Gourmet Galley: Chops best when not overdone

I saw these beautiful pork chops on sale last week and decided I would test this recipe for Chop Chop, Pork Chop which had been in my file for a long time. The chops are brined for 3 hours in a mixture of salt, pineapple juice and brown sugar before grilling.

While the chops are cooking, fresh pineapple is also on the grill. It’s used in a salsa-type accompaniment. The pineapple salsa is spicy with jalapeƱo, green onions, cilantro and lime juice. A touch of maple syrup balances out the flavor.

There is nothing better then a good bone-in pork chop. I’ve finally learned to not “cook them to death.” In fact, the United States Department of Agriculture website now states it has lowered the recommended safe cooking temperature for whole cuts of pork from 160 F to 145 F and added a three-minute rest time. Cooking raw pork, steaks, roasts and chops to 145 F with the addition of the three-minute rest time results in meat that is both microbiologically safe and at its best quality. Use your instant-read meat thermometer to test for doneness.

Another way to serve a delicious pork chop is with a dollop of Creamy Mustard Sauce on the side. I’ve also included the recipe for that creamy horseradish-flavored sauce.

Corinne Cook is a columnist for The Advocate. Reach her at food@theadvocate.com.