Curried Pork Loin Chops with Brown Butter & Coconut Rice

Featured on Food & Wine Magazine’s Instagram account for #thisisfall, September 2014

When I made these chops, Mike took one look and asked, “Are those steaks?”

Ah, dear friends, the power of a good sear.

These are so flavorful, you’ll fall over when you take your first bite.

And they’re so easy, you’ll never get back up. (But you should, so you can make them again.)

I brine the meat first to make sure it’s extra tender (directions below).

Melt the butter over medium heat. Add the pork chops.

Don’t touch ’em. Don’t disturb ’em. For like 10 minutes.

When the meat is nice and golden, flip them. I strongly suggest using a meat thermometer to get these babies to just the right temperature (135°F). After your first flip, stick the thermometer into the middle of one of the chops and watch the temperature. Overcooking is the death of pork chops!

Pork loin chops have a nice big medallion of meat attached to the bone – get them if you can. They might be called “center cut” – same thing. 1/2-inch or thicker, please.

For reference, these three chops weighed 1 3/4 pounds uncooked; so they were a little over 9 ounces each.

This is one instance where a little crowding in the pan is a good thing, to keep the butter bubbling around the meat (this was a 10-inch nonstick Scanpan). I don’t have a cast iron fry pan, or I’d have used it!

Once the proper temperature is reached, spoon the butter over the chops (it will be nice and browned by this point).

I served these with coconut rice and a Caesar salad. The rice recipe is in the notes below.

Super, extra, mondo deliciousness.

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Curried Pork Loin Chops with Brown Butter & Coconut Rice

  • 3 thick cut (1/2-3/4 inch) pork loin chops, bone-in
  • 2-3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 lemon
  • salt

for the brine:

  • 4 cups water
  • 1/4 cup salt

for the spice rub:

  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder (or substitute paprika if you don’t want the heat)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

coconut rice:

  • 1 cup uncooked white rice
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sweetened coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil (if you don’t have this, use 2 cups of coconut milk and omit the water)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • handful of fresh cilantro, finely chopped

Dissolve the salt in water for the brine in a dish big enough to submerge the pork chops completely. Add the chops, cover, and refrigerate at least 30 minutes – an hour or two is ideal.

Just before removing the chops from the fridge: mix the uncooked rice, water, coconut milk, coconut oil and salt in a pan. Heat to boiling, reduce to low, cover, and let simmer 20 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed. (You can also heat the coconut oil in the pan, lightly brown the rice, then add the water, coconut milk, and salt. Bring to a boil and reduce to low, simmering 20 minutes. This adds a nice flavor to the rice.)

Remove the chops from the brine and pat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle with salt.

Mix the curry powder, chili powder, salt, pepper, and garlic powder in a small bowl. Put about 1/2 teaspoon of this mix on each chop and rub all over with your fingers. Flip them over and do the same on the other side.

Heat a 10-inch pan over medium heat, and melt the butter. When the butter begins to bubble, add the chops.

Squeeze the lemon over the chops (not a lot, just a sprinkling). Let the chops cook for about 10 minutes (don’t touch!).

Check to make sure they are browned on the bottom, then flip. Insert a meat thermometer into one of the chops to monitor internal temperature.

Squeeze the lemon over the chops again. Cook another 5-10 minutes, or until thermometer reads 135°F. Spoon butter over chops.

Stir the chopped cilantro into the rice, and serve the chops over the rice. Enjoy!


Thai Pineapple-Cilantro Fried Rice

*as I’m cooking this rice tonight, around the corner comes Husband*

*sniff sniff* “What are you making?  Smells like a hibachi grill in here!”

Me: “Pineapple fried rice.”  Him: “I can’t wait to eat it!”

This is coming from a man who is utterly spoiled from all the cooking I do.  If he says it smells good, you’re dern tootin’ (yep) it does.  That’s when I knew I got this right!

Instead of loading it up with canola oil, I use sesame oil and fish sauce for better flavor.  I realize there are a lot of ingredients, so make a double or triple batch and freeze it!

If you must, omit the curry powder if you don’t like it, and the Thai chile if you don’t want the heat (although it’s not too spicy…but maybe not kid friendly).

Chop up everything ahead of time and use cooled (or day old) rice to make prep a breeze.  Serve it with chicken or shrimp for a meal!

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Thai Pineapple-Cilantro Fried Rice

  • 4 cups cooled, cooked rice (or day old rice)
  • 2-3 tablespoons (gluten free) soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 red Thai chili, minced (seeded for less heat)
  • 1 cup chopped pineapple (fresh or canned)
  • 1 cup chopped white onion
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

In a large, shallow pan or wok, heat the canola and sesame oils over medium high heat.  Add the garlic and onion; saute for 5 minutes.  Push to one side of the pan.

Break the eggs on the clear side of the pan, and scramble until cooked through.

Add fish sauce, Thai chili, pineapple and curry powder; stir all to combine.

Add cilantro and rice, and gently stir to combine.  Season to taste with soy sauce. Enjoy!