Chili-dusted pork chops with lime and cilantro

A pork chop recipe so simple and tasty that it could quickly become a weekday dinner favorite.

Whipped, The Blog
Moist and flavorful pork chops with a seared chili rub and a high note of lime juice. Serve them alongside sweet potato fries or green beans.

I love hearing what different home cooks fall back on for simple, weekday meals. The easiest of easy are the dishes that come straight out of the freezer or out of the hands of delivery guys. The next level of my “easy” repertoire includes omelets or meals featuring canned black beans. One more step up are a handful of recipes that I can prepare without looking at the recipe because they are so familiar. They are slightly more interesting than the usual weekday mundane but not much more work to prepare.

This group of recipes is what I think of as a home chef’s “sweet spot.” They taste delicious and look like you fussed when you didn’t. Years ago, my friend Stephanie gave me a copy of this pork recipe from her 2003 Food & Wine magazine. It was tucked into my ragtag three-ring binder that holds loose clippings. Over the years, I have made it so many times that I no longer need to reference the recipe and I have honed it slightly to accommodate my flavor preferences.

The pork chops are flavorful and moist thanks to the spice rub you sear on them and the lime juice bath they enjoy before they are finished in the oven. I often serve the chops alongside sweet potato fries or green beans.

Chili-Dusted Pork Chops with Lime and Cilantro
From Food & Wine
Serves 4

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

4 1/2-pound boneless pork loin chops, cut 1-1/4 inches thick

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lime

3 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. In a small bowl, mix the chili powder with the cumin, salt and pepper. Rub the spice mixture all over the pork chops.

In a large ovenproof skillet, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the pork chops and cook over high heat until browned, about 1 minute per side. Add the garlic, lime zest, lime juice and cilantro to the skillet and roast the chops in the center of the oven for 10 minutes, or until roasted throughout. Transfer to plates and serve.

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