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Pork Chops with Green Chiles and Onions

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Serves 4

  • by Tony Rosenfeld from Fine Cooking
    Issue 114

A double dose of chile—canned and powder—adds pleasant heat to this quick skillet braise. The peppers’ light green hue may fade slightly as they simmer, but their spicy essence intensifies into a delicious sauce.

  • 1 tsp. ground cumin 
  • 1 tsp. pure ancho chile powder or chili powder
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 
  • 4 center-cut boneless pork chops, preferably about 1 inch thick (about 1-1/2 lb. total)
  • 3/4 cup lower-salt chicken broth; more as needed   
  • 1 4-oz. can chopped green chiles 
  • 3 Tbs. chopped jarred jalapeños (from about 12 slices)
  • 1 Tbs. cider vinegar  
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
Tip:
Choose all-natural pork for the best flavor and texture. Avoid so-called extra-juicy chops that have been treated with additives, which can give them a rubbery texture.

In a small bowl, combine the cumin, chile powder, 1-1/4 tsp. salt and 3/4 tsp. pepper. Sprinkle on both sides of the pork and set aside. In a blender or food processor, purée the chicken broth, green chiles (with their liquid), jalapeños, and vinegar until smooth.

Put the flour in a pie plate and dredge the pork chops, shaking to remove any excess. Heat a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat for 1 minute. Pour in 2 Tbs. of the oil and heat until shimmering hot, about 1 minute. Add the pork chops and cook, without moving, until they’re brown around the edges and release easily from the pan, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium, flip, and cook the other side until browned, about 2 minutes more. Transfer to a large plate.

Over medium-high heat, add the remaining 1 Tbs. oil and the onion to the skillet. Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until wilted and golden, about 4 minutes. Add the green chile mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring, until the mixture thickens slightly and the onions are completely tender, 2 to 3 minutes more; add a splash of chicken broth if the mixture seems dry. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 

Return the chops to the pan, nestling them into the onions. Cover and simmer gently until the pork is fairly firm to the touch with just a little give, 3 to 5 minutes. With a paring knife, make a nick in a thicker chop to make sure it’s only just a little pink. 

Serve the pork chops topped with the sauce. 

Serving Suggestions

Add some color to the plate by serving the chops with Arroz Verde (Green Rice), which gets its hue and flavor from spinach and cilantro.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 360; Fat (g): 18; Fat Calories (kcal): 160; Saturated Fat (g): 4; Protein (g): 39; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 11; Carbohydrates (g): 10; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2; Sodium (mg): 810; Cholesterol (mg): 115; Fiber (g): 2;

Photo: Scott Phillips

This recipe is such a winner! Made it for the second time tonight, and we loved it just as much as the first time--which isn't always the case. Served it on top of brown basmati rice. We don't always love brown rice but are trying to use it more and this was a natural go-with! I use one of those fabulous Termapen instant read thermometers, and so cooked the chops to perfection. Any serious cook should consider owning one. Made the whole recipe for two of us, so there is another dinner waiting in the frig for later this week.

This was good and pretty easy to make. The pork chops were nice and tender. The only thing that I am not sure I liked was the addition of the vinegar. I almost think that with the addition of the jarred jalapeno's they already have a vinegar taste and the addition of the cider vinegar might have been too much.

Really wonderful and flavorful recipe, as the other reviewers have noted. Moist pork chop with just the perfect amount of spice/heat. And SO easy to make. I reduced the salt by about a 1/4, and next time might reduce it a bit more, and I might try playing with more ancho chile powder/less cumin just to see how it goes. But the recipe was really wonderful as written!

this dish was fantastic!!! Will definitely be in our rotation - it was bursting with flavor! I didn't add that much extra broth as I wanted it thicker and therefore it kept its "green" pea soup looking hue but I didn't care it was tasty!!!! made some chipotle mashed potatoes to go with it - PERFECT! The best part is my husband does not prefer pork chops but he LOVED it!!! thank you!

Fantastic dish. Super flavorful and tender. Highly recommended.

This is a very flavorful recipe! Well-balanced with salty, spicy, a little sweet from canned chiles, and acidic from the cider vinegar. The cooking method makes the pork moist and tender. I used pork chops (1 inch thick as recommended in recipe) that I purchased from my Meat CSA. Give it a try!

Made this last night. It was very good and easy. Not too spicy, with just a bit of heat. My wife,who does not like spicy dishes, thought it was great. Made exactly to the recipe. All of my cooking times were a bit longer.

Very easy and very flavorful. An excellent quick meal!

This was an excellent recipe! My husband and daughter were fighting over who would get the leftover chop!

A keeper. Wife and son both really enjoyed it. I used a mild Jalapeño since there was already chile powder and cumin in it. The heat was just right. Grocery didn't have any thick boneless chops, so I used some bone-in ones. Made for a large serving, but they came out very tender. This one will be going in the iPhone for future spur-of-the-moment, pick-it-up-on-the-way-home meals.

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