Grilled pork chops coated in a savory and sweet hoisin and honey sauce and topped with a fresh plum salsa. These chops are a summer grilling must!Before we get down to delicious business, I have a correction to make to my last post: We have four farmers markets weekly, not two. Oops, my bad. I apologize for this misinformation I fed you.
That being said, we obviously have some pretty dang tasty farm to table restaurants here. And since Boy and I just marked our 9 year anniversary, we decided to hit the town and celebrate. In style. We chose one of the fanciest steakhouses in our neck of the woods to have dinner, and I was extremely excited. We were expecting nothing but THE best culinary experience, especially given how fresh and fabulous all the produce, dairy, meat, chicken, and seafood is here.
Well, you guys, I am pretty sure this fancy pants restaurant missed the memo about the whole farm to table rage. Because, there wasn’t enough red, red wine to make either of us feel so fine about the experience. The service was meh, which didn’t bother me as much as the food. The food left a lot to be desired. A whole lot. Like, I am pretttty sure my “market salad” was succotash from a can, dumped over lettuce, and stuffed into a fancy Parmesan crisp cheese basket. Like what the whaaa? I’m not sure if their normal chef is M.I.A, or what, but we both left there singing the tune, “Things that make you go hmmm…” (by the C + C Music Factory).
Since our anniversary dinner out was an epic fail, and the restaurant clearly did not know how to utilize all the fresh and exceptionally delicious ingredients around here, I decided I would take matters into my own hands. Mostly because I was not going to be like Mick Jagger, this girl was going to get some damn satisfaction.
So I went to the famers market the next day, played a little Bobby McFerrin on blast, decided to not worry, be happy, and make my hunny a mind blowing delicious anniversary dinner. Not to brag, but I killed it, culinary style. #Boom.
Hoisin & Honey Pork Chops with Plum Salsa
Pork Chops are one of Boy’s favorite things, so he is a somewhat self-proclaimed swine aficionado. There will be no less than stellar, dry, flavorless pork chop face stuffing happening with Boy. Plus, he always shoots it to me straight.
Verdict? He more than loved these chops. He devoured them within a blink of an eye. Between ginormous bites, and cooing sounds of culinary love, he quickly asked when I will be making these again. And is this weekend too soon? (<– He is great for my ego) So, if my oink-oink lovin’ husband gave these two (sticky) thumbs way up, you know these bad boy chops are the jam.
The chops are first brined, which I highly recommend, although it is not necessarily required. But, the brine helps produce a chop that is succulent, juicy, and perfectly tender. The hoisin and honey glaze, slathered onto the chops while grilling, is savory, sticky, sweet, sour, spicy, and a smidge salty. I totally could have stopped there, with the simple brined, grilled and glazed chops, but this is me we are talking about. I had to take it one step further. I wanted a more of a wow factor. I needed culinary ecstasy. And the plum salsa not only delivers, it finishes the chops magnificently. It is fruity (duh), citrusy, sweet, slightly spicy, and a touch minty.
These salsa topped and glazed, hunk-a-hunk-a-porky-love chops are an overall umami flavor bomb. They will knock the taste buds right outta your face. And have you begging for more.
These chops are finger lickin’ delicious. They are perfect for celebrating what remains of summer (or an anniversary) and they belong in your life, even if you aren’t a huge pork eater. You just have to trust me when I say you need to do this. Pronto. So forget the restaurant scene and create your own Michelin star experience from the comfort of your own home. I promise – cross my heart and hope to die – you are going to LOVE these pork chops. Until next time Cheers and happy grilling!
*This post was inspired by the sounds of the 90’s. Music that Rocks. 😉
Grilled pork chops coated in a savory and sweet hoisin and honey sauce and topped with a fresh plum salsa. These chops are a summer grilling must!
- Plum Salsa (yield: 2 Cups)
- 3 Ripe Red Plums – diced
- ¼ Red Onion – finely diced
- 1 TBS Mint Leaves – roughly chopped
- 1 TBS Lime Juice (1/2 lime juiced) + Zest
- 1 tsp Granulated Sugar
- 1 tsp Honey
- 1 clove Garlic - minced
- ½ tsp Ginger – grated
- 1 small Jalapeno – seeded, stemmed and finely diced
- ¼ tsp Coarse Salt , or more to taste
- 1/8 tsp Pepper , or more to taste
- Pork Chops:
- 1 Quart Ice Cold Water
- 3 TBS Kosher Salt , plus more to taste
- 2 TBS Granulated Sugar
- 2 Bone-In Center Cut Pork Chops (1 ½’’ thick, about 8-10 oz. each)
- ¼ Cup Hoisin Sauce
- 2 TBS Mirin
- 1 TBS Reduced Sodium Soy Sauce
- 2 TBS Honey
- 2 TBS Brown Sugar
- 1 TBS Sriracha
- 1 ½ tsp Ginger - grated
- ½ tsp Garlic Powder
- ¼ tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
- Canola Oil – for grilling
- Scallions – thinly sliced on the bias
- Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
- Lime Zest
- Brine the Pork (Optional, but Recommended): In a large bowl whisk together the water, salt and sugar until fully dissolved. Add pork chops and transfer to the refrigerator for 1 hour. Remove from the brine and pat thoroughly dry with paper towels.
- Meanwhile, Make the Salsa: In a medium sized mixing bowl combine onion with lime juice and salt. Let stand, at room temperature, for 30 minutes to pickle onions slightly (Optional). Add the remaining ingredients. Stir well. Taste and adjust for seasoning, sweetness and acidity with additional salt, pepper, sugar and/or lime juice. Set aside in the refrigerator for at least one hour to allow flavors to marry.
- Prepare the Glaze: Combine the hoisin, mirin, soy sauce, honey, sugar, Sriracha, ginger, garlic and red pepper flakes in a small bowl. Remove and set aside a couple tablespoons of the glaze to brush the cooked pork chops at the end.
- Grill the Pork Chops: Heat your grill (or grill pan) to high. Brush the grates with oil. Brush the pork chops with oil and season generously with salt and pepper.
- Place the chops on the grill and grill until marked and slightly crusted, 4-5 minutes. Turn the pork chops over, moving them to the cooler side of the grill or reducing heat to medium, and grill, brushing often with glaze, until meat registers 140 degrees F (on an instant read thermometer when inserted into the thickest part of the chop), about 5-7 minutes. Remove the chops to a clean work surface or platter and brush with the reserved glaze. Let chops rest for 10 minutes.
- Serve glazed pork chops topped with salsa and sprinkled with optional garnishes.
*Inactive Time of 1 Hour- If you Brine the Pork Chops