Whenever I think pork, I think of the National Pork Board's ad campaign about pork being the "Other White Meat." It was launched in 1987 -- right around the time when I fell in love with Nickelodeon's You Can't Do That on Television and spent way too many hours watch it. The interesting thing? Pork is actually considered red meat by the U.S. Department of Agriculture since it contains a higher amount of myoglobin, a protein.
Do you remember that ad campaign? Apparently it's still being used too ...
In any case, pork chops are a fabulous protein to toss on the grill in the summertime. A good marinade, glaze or rub can go a long way in making chops something special. If I am really short on time, I will simply sprinkle the chops with salt and pepper before grilling and then brush some barbecue sauce or teriyaki glaze on just before they come off. Another fast recipe that my family loves is Grilled Marinated Pork Chops, which can be made in under an hour (including marinating time!).
When it comes to choosing pork chops, I have to say that I really prefer bone-in chops. Although they are harder to find, I think the flavor of the bone-in chops is far superior to the boneless. That said, my family usually has the boneless since that's what my grocery store usually stocks. Go figure.
Also, if you ever have a chance to try all-natural, pasture-raised pork, do it. It's simply amazing. Here in Connecticut, I love Greyledge Farm in Roxbury -- their chops (and OMG -- their sausage and kielbasa!) is phenomenal. If you are in the area, it's available at several farm stands, stores and farmers' markets including New Morning in Woodbury and the New Canaan Farmers' Market.
Typically, I serve pork chops with rice, which I make in my handy dandy rice cooker. However, if it's really hot, then I usually have frozen rice ready to go -- just pop it in the microwave and you have rice ready in minutes without heating up the kitchen.
I also love pork chops with mashed potatoes, but in the summertime, that just isn't happening. Too. Hot. For. That. But, you could always do Baked Potatoes on the Grill. They are so good that way. And, of course I would be remiss not to mention how good pork chops are with some fresh applesauce or sour cream. Yum.
What do you like to serve pork with? Share in the comments!
Sarah W. Caron (aka scaron) is a food writer, editor and blogger who writes about family-friendly foods and raising a healthy family at Sarah's Cucina Bella.