A while back, I was contacted by the folks behind Saucy Mama, a purveyor of sauces, marinades, and the like. They very generously sent a sizable package of goodies my way, and while I am always happy to have free food sent my way, I tend to approach it with a bit of skepticism. I curiously popped open the jar of chipotle mustard since that caught my eye and quickly had visions of pork chops dancing in my head (ever since trying the chops and more offered by my new favorite pig farmer, it seems that many things prompt me to think about pork chops, lol). After a quick trip to the farmer’s market, I had everything I needed for an amazingly delicious and fast meal.
The pork chops were massaged with a simple spice rub and kissed with that distinctly smoky flavor you can only get from the grill. While those cooked, I prepared the cream sauce in the style of a béchamel sauce and focused on two major players: a raw milk swiss cheese (any similarly flavored, melting friendly cheese will do) and the chipotle mustard. Ultimately, this clocks in to about 10-15 minutes of cooking time, and from the flavor, you’d never know it–it was incredible. The pork was tender, juicy, smoky, and tinged with the pungent, curious spiciness from a mix of cayenne, fennel and cumin. This was all brought together by the luxuriously velvety, tawny-tinged cream sauce which was bursting with the nutty, complex flavors of swiss cheese, a dark roux, and the zesty piquancy of the mustard. I really can’t sell this enough and I’ll be keeping pork chops handy in my freezer from here on out–this will be one of my go-to meals when I need a great dinner in a pinch.
Oh, and I mentioned a giveaway, right? Well, since Saucy Mama was so generous, I happen to have a bit of the bounty to spare and thought it would be fun to share (and rhyme if I dare, ugh ok, I’m done). If you’d like a free bottle of Lime Chipotle Marinade, all you need to do is comment on this post by September 7th, 2009 (EST) (and hey, while you’re at it, why not subscribe to Mike’s Table if you haven’t already?). I’ll choose a random commenter, so if you do enter, please be sure to leave your email address so I actually have a way of getting in touch with you. And I’m sorry international readers, I can only ship this within the U.S.A.
- 2 thick, bone-in pork chops (~0.4-0.5 lbs each)
- cumin seeds
- fennel seeds
- cayenne pepper
- canola oil
- Chipotle Mustard & Swiss Cheese Sauce
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/2 stick butter
- ~1.25 cups milk
- ~6 oz grated swiss
- 1 tsp dijon
- 2 tsp saucy mama chipotle mustard
Mix the spice rub in a bowl and generously rub it all over the pork chops. Lightly touch them with some canola oil to ensure they won’t stick to the grill. Then, fire up the grill and cook them for roughly 10 minutes total, flipping once. Don’t be one of those people who cooks the pork to the delicate texture of a shoe sole–keep it a little tender and pink inside, but be mindful of how thick the chops are and that they cook to a safe internal temperature, blah blah blah. You know the drill.
While the chops cook, on to the sauce. In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat until it stops foaming. Then, add the flour and whisk periodically, cooking until it takes on a tannish, almost peanut buttery color. Figure this will require at least 5 minutes.
Then, beat in the milk with your whisk. If things seem too thick and not saucy, add a little more and beat it until smooth. Warm this up for a minute or two before you whisk in the mustard, dijon, and cheese, whisking just until fully incorporated. Remove from heat and adjust seasoning to your liking.
Finally, with the chops done and the sauce done, plate the meat with a good dollop of sauce and whatever garnish suits your fancy. I thought a mix of diced tomatoes would complement it nicely and enjoyed a side of roasted potatoes. Enjoy!