Recipe Details

Tangy Maple-Marinated Pork Chops with Stone Fruit Salsa

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Marinating Time: 2 hours
Servings: 4

FOR ROASTS, CHOPS and TENDERLOINS

Cook to 145 F with 3 minute rest

Ingredients

4 New York (top loin) pork chops, 1 1/2-inch thick, bone-in or boneless

Marinade:

1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon pepper, coarsely ground

Grilled Stone Fruit Salsa:

4 to 5 peaches, OR plums (or any mixture of additional stone fruit to yield 2 cups total chopped fruit)
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 jalapeno chile, membranes and seeds removed, halved
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste

Cooking Directions

Place pork chops in resealable plastic bag. In a 1-cup glass measure, stir together maple syrup, vinegar and pepper. Pour over pork in bag; seal bag. Refrigerate for 2 hours. When ready to cook, preheat grill to 400 to 450 degrees F. Remove chops from bag and discard marinade. Spray chops lightly with cooking spray; place on hot grill. Cook for 7 minutes per side or until internal temperature reaches 145 degree F. using an instant-read thermometer. Remove from grill; cover with foil and let rest for 5 minutes.

Grilled Stone Fruit Salsa:
Wash and halve fruit. Remove the pits; place fruit in bowl. Pour maple syrup and balsamic vinegar over fruit; toss gently to coat. Allow to marinate at room temperature for 2 hours. Reserving maple-balsamic mixture, place fruit and jalapeno pepper on grill, cut side down.** Grill over direct medium-high heat for 10 to 12 minutes, turning halfway through. Remove fruit and pepper from grill and place back into reserved marinade; cube fruit into 1-inch cubes or quarters. Peel dark skin from jalapeno pepper (if desired); finely chop. Toss with fruit and marinade to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve chops with salsa.

Serves 4

*Stone fruits are fruits that have a hard stone or pit in the center of the fruit, such as nectarines, apricots or cherries
** Use a metal grill “wok” or rack for cooking fruits and vegetables to keep them from falling through the grate, if desired. Coat lightly with cooking spray for easy clean-up.

Serving Suggestions

Topping chops with a mélange of grilled stone fruits is a fantastic way to incorporate some of the season’s best produce into an unexpected pork condiment. The sweetness of grilled cherries, plums, apricots, peaches and nectarines is offset by the fiery tang of balsamic vinegar and grilled jalapeno peppers.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 273 calories
Protein: 31 grams
Fat: 9 grams
Sodium: 215 milligrams
Cholesterol: 80 milligrams
Saturated Fat: 2 grams
Carbohydrates: 20 grams
Fiber: 1 grams

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About the Cut: Chop

Pork chops are the most popular cut from the pork loin, which is the strip of meat that runs from the pig’s hip to shoulder. Depending on where they originate, pork chops can be found under a variety of names, including loin, rib, sirloin, top loin and blade chops.

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About the Cooking Method: Grilling

There are two ways to grill pork based on the size of the cut:

  • Direct heat, where food is placed directly over the heat source, is ideal for small cuts like kabobs, tenderloin, burgers and chops.
  • Indirect heat, where food is placed on the grill rack away from the coals or gas burners, is good for large cuts like loin roasts, ribs, shoulder and fresh ham.

COOKING BASICS:
Direct Heat

Arrange hot coals evenly on the fire grate of the grill or use all gas burners. Place pork directly above the heat source. Follow suggested cooking times, turning once during cooking.

Indirect Heat

Bank hot coals on both sides of the fire grate, on one side of the grill or in a ring around the perimeter. For gas grills, pre-heat and then turn off any burners directly below where the food will go. Place pork on the grill so it is not directly over any coals or gas burners and close grill hood. Follow suggested cooking times until pork is done. The heat circulates inside the grill, so turning the pork is not necessary.


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Tips and Tricks

Buying, Handling & Storage Tips

The best way to defrost pork is in the refrigerator in its wrapping. Defrosting a 1 inch chop will take 12-14 hours.


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Butcher's Tips

It’s important to note that all pork chops cook the same. The length of cooking primarily depends on the thickness of the chop. Thickness can vary from ½ to 2 inches. Whether you choose chops boneless for convenience or chops with the bone attached for their attractive appearance, the cooking time is the same. Pork chops are likely the least intimidating of all pork cuts because they are so easy to prepare.

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