(Family Features) The rich smell and crisp, smoky flavor of fresh sizzling bacon is a temptation few diners can resist. Indeed, some 53 percent of Americans eat bacon at least once a week, according to a recent survey by Smithfield. This love for bacon is fueling a culinary craze for bacon-infused and -inspired foods - everything from the tame (sauces) to the outrageous (ice cream).
But perhaps this trend should come as no surprise. After all, a full 78 percent of Smithfield's survey respondents agreed that bacon makes everything better.
Whether you're pairing your morning eggs with strips of their most perfect protein sidekick, loading up a BLT with an extra layer of bacon-y crunch, or following the lead of the nation's top chefs and experimenting with new flavor combinations, you're likely to achieve a crowd pleaser.
Quirky products and recipes aside, for the average consumer, the simple versatility of bacon makes it a winning addition to most meals. Even a classic pork chop, one of the most popular cuts of fresh pork, takes on a new personality when paired with the distinctly savory flavor of bacon, as in this recipe for Bacon Pork Chops with BBQ Glaze.
Image and recipe provided by The Pork Board
Bacon Pork Chops with BBQ Glaze
- 4 6-7 ounce Smithfield Boneless Pork Loin Chops (1 1/4-inch thick)
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- 4 slices Thick-Cut Smithfield Bacon
- 4 tablespoons barbecue sauce
- 1/2 cup lager beer
- 1 teaspoon canola oil
- 1/2 cup chicken broth, reduced-sodium
- Season pork with salt. Wrap bacon around edges of pork and secure with wooden toothpick.
- Mix together barbecue sauce and beer.
- Heat oil in oven-proof large skillet over medium-high heat. Stand chops with bacon-wrapped edges down in skillet, leaning against side of pan if needed. Using tongs, rotate chops along edges to lightly brown bacon (allow about 45 seconds to brown each section).
- Place chops flat side down in skillet and cook until underside is lightly browned, about one minute. Turn chops over. Spread equal amount of barbecue sauce mixture over each chop, letting excess run into skillet.
- Place skillet with chops in oven and bake for 10 minutes. Transfer each chop to dinner plate and let stand.
- Pour fat from skillet, leaving browned bits. Heat skillet over high heat until hot. Add broth and bring to a boil, scraping up browned bits with wooden spoon, and boil until reduced by half, about two minutes. Top each chop with spoonful of sauce and serve hot.
(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
(Family Features) Explore new flavors and cuisines and take a tasty trip around the world with pork - all from the comfort of your own home. Pork's versatility and savory taste make it the perfect pairing with global ingredients and dishes, giving you a passport to delicious mealtimes you will want to share with family and friends.
Need some inspiration? Create a Pork Bucket List and fill it with ideas for global-tasting meals with pork. Try:
Making your own marinade using a new ingredient from a far-off place, like chiles.
Visiting a new ethnic restaurant that serves dishes like dim sum or Korean barbecue and then find recipes at PorkBeinspired.com to replicate your favorites at home.
Discovering pork dishes from all seven continents, starting with Asia and these Thai Ribeye Pork Chops.
For Thai Ribeye Pork Chops, mix up a slightly tangy Asian-inspired marinade before grilling. And remember, for juicy, tender results that you, your family and friends will love, grill your pork chops to an internal temperature between 145°F (medium rare) and 160°F (medium), followed by a three-minute rest.
Serve these chops on top of a bed of noodles for a Thai pork noodle bowl, or alongside an herb salad of fresh basil, mint, scallions and cilantro for a meal packed with a world of flavor.
Keep your grilling and cooking fresh and exciting with more global recipes. Visit www.PorkBeinspired.com and www.Pinterest.com/PorkBeinspired for recipes, ideas, tips and more.
Thai Ribeye Pork Chops
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped OR 1 tablespoon dried cilantro
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed (about 3 tablespoons)
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 lime, juiced
- 4 boneless ribeye pork chops, about 3/4- to 1-inch thick
- Whisk together soy sauce, cilantro, garlic, brown sugar, vegetable oil and lime juice in bowl.
- In large baking dish, arrange ribeye pork chops in even layer. Pour marinade over pork chops, reserving about 1/4 cup of marinade in refrigerator for later use.
- Marinate pork chops for 20-30 minutes.
- Heat indoor grill pan or outdoor grill to medium-high heat. Remove pork chops from marinade, discarding excess marinade. Place pork chops on hot grill for 4 minutes on each side, flipping once until internal temperature of pork measures between 145°F (medium rare) and 160°F (medium) on meat thermometer.
- Transfer grilled pork chops to cutting board and let rest for 3 minutes before slicing against grain.
- Pour reserved marinade over sliced pork before serving.
SOURCE: National Pork Board