Spicy grilled pork chops with fruit salsa
Heat up the flavors, not your kitchen, with outdoor grilled chops and mango cilantro salsa.
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Prepare the salsa. Peel and cube the mango and place it in a large bowl. Rinse and quarter the cherry tomatoes and add them to the bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and stir gently with a wooden spoon to combine. Set aside to let flavors combine.Skip to next paragraph
Terry Boyd is the author of Blue Kitchen, a Chicago-based food blog for home cooks. His simple, eclectic cooking focuses on fresh ingredients, big flavors and a cheerful willingness to borrow ideas and techniques from all over the world. A frequent contributor to the Chicago Sun-Times, his recipes have also appeared on the Bon Appétit and Saveur websites.
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Grill the chops. When the coals are hot, prepare for direct grilling. (If you’re using a gas grill, do the same – if you use wood chips, I would encourage that for the nice smokiness.) Brush the grate with oil and grill the chops on the first side for a minute or two uncovered (watch for flare-ups). Cover the grill and let them cook a bit longer, a total of 4 to 5 minutes for the first side. Turn chops and repeat the process, cooking until a quick-read thermometer registers about 145 degrees F., when inserted into the thickest part for medium rare to medium (see Kitchen Notes below). If your chops are on the thin side, check for doneness at about 8 minutes total cooking time. Remove from grill, tent with foil and let rest for about 5 minutes before serving. Plate chops on individual serving plates, give the salsa a final stir and spoon it over the chops. Serve.
Is it done? Cooking any kind of meat to proper doneness is always filled with variables, especially on the grill. How hot your coals are, how thick the meat is and whether you remembered to let it come to room temperature before cooking it all factor in. A quick-read thermometer is a vital tool in accurately judging doneness, but only if it’s used properly. Here’s a little tip I learned watching an episode of America’s Test Kitchen, a show that I feel mostly sucks all the air out of the room while you’re watching it (“We cooked this recipe 437 different times until we got the results we wanted. Is my bow tie on straight?”), but that occasionally shares useful tips.
Like this one: For a quick-read thermometer to give an accurate reading, you have to insert the tip of the probe far enough into the meat. Otherwise, the probe will also be reading the air temperature around it. The end is often marked some way – with an engraved line or a slightly different finish. My Sur La Table thermometer’s probe is narrower at the end; that entire section should be inserted in the meat. Unfortunately, chops, burgers and even chicken parts can sometimes be too thin for the probe to completely inserted from the top. So when you’re ready to test the temperature of a thinner cut of meat, pick it up with your tongs and insert the probe from the side. You’ll be amazed at the differences in the readings.
Hungry for more grilled chops from Blue Kitchen? Try these Vietnamese-inspired Turmeric/Ginger Grilled Pork Chops, these Asian Grilled Pork Chops with ginger, garlic, sesame oil and lime juice or Pork Chops with Rosemary, marinated in red wine, garlic and rosemary.
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