Friday, August 17, 2007

Chili-Rubbed Pork Chops – Somewhat, but not quite Blackened

The first culinary fade I can personally remember, was the “blackened” craze of the early eighties. Led by Paul Prudhomme, one of the country’s first “celebrity” Chefs, it seemed like everyone was coating every thing in Cajun spices and cooking it in white-hot cast iron pans until black. Now, this was a really delicious method IF done correctly, at very high heat, in a professional kitchen (which has powerful exhaust fans to remove the cloud of smoke that’s invariably produced).

The problem was that everyone was trying to do blackened fish, pork, chicken, and steak at home and the results varied greatly. The smart home cooks did this outside on the BBQ and made out OK. Many however tried to simulate this “looks great on TV” dish in the kitchen and the sounds of smoke alarms rang out across the land. If fact, I have a conspiracy theory that Chef Prudhomme was “on the take” from the Smoke Alarm companies. Of course, I can’t prove any of this.

This Chili-Rubbed Pork Chop video recipe is a kinder, gentler version of the “blackened” cooking technique. We start on high heat, but cook the chops on medium, and then finish the cooking by wrapping the chops in foil. This produces a very moist chop, as the meat has time to “rest” as it finishes cooking. Also, when you unwrap the boneless chops, there will be several tablespoons of the most wonderful natural juice (or Jus for our French friends). Almost any spice mix will work with this technique so take this method and make it your own. It was a great combination with the Sweet Corn, Shiitake Mushroom and Arugula Sauté recipe we already posted. Enjoy!

2 boneless center-cut pork chops (about 7oz each, about 1 1/2 inch thick)
1 1/2 tbl vegetable oil
salt to taste
Spice Rub:
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp all spice
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp ancho chili powder
cayenne to taste (optional)


Anonymous said...

I like to think I have the ability to taste a recipe before I make it. This 'taste' great, can't wait to make it for the 'boys' - husband, son and his friends.

I was going to write, great job on getting the recipe to match what you've added to your food. (Its a small pet peeve of mine on previous vids). But before I hit the send button, this recipe says 1 1/2 veg oil. 1 1/2 what? I usually write down what your saying and compare to what you've added to your food. Chef, help some of us who aren't gifted like you when it comes to the kitchen. But with your help I'll get more experience.

Your site is great, I will definately make a donation when I can. Hope ZIPLOCK makes it up til then.

Anonymous said...

looks great... as usual, I always get soooooo hungry at work watching these clips! It's not fair. But dont stop.

Chef John said...

thanks, just fixed the typo... its 1 1/2 tbl oil.

Also, yes,I often guess at the amounts since for things like oil and cheese and spices and herbs I just go by feel and instinct and so should you! Its more fun that way. Besides, we always taste as we go and adjust.

I basically drizzle a little oil in the pan to saute, it's probably 1 1/2 tbl but who knows?

Anonymous said...

Looks delicious! When I first heard the background music, I was like where have I heard this? Then it hit me,! This site has changed so much that I think it just gets BETTER everyday!

Anonymous said...

doesn't pork need to be cooked thru and 170'f minimum all parts?

or your pork is organic and non-parasite?

just asking... cause even medium well is a huge nono where I'm from

Anonymous said...

Looks absolutely delicious! Can't wait to try it! Im adding it to a recipe collection Im putting together. Thanks

Chef John said...

Not sure where u are from but im sure you are referring to the danger of trichinosis. Old cookbooks insisted pork be cooked to 170-180 to be safe. Today's food science has proven that 160 is completely safe. trichinosisis very rare and 160 would still kill it. STOP cooking pork well done. Thanks!

Andri T said...

For someone with a kosher/halal preference like me, is it possible to swap the pork for beef/chicken. If so, what cut would be the best.

Chef John said...

Yes! I think large boneless chicken breats would work perfectly.

For beef, tenderloin, or for something less expensive top sirloin would also work.

Anonymous said...

My first visit here, hi. Looks yummy and really what I need to add a little variety to the pork chops I've been doing lately. Love that it's got all that spice, I'll probably add more (by instinct, not by measurement) I so love spicy food. Great blog, Chef John :) I'll be back.

Anonymous said...

Oh, boy! I love pork chops and I certainly like this one. I've made this a couple of time since it was posted; my favorite is a chop that I unintentionally left in the fridge for something like a day and a half after applying the rub . When cooked, it tasted 'sweeter' than its brothers that had gone before, the spices 'smoother'. Thanks, Chef John!

Anonymous said...

Can you even eat pork raw? I thought you always have to cook them to well done, wont that be a health risk?

Chef John said...

who's eating it raw?

Unknown said...

Would this work with non boneless pork chops as well?

jozielee said...

Rubbed my pork chops and immediately fried. No wait time. Family famished. We LOVED these tasty, moist chops. Will make again real soon. Next time I'll allow time to marinate. Can't wait to taste them chops. Thank you, Chef John, for this excellent recipe.

Kurt '45superman' Hofmann said...

Chef John, how essential is it that the chops be boneless? I have always much preferred "boneful" pork chops. Would those work? Any change in the preparation?