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Thursday, June 6, 2013

Glazed Pork Chops

Have you ever pinned something on Pinterest and the description that the previous Pinner wrote was way wrong?  I have been looking at these glazed pork chops for awhile now and the description the previous Pinner wrote said "put them in the crockpot along with about 2-3 cups of apple juice and let them cook on low all day (about 8 hours). SO tender, no need for a knife" so I had been assuming for weeks that all I would need was apple juice.  (My fault for not checking the actual recipe.)  It turns out there is no apple juice involved in the original recipe.

Instead they are made with a delicious brown sugar based rub.  All of the other spices in the rub are ones that I keep on hand because I use them frequently so this could easily be made on short notice assuming you have some chops in the fridge.  They were sweet and spicy and went perfectly with the fresh vegetables that have finally been available in the stores.  We had fresh green beans and corn on the cob tonight.  Even Aaron, who usually doesn't care for pork chops, said they were delicious and that he didn't mind if I make them again next month.

I used about 1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper and it was quite spicy.  Even if you like spicy foods I wouldn't recommend adding more than 1/2 tsp of cayenne.  I will probably tone it down next time I make them (like I did for the blackened chicken) because Bailey had a little trouble with them.

The glaze is produced when the brown sugar caramelizes in the pan.  I wanted to be sure not to miss any of the delicious spices in the pan though so I deglazed the pan with a few tablespoons of apple juice.  I poured the glaze over the chops before serving them.  It was just perfection!

Glazed Pork Chops

4 pork chops, medium-thick cut and trimmed of fat
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2-4 Tbsp apple juice (optional)

In a bowl combine the brown sugar and spices.

Stir to combine.

Coat the chops in the brown sugar mixture, covering as completely as possible.  Set the chops aside on a plate and sprinkle any leftover spice mixture over the top.  Now I let mine sit in the fridge for about an hour because I was a little ahead of schedule, but you could put them straight in the pan from here.

Spray a skillet with olive oil spray and heat on medium.  Once the pan is hot add the chops.

Cook them for about 7-8 minutes on each side.  If they are thick chops you may want to increase the cooking time but keep an eye on the glaze in the pan so that it doesn't burn.  If they are thinner chops you'll want to go with about 5 minutes on each side.

When the chops are cooked through set them aside on a plate and add the apple juice to the hot pan.  Swirl it around and gently work all of the caramelized sugar into the juice.  Leave the pan on the eye, stirring occasionally, until the glaze starts to thicken.

Pour the glaze over the pork chops and serve.

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