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pork chops

Flying Grilling Pork

Asian Style Grilled Pork Loin Chops with Sauteed Sweet Onions … and a trip to Lopez Island Farmer’s Market!

Asian Style Pork Loin Chops with sautéed Sweet Onions

I’m a Farmer’s Market obsessed mad woman this summer.  It all started with the lovely flight over to Orcas Island this past June.  Oh yeah, that’s the one that got me going.

Brown Rice, Fresh Chopped Cilantro and Steamed Sugar Snap Peas

On the flight back home from Orcas, I turned to my hunky pilot (new name for Ranger Craig) and said “I think you should fly me to a different Farmer’s market every weekend”.   I think I made him smile.

Lopez Harbor from the air

Ranger Craig has obliged my request and so off we flew this weekend.   The location? My almost favorite island, (because I can’t seem to decide which is my favorite) Lopez.

Beautiful Lopez Island

It’s a little bit of a hike from Lopez Airport to town center,  so my brilliant hunky pilot (just expanded Ranger Craig’s new name) packed the bikes in the plane… so I could carry more loot!

Me, my bike and my oversized backpack... ready for the market!

It was a glorious ride to town.  Sailboats, blue herons, beautiful cows (I love cows!), friendly locals who waved as they passed my bike.  I think they were waving me good luck bike riding back to the airport.  Two huge hills to climb.  Ok, that won’t be a pretty site.

I love cows!

Kayaking! One of our favorite sports... guess we'll be comin back.

The market was incredible.  I stopped at every booth, bought homemade jam, lots of beautiful and fresh organic vegetables, the most glorious looking organic pork loin chops, killer fudge and an adorable bird house for my sister (she loves birds).

Spicy Salad Mix... beautifully delicious

By the last booth I was gettin the ole “I’m hungry” stare from Ranger Craig.  So I zipped up my oversized backpack (which he was so sweetly carrying) and off we went in search of food.

Savor the Season!

Just Heavenly Fudge

Now if you’ve ever been to Lopez Island in the summer, you’ll know about Holly B’s.  Holly B’s is one of the best bakeries in Western Washington.   A slice of andouille sausage pizza, a Gruyère croissant, and tomato basil bruschetta.  It was a most delicious lunch under the island sun, camped out on fresh grass, with just the lightest ocean breeze.  A moment to savor.

I was in awe.  So in awe of that beautiful moment in time, that beautiful moment of the summer season, I forgot to take a picture of that beautiful lunch!

Thankfully, my memory wasn’t permanently impaired.  I remembered to snap a few pictures of this beautiful recipe.

Asian Style Grilled Pork Loin Chops with Sautéed Sweet Onions

Serves 4


4 thick cut pork loin chops

1 cup Tamari (I use gluten-free)

1 tablespoon fresh finely chopped ginger

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1 cup pineapple juice

Red pepper flakes

½ cup veggie oil

½ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper

1 sweet onion, halved and thin sliced

2 tablespoons butter

Fresh chopped cilantro for garnish

Serve with Brown Rice, fresh chopped cilantro and steamed sugar snap peas


For the marinade: Whisk together the Tamari, ginger, mustard, pineapple juice, red pepper flakes, veggie oil and black pepper.

Place the pork loin chops in large Ziploc bag.  Pour the marinade over the pork and swish it around to cover all surfaces of the pork.

Lay the Ziploc bag in a large baking dish. For richest flavor and best results, place the dish in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours or overnight.

When ready to grill, preheat the grill to 400F.

While the grill is heating, prepare the sautéed onions.  Add the two tablespoons butter to a large sauté pan over medium heat.  When the butter is melted and hot, add the onions.  Let the onions sauté, stirring every few minutes, for about 20 minutes or until wilted and lightly golden brown.   Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper.

When the grill is ready, place the chops directly on the grill.  Brown both sides of the chops and then turn down the heat to about medium, and slowly finish cooking the pork loin chops. The chops will be done when the internal temperature reaches 145F.

Remove the chops to a platter and let them rest for at least 5 minutes.  This is an important step and will allow all the natural juices to re-distribute in the chops, keeping them moist and tender.

To serve:  Top the pork loin chops with the sautéed onions and garnish with fresh cilantro.  Serve with brown rice, steamed sugar snap peas and fresh chopped cilantro.

Grilling Kid Friendly Pork

Spice Rubbed Pork Loin Chops with Sweet and Smoky Barbeque Sauce

Mmmm…. there is nothing like the sweet and smoky flavors of barbeque.  And this time of year when the weather is gray and the grill cover stays on more than off, barbeque seems like a real treat.  Yep, it’s that time of year when we Northwesterners don our rain gear to start up the grill and cook a platter of mouth-watering delicious barbeque.  

The Bennett Crew loves barbeque.  I’m not kidding when I tell you it’s like Christmas in my house when I announce we’re having barbeque pork chops, ribs, burgers or chicken for dinner.  I wouldn’t be surprised if the neighbors heard a round of applause and a few shouts of glee from my house.  Barbeque, whether in the winter or spring ,always reminds us of summer sun and the relaxed atmosphere of the lazy summer days.  A lovely little respite from the misty gray days. 

Enjoy this decadent sauce on chicken or pork, but it’s sweet and delicate enough to be brushed on a beautiful piece of grilled salmon. 

Keep dinner simple… Enjoy the flavors of life!

Serves 4-6


6 bone in pork chops, or pork loin chops (about 1 – 1/2 inch thick)

Meat thermometer (this is the best method for testing doneness. More explanation in the recipe)

Olive oil

For the Rub:

1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

2 teaspoons paprika ( I like smoked paprika but sweet is just fine)

1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon onion powder

For the Sauce:

1/2 cup ketchup

2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon Worcestershire

2 tablespoons molasses

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper


Pre-heat the grill to 400F.

In a small bowl mix together rub ingredients.  Brush a little olive oil onto each chop and then coat each chop with the rub.  Let the chops rest for about 10 minutes while the grill is heating.

In a small pan, whisk together the sauce ingredients until blended.  Add about 1/4 cup water to the sauce and heat on medium heat until it reaches a lively simmer.  Take it off the heat and let it rest.  If you feel the sauce is too thick, add a tablespoon or two of water. 

To grill the chops:

It’s important to use a meat thermometer when grilling or cooking meat and poultry.  It’s the easiest way to test for doneness.  Otherwise, eyeballing the meat or cutting into the chop could cause the chop to dry out and end up as a doggie chew toy. 

Grill the chops until they reach 150-155F.  Pull them off the grill and let them rest for about 5-8 minutes lightly tented with foil.  The final temperature should reach 160-165F.  I like my chops at 160F for a perfectly juicy chop. 

Plate the chops and ladle sauce over the top.  Serve with sweet potato fries and cole slaw for a fun, festive  and delicious dinner!

Kid Friendly Pork Sauces, Salsas and More

Pork Chops with a Spiced Dried Plum Sauce

Pork Loin Chops with Spiced Dried Plum Sauce

Ranger Craig loves a good pork chop.  I on the other hand prefer a pork tenderloin or decadent roast pork shoulder.  However, I need to keep my expert recipe taste tester happy, so once in a while I pull out the chops and start frying.

I think pork chops are best when lightly dusted with flour, salt and pepper and pan-fried.  When all that frying is done, a thick and rich pan gravy can be prepared and then drizzled over the tasty chops.

This yummy little recipe is a nice alternative to the traditional pan seared or grilled chop.  Although this recipe requires some pan searing, the pork chops can be browned and then placed in the oven to finish cooking.  Gotta love that!  Prepare a quick spiced sauce of dried plums, cloves and cream and you’ve got a delightfully flavored sauce to drizzle over juicy pork chops.

It’s a happy day when I see smiles at the dinner table.  Life is good when pork chops are on the menu!

Pork Chops with Spiced Dried Plum Sauce

Serves 4-6


6 pork chops, about ¾ inch thick and trimmed of excess fat

½ cup all-purpose flour

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

High heat oil, such as a sunflower or safflower

10 oz package dried plums

1 ½ cups white wine (you can substitute with apple juice plus one tablespoon apple cider vinegar)

½ pint heavy cream

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground cloves

1 tablespoon red currant jelly (this is a lovely condiment to have on hand for grilled meats and poultry, and it’s also yummy on ham and turkey sandwiches)

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Chopped fresh Italian parsley for garnish


Heat the oven to 350F.  In a large skillet or frying pan heat the oil on medium high.

Sprinkle the chops with salt and pepper on both sides and then lightly dust with flour.  When the oil is hot and smoking, sear both sides of the chops until golden brown and then transfer to a baking dish.

Place the chops in the oven for about 8-10 minutes or until the chops are done.  Be careful not to overcook as the pork can dry out quickly.  While the pork is cooking prepare the sauce.

In a sauce pan heat the wine on medium heat and add the dried plums.  Let the wine and plums simmer until the wine has reduced by half, about 8-10 minutes.  Gently fold in the cream, cloves, cinnamon, and red currant jelly.  Bring the heat back to a boil and then reduce to a lively simmer until the sauce begins to thicken.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Place the pork chops on a platter or individual plates.  Ladle the sauce over the pork chops and garnish with Italian parsley.  Serve immediately.

Grilling Kid Friendly Pork

Sweet and Spicy Grilled Pork Loin Chops with Grilled Apple Slices

I stopped by our local meat market to purchase some sausages for a weekend breakfast, and spotted the most beautiful pork loin chops.  Well, I absolutely could not leave that market without those chops.  However, I hadn’t planned a meal with pork loin chops so I had to come up with something quick.

Ranger Craig loves a good chop.  Especially one that’s slathered in a really tasty rub.  Of course, I didn’t have any sort of pork rub in the house, so I dug around my spice pantry for ideas.  A little brown sugar, some oregano, garlic powder, and my new favorite ingredient, chipotle chili powder.  If you don’t have any chipotle chili powder yet, you could substitute with smoked paprika and a pinch of cayenne pepper. 

The great thing about this rub is that it can be as spicy or as sweet as you like.  It’s also versatile and can be used on grilled chicken and would be fabulous with grilled sweet summer peaches.   

Make your next grill night sweet and spicy.   Happy Cooking!

Serves 4


4-6 pork loin chops (preferably bone in)

¼ cup brown sugar

½ teaspoon chipotle chili powder

½ teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon garlic powder

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

1 large apple sliced into 8-10 wedges


Preheat the grill to 375F.  Mix together the brown sugar, chipotle chili powder, cumin, oregano, garlic powder and 1 tablespoon of olive oil.

Season the chops with salt and pepper.   Use ¾ of the rub for the chops.  Press the rub into the meat on both sides and let it sit for about 10-15 minutes, or put in the frig for up to 30 minutes. 

Toss the apples with a drizzle of olive oil and then toss with the remaining rub. 

When the grill is ready, place the chops on the grill and turn the heat down if needed.  Grilling pork chops can be tricky, so stay by the grill constantly checking on the chops.  For thinner chops, grill for about 4-5 minutes on each side or until the internal temperature of the chop reaches 160F. 

When the chops are nearly done, place the coated apples on the grill and grill on each side for about 2 minutes. 

Transfer each pork chop to a plate and top with a few apple slices.  Serve immediately. 

I like these chops with a creamy parmesan risotto, roasted, mashed sweet potatoes or a salad of fresh greens with an apple or orange vinaigrette (recipes found under “sides” and “sauces”).

Options:  During the summer I love these chops with grilled peaches! 

Grilling Kid Friendly Pork Sauces, Salsas and More

Apple Cider Brined Pork Loin Chops Topped with a Smoky Apple Compote

Apple Cider Brined Pork Loin Chops

I love a big ole juicy pork chop.  But to make my pork chop a “big ole juicy” pork chop, I brine it.

I think pork chops taste best when brined. Not to say you have to brine your pork chops every time you prepare them.  But it does create that juicy moist texture.  In the words of one of my favorite chef’s, brining pork “kicks it up a notch”!

I’m sure you’ve read by now how important sauces and assorted toppings are to the Bennett Crew.  Well this didn’t disappoint.  The smokey apple compote is the perfect topping for these darn good pork chops. Yep… brine, grill and top.  I think that should be my new motto.

Apple Cider Brined Pork Loin Chops Topped with a Smokey Apple Compote

Adapted from multiple sources

For the Brine:

4-6 Pork Loin Chops, bone in

3 Cups Apple Cider

2 – 12oz beers, preferably dark beer

½ Cup Kosher salt

½ Cup sugar

1 tablespoon Chipotle Powder

Mix together the cider, beer, salt, sugar, and chipotle powder.  Put the pork in a large Ziploc bag and pour the brine over the pork.  Close the bag and place in a baking dish in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight.

When ready to prepare, pre-heat the grill to 400F.  Place the loin chops on a cutting board or platter and dab with a paper towel.  Brush with olive oil and sprinkle just a little dusting of salt and pepper on one side of each chop.  Grill on Medium to low heat, careful to not burn the pork.  The pork loin chop will be done when the internal temperature reaches 145F, about 5-6 minutes each side depending on thickness.

Once the pork is done, place them on a platter and top the Smoky Apple Compote.  This is also delicious served with roasted potatoes and sweet potatoes or a wild and brown rice prepared with equal parts apple cider and chicken broth.

Smokey Apple Compote

2 Granny Smith Apples, peeled, cored and chopped

1 tablespoon honey

½ teaspoon chipotle powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup Apple cider

Place the apples, honey, chipotle powder, cinnamon and apple cider in a small pot.  Let the apple mixture reach a slow boil and then turn the heat to a simmer.  Reduce the mixture by half or until the consistency has thickened a bit.  The apples should still be a bit formed and not too mushy.