I am truly a pork lover. I even tried to make sure my daughter was born in the Chinese Year of the Golden Pig, but she missed it by a few days. But since I am not Chinese I say she is! For a baby shower gift my friends Mindy and Eric gave me a painting by Eric titled “The Improved Middle White Pig” which now hangs in her room. And the way my toddler eats pork it obviously rubbed off on her.
As a chef I am often asked what my specialty is, and I always answer that I do not have one. I love to cook almost everything, but I do have an affinity for making spice and herb rubs. They can range from a few ingredients to a complex mix of 10-15 spices and herbs. This is one of my favorite rubs for pork, but could also be used on poultry.
Herb Rubbed Pork Chops
2 1/2 tsp Kosher salt or 2 tsp table salt
2 tsp dried thyme
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano, preferably Mexican
1 1/2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
3 TB + 1 TB extra virgin olive oil, divided
4 boneless pork loin chops, about 1 inch thick
In a small bowl mix together salt, thyme, oregano, basil, rosemary, fennel seeds, garlic powder, red pepper flakes and 3 TB olive oil. Place the pork chops on a large plate and pour the rub over the chops. Make sure the entire surface of the chops is evenly covered with the rub. Cover the chops with plastic wrap, and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. They can be left to marinate overnight if you choose. They longer you marinate lets the flavors really penetrate the meat.
When ready to cook your chops preheat your oven to 400 degrees. In a large ovenproof skillet heat remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Brown the pork chops on one side, turn over and place skillet in the oven. Roast the chops 12-15 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees.
When the pork chops are done, let them rest for about 10 minutes before serving.
These pork chops can also be broiled or grilled. You can also use most cuts of pork for this, such as country style ribs, pork loin roast, pork shoulder or even spare ribs. Just adjust the cooking style to one best suited for that cut of meat.