It was time. In my heroic quest to add variety to my low-nickel diet, it was time to explore my options in pork.
The only time someone has ever cooked me pork chops was a last-minute dinner at my friend Liz’s house in 8th grade. Liz lived close to school; I lived far from school, and it was supposed to snow overnight. So I slept over to make the next morning easy for those driving.
Her family was Mormon, and it would never in a million years have occured to her mom that it might be weird to serve pork to a Jewish girl. Luckily, I LOVED the pork chops. Liz’s mom said they were super-easy to cook, and she made them all the time because all four kids liked them. Liz was the oldest of four siblings. After the pork chops, we headed over for the weekly social night at their church. It wasn’t a religious thing; it was a gathering of their community, and I was Liz’s guest.
The teen activity was a giant game board that someone had set up by taping paper all around the floor of a huge multipurpose room. We were playing the game of Life. Liz and I played as buddies, and I was so very impressed by the scale of community in that room, in that church, in the family who hosted me. Later, back at their house, Liz and her sister Natalie made us all rich, milky Postum with whipped cream.
So at the end of the day, my experimenting with pork chops is like a thumbs up and a thank you reverberating across the years from 8th grade Alison to 8th grade Liz and the glimpse of her life that she shared with me in 2005.
Here we go!
Adapted by Alison for the low-nickel warriors, the less observant Jews, and for YOU 🙂
You will need…
2 boneless pork chops, approx ¾ inch to 1 inch thickness
1 tbsp flour
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp paprika
Olive oil for the pan
1 tsp butter for finishing
First, take the pork chops out of the fridge and put them on a plate. Generously salt both sides. Let them sit for at least 10 minutes, and optimally for 30 minutes if you are not feeling rushed. I think this step has a positive effect on their texture once you’ve cooked them.
Combine the flour and the spices in a small bowl. I whisked them with a small fork.
When you’re ready to cook the pork chops, pat them dry with a paper towel. Heat up a pan over medium heat with a splash of olive oil. Coat both sides of the pork chops in the spice rub, and try to get around the edges too.
When the pan is hot, add the pork chops and cook for approx 6 minutes, until the first sides are seared and the edges are started to be cooked too. Then flip and cook on the second side for approx 6 minutes. When it looks close to done, add the butter and swirl it around the pan. (The guide of 6 minutes is a very general approximation, both because the size of your chops will vary, as well as my lack of years past cooking pork.)
To check done-ness, cut into one of the pork chops with a steak knife. It should be a suggestion of pink, and the juices will run clear when it is done. I advise cutting into both of them when you think the first pork chop is done, before taking them both out of the pan.
Let them rest for 2 minutes. Then, enjoy!