Friday, October 7, 2011

Chili-Rubbed Pork Chops with Black Bean Salad

Recipe modified by You Want Me to Cook? – April 14, 2011
For a commentary-free and printer-friendly version of it, please click here.

Recipe originally published in Every Day with Rachael Ray – May 2011.

It had been a while since I served pork chops.  My husband, out of the blue, announced that he had no issues with pork chops, even though he had once told me he didn’t eat them.  So I found a recipe that blended his love of Cajun spices with pork chops – and it was a hit!  So I’ll admit I went on pork-chop-overload.  We had a good run too until it was mentioned that we were eating a lot of pork chops.

I took that as a hint.

When I found this recipe tucked away neatly in an insert in my May issue of Every Day with Rachael Ray, I knew I’d have to make it.  Along with mushrooms and tomatoes – I’ve gotten addicted to black beans.  Soups, salsas, burgers, I just can’t get enough.  So when I found a chili-spiced (YUM) pork chop (YUM) with a black bean salad (MMMMMM) and grilled avocado (drool goes here)… well let’s just say that I didn’t care who had a problem with pork chops being over-served.

© You Want Me to Cook?
Chili-Rubbed Pork Chops with Black Bean Salad
Looking at this picture, I want to eat it again.  If I had pork chops in my house, I’d abandon writing this post and starting cooking.  The pork chops look perfect and the black bean salad is screaming “delicious!”  Maybe my avocado doesn’t look perfect, but it doesn’t matter since everything else looks fantastic.

© Every Day with Rachael Ray
Their dish is the exact opposite of mine.  Their avocado looks perfect, where my avocado is maybe not as firm, but my pork chop and salad looks much tastier.

for more details about what my ratings mean, go to Gretchen’s Rating System

MessSIGH – There isn’t a lot of equipment and the equipment used doesn’t need to be scrubbed clean.  The cabinets aren’t coated in anything either.  However, the prep was a mess.  You have to clean and chop herbs, slice and pit avocados (without removing the skins), seed and chop peppers and finally, clean the beans which are nasty slimy coming out of the can.

Start-to-Finish Time: ALMOST AND HOUR – Definitely more than the recipe stated, but that’s to be expected with Rachael Ray’s recipes.  Still not a bad thing to throw together for an evening meal, especially if you decide to make the beans ahead of time.

Prep Work: LOSS OF FINGER POSSIBLE – Man, I HATE chopping herbs.  Cleaning them seems just as messy too.  As much as I love the black beans, I hate getting them out of the can and dealing with their sliminess.  Overall, there was a lot of chopping that just seemed to go on forever.

Ease of Recipe: THE BASICS – The techniques are nothing difficult, but I did have to get a grill pan.  Notice I didn’t say “buy”.  I had been saving points for a pot/pan giveaway at my local Jewel and I did everything I could to make sure I got this pan.  It is a good one too!  So I didn’t go with MORE THAN I BARGAINED FOR since I didn’t have to purchase anything.

OverallSORRY HONEY, NO LEFTOVERS – Even after subtly hinting he had had enough pork, my husband devoured his serving.  Yes, he got a single serving because I refused to let him take any leftovers.  I did share a little of the black bean salad though.

Recipe Information:
I am not a doctor or dietician.  I make my nutritional assessments with the aid of Spark Recipes.  I run the original recipe and my altered recipe through their calorie counter and then compute the differences I find.  My numbers are to be used as a guideline.  Anyone who is under dietary medical supervision should follow the advice of their medical professional if their opinion differs from mine.  PLEASE!

Servings: 4
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes

Obviously there are 4 pork chops, so that equals 4 servings.  There was definitely plenty of bean salad to go around, so this makes a decent meal that is filling.  You don’t even need any other side dishes.

So Rachael Ray is notorious for pulling cook times out of her butt.  Usually her prep time doesn’t include chopping (that’s actually a well documented complaint) but this time, there was plenty of prep but the cooking time was way under.  I don’t know how you speed up cooking.

What I’m saying is, trust my timing… not hers and here is how my timing came out:
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Bean Salad Complete: 9 minutes
  • Pork Chops Cooked: 17 minutes
  • Avocado Cooked: 6 minutes
  • Total Time: 47 minutes
Nutritional Information
None given

So annoying!!!!!  Please, you know she has a huge staff and I can’t believe there aren’t nutritionists that would LOVE to join a magazine staff.  As I’ve said before, if you don’t publish nutritional information, it’s because you’re scared of what it may reveal.  With this particular recipe, I’m hoping for the best, but fear the sodium content because of the amount of chili powder and beans.  So I plugged the recipe into Spark Database and here is what I came up with:
  • Calories 560.9
  • Total Fat 35.6g (Saturated Fat 6.5g)
  • Cholesterol 62.4mg
  • Sodium 541.9mg
  • Total Carbohydrate 34.8g
  • Fiber 13.5g
  • Sugars 2g
  • Protein 33.4g
The numbers aren’t as bad as I thought they were going to be and considering that it is a full meal with a pretty decent amount of food, the calories weren’t too bad either.  The fat content is a little high, but remember, avocados have a lot of fat in them.  They just aren’t all the bad fat.

I altered the recipe by using organic beans.  That is only note worthy because they have significantly less sodium than the other canned beans.  So I reran the numbers with that substitution and got everything exactly the same but the sodium had dropped to 331.9mg.  Not bad.

Also, this recipe is a great supplier of the following:
  • Vitamin A – vital to vision and cellular growth
  • Vitamin C – an antioxidant that is needed by the body to form collagen in bones, cartilage, muscle, and blood vessels, and which aids in the absorption of iron.
  • Selenium – The body needs selenium for normal growth and health. Selenium is needed for certain enzymes that help with normal body functions.
  • Thaimin – Which is involved in numerous body functions, including nervous system and muscle functioning
© You Want Me to Cook?
Chili-Rubbed Pork Chops with Black Bean Salad - Ingredients
Changes denoted by red text
2 medium limes, halved crosswise

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

1 tbsp. plus 3/4 tsp. chili powder

Salt and pepper

© You Want Me to Cook?
Chili-Rubbed Pork Chops with Black Bean Salad - Ingredients
1 can (15 oz.) organic black beans, rinsed

1 medium red bell pepper, finely chopped

1 scallion, thinly sliced

1/3 cup (half of a small bunch) chopped cilantro

2 hass avocados

4 center-cut boneless pork loin chops (1/2 inch thick)

Fit Wash

Ingredient Notes:
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • I had to write it out because Rachael Ray uses one of her stupid abbreviations/words for extra virgin olive oil.  She calls if EVOO – which she pronounces ee-voh.  Yes, she actually says the abbreviation.  That would be like saying to your friend you LOLd instead of saying you laughed out loud.
  • If you’re thinking about using your best oil for this dish, it’s probably a good idea.  It is part of the dressing for the black bean salad, so you’ll want it to stand out and be flavorful.
Black Beans – Look for either organic beans or the low-sodium version.  It really helps.  Also, make sure to rinse them well.  A lot of the sodium is in the liquid that they are packaged in.

Red Bell PepperAccording to Cook’s Thesaurus, red and yellow peppers are riper, more flavorful, and pricier than the more common green ones, but feel free to use the green if that’s what you have on hand. 

Scallions – Also known as green onions.

Hass Avocado – This was an interesting choice by the recipe staff.  While Hass avocados are rich and creamy, they aren’t great for salads since they get mushy easily.  That was definitely an issue with my avocados.

Fit Wash – Even though I peeled my apples, I still washed them first.  Since apples tend to be a little waxy, I found my fit wash really helps get rid of that buildup first.

Equipment Needed:
© You Want Me to Cook?
Chili-Rubbed Pork Chops with Black Bean Salad - Equipment
Cutting Board
Sharp knife
Medium bowl
Spoon – mixing
Avocado knife
Large grill pan
Aluminum Foil

Equipment Notes:
Avocado knife – Do you “need” this?  No, but I’ll have to admit, it makes my life a lot easier when dealing with avocados.

Aluminum foil – I used this to cover the pork chops while I was finishing the avocados.


© You Want Me to Cook?
Chili-Rubbed Pork Chops with Black Bean Salad - salad
(1)  Make the black bean salad:
(a)  Juice 1 lime half into a medium bowl.

(b)  Whisk in 1/4 cup EVOO and 3/4 teaspoon chili powder; season with salt and pepper.

(c)  Stir in the black beans, bell pepper, scallion and cilantro. Let stand, stirring occasionally, until ready to serve.

(2)  Prepare the avocados:
(a)  Halve the avocados lengthwise and pit (but don’t peel).
(b)  Rub the cut surface with another lime half.

(3)  Make the pork chops:
(a)  Preheat a large grill pan over medium-high heat.
(b)  Drizzle the pork chops with EVOO and rub with the remaining 1 tablespoon chili powder; season with salt and pepper.
(c)  Grill, turning once, until cooked through but still juicy, 6 to 8 minutes; transfer to a plate and cover with tented aluminum foil to keep warm.
(d)  Grill the remaining 2 lime halves cut side down until lightly charred, 1 to 2 minutes; squeeze over the pork chops.

(4)  Finish the avocados:
(a)  Using a sharp knife, cut the avocados (still in the skin) lengthwise into 1/2-inch-wide slices; using a large spoon, scoop the slices out of the skin.
(b)  Grill the slices until grill marks appear on one side, 1 to 2 minutes.

(5)  Arrange the slices grilled side up over the black bean salad and serve with the pork chops.

The black bean salad could absolutely stand on its own.  I ate a couple spoonfuls every time I’d open the fridge.  The char on the avocado didn’t taste great, but when you ate it with the bean salad or pork chop, you didn’t even notice.  The pork chop was good, but when you took a bite with the salad or the avocado, it was absolutely DELICIOUS!

My avocados weren’t as firm as theirs and almost looked a little mushy.  Usually I say it is because of my inferior techniques, but this time it could very well be the type of avocado they told me to use.  So if I were going to change anything about this recipe, it would have to be using a different type of avocado.

I’d still eat this again if it were in front of me though… mushy avocados and all.

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