Pork chops are one of the easiest and quickest week night dinner options, not to mention one of the most inexpensive meats on the market. I used to avoid eating pork, except for bacon (because I’m a bacon addict), just for the sheer fact that pigs will eat anything (and I mean anything) you feed them. However, I have come to terms with the fact that I love pork, and it can provide an inexpensive way to get more protein in your diet. And since I’m on a budget, pork was on my grocery list this week.
My best friend brought over some left-over pineapple chunks from a conference he attended over the weekend. And I don’t mean, just a few chunks but an entire “to-go box” full of pineapple. So I have a lot of pineapple to use up. Pork and and pineapples go together splendidly, and what better way to use up the extra bell peppers in my fridge than with a delicious medley of pineapple salsa?
For the pineapple salsa, I used what was left in my fridge of fresh vegetables – tomatoes, green and yellow bell peppers. If you have cilantro, feel free to use it.
For my side dish, I sautéed fresh broccolini using the pork fat in the pan I cooked the pork chops in. I sprinkled salt, pepper, and garlic salt on top,of the broccolini and stir fried it until cooked, about five minutes.
It was delicious and made a perfect compliment to the pork chops.
For juicy and tender pork chops, we are going to sear the chops on each side and then finish the cooking in the oven.
First, preheat the Oven to 400° F. If you are using a cast iron skillet, place the skillet in the oven to preheat it, too.
Meanwhile, season the pork chops on both sides with salt, pepper creole season and garlic powder. Season lightly for the healthiest chops (or more, if you like your chops saltier).
When the oven is preheated, carefully using an oven glove, remove the cast iron skillet from the oven and place on the stove over medium-high heat. It will be very hot, so please use caution. Add in the olive oil.
Sear the pork chops. You should hear sizzling the moment the chops hit the pan. (Turn down the heat if it starts to smoke or burn.) Sear one side of the pork chops for about 3-4 minutes, until the bottom is golden brown, or brown to your liking.
Flip the pork chops over, and immediately transfer the entire cast iron skillet back into the oven. Be careful and use oven gloves.
Roast the pork chops until they are cooked through. This should take between 5 to 10 minutes, depending on the thickness of your chop. You can check for the doneness of your pork chops using a meat thermometer - it should read 145% F in the thickest part of the chop. You can also cut into the chop, or feel the firmness of it. Chops that are done will be firm.
Transfer the pork chops to a plate and loosely cover in foil and let it rest for five minutes.
FOR THE PINEAPPLE SALSA:
Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Stir everything together and refrigerate until ready to use. Serve on top of the pork chops. You can make the pineapple salsa ahead of time, or while the pork chops are in the oven.