NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

PortWatch

November 6, 2013

Getting great pork chops is all about the size

(Continued)

For the chipotle-pumpkin seed butter:

1 stick unsalted butter, softened

1 small chipotle chili in adobo sauce, drained and chopped finely

1 tablespoon lightly toasted and cooled hulled pumpkin seeds (often called pepitas)

1/2 teaspoon ancho chili powder

1/2 teaspoon Maldon salt flakes or fleur de sel

For the pork chops:

4 boneless center-cut pork chops, 1-inch thick

Olive oil

Kosher salt and ground black pepper

To make the butter, in a medium bowl, mash or stir the butter until it is smooth and slightly fluffy. Add the chipotle, pumpkin seeds, chili powder and salt. Mix together, mashing with the back of a fork to make sure all the ingredients are incorporated. Taste, then adjust with additional salt, if needed.

Set a 6-by-12-inch sheet of kitchen parchment or plastic wrap on the counter. Spoon the butter onto it to form a log. Roll the butter up, then smooth out to form a round log about 5 inches long. Refrigerate until firm and easy to cut into rounds, about 15 minutes. The butter can be made in advance and stored, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for up to a week (or in the freezer for up to 3 months).

When ready to prepare the pork chops, prepare the grill for direct, medium-heat cooking.

Remove the butter from the refrigerator and cut four 1/2-inch slices off the log (you will have some butter left over) and set aside.

Meanwhile, use paper towels to pat the pork chops dry. Brush with a thin coat of olive oil, then season with salt and pepper.

Place the chops directly on the cooking grate, and grill for 5 to 6 minutes per side. The chops will be done when they feel “firm” to the touch and register 140 degrees at the center. Remove the chops from the grill, and top immediately with a piece of the butter.

Let the chops rest for 5 minutes before serving, and allow the butter to melt over the top as it rests. If desired, serve with a second round of butter.

Nutrition information per serving: 410 calories; 300 calories from fat (73 percent of total calories); 33 g fat (17 g saturated, 0.5 g trans fats); 125 mg cholesterol; 1 g carbohydrate; 0 g fiber; 0 g sugar; 26 g protein; 450 mg sodium.

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