the cut that's right for you-it might just result in a new favorite.
Make it your own. Pork chops pair perfectly with a virtually endless variety of tasty rubs and marinades. Experiment with your own flavor combinations by taking standby recipes and swapping out or adding ingredients to suit your family's tastes.
Mind your cook time. For juicy, tender pork, the USDA now recommends cooking chops, roasts and tenderloins to an internal temperature of 145°F with a 3-minute rest. Be sure to use a digital cooking thermometer for the most delicious results.
For more details on pork chop cuts, tips and mouthwatering recipes, visit www.PorkBeInspired.com. You can also follow the National Pork Board on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PorkBeInspired and on Twitter @AllAboutPork.
When looking for inspiration on the grill, nothing beats the tender, juicy pork chop.
- 4 bone-in pork loin chops, 3/4-inch thick
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves, packed
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- With machine running, drop garlic through feed tube of food processor to mince. Stop, add fresh basil, and process until chopped. Add lemon juice, oil, salt, and pepper and process to make a thin wet rub. Spread both sides of pork chops with basil mixture. Let stand 15 to 30 minutes.
- Prepare medium-hot fire in grill. Brush grate clean and oil grate. Grill chops, over direct heat, turning once, to medium rare doneness, 5 to 6 minutes per side, or until the internal temperature reaches 145°F, followed by a 3-minute rest.
Calories: 210g | Total Fat: 14g
Cholesterol: 60mg | Protein: 27g
Carbohydrates: 2g | Sodium: 620mg
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic or garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
- Mix chili powder, oregano, cumin, salt, cayenne, granulated garlic and black pepper in small bowl. Rub both sides of pork chops with spice mixture. Let stand 15 to 30 minutes. Cook chops to an internal temperature of 145°F with a 3-minute rest.
Calories: 220g Total Fat: 14.5g
Cholesterol: 60mg Protein: 27g
Carbohydrates: 4g Sodium: 1220mg
Makes enough for 4 pork chops
SOURCE: National Pork Board
- 1 medium spaghetti squash (1 1/2 to 2 pounds) washed, halved lengthwise and seeded
- 1/2 ripe Avocado from Mexico (4 ounces), pitted and diced
- 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves or Italian parsley
- 1 tablespoon chopped chives
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup hot water
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil or parsley (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly coat a baking sheet with olive oil cooking spray.
- Pierce outside of each half of squash a few times with a fork. Place squash cut side down on baking sheet and bake for about 45 minutes, or until very tender when tested with a fork. Cool slightly.
- Meanwhile, place avocado, basil or parsley, chives, Parmesan, garlic, salt, black pepper and hot water in blender and process until smooth, turning blender off and on occasionally and adding a tablespoon or two of additional hot water if needed. There will be between 1/2 and 3/4 cup of pesto.
- When squash has cooled, use fork to rake the spaghetti-like threads of squash into a serving bowl. Discard skin. Drizzle pesto over squash and garnish with fresh basil or parsley if desired.
Makes 6 servings
Notes, Tips & Suggestions
Credit: Cheryl Forberg, R.D. "The Biggest Loser: Simple Swaps" (Rodale, 2009)
Source Avocados from Mexico
- 1/2 cup chopped shallots
- 1/4 cup chopped smoked sun-dried tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 6-ounce can California Green Ripe Olives, well drained
- 1 6-ounce can California Black Ripe Olives, well drained
- 1/4 cup lightly packed fresh basil
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Crackers or toasted baguette slices
- Place shallots, sun-dried tomatoes, olive oil, vinegar and garlic in a food processor and pulse on and off until finely chopped.
- Add olives, basil, salt and pepper and pulse again until chopped.
- Cover and chill for 1 hour. (May be prepared 1 day ahead.) Serve with crackers or toasted baguette slices.
Makes 8 to 10 servings