Chef’s Notes: When I found this Paula Dean recipe, I admit I thought it sounded really strange. But my food philosophy is chocolate makes anything better, so I decided to try it. It’s tasty, y’all!
First, Paula’s version:
Chocolate Spiced Pork Chops
2 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 1/2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 (1 1/2-inch-thick) bone-in pork chops
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl, combine the brown sugar, Italian seasoning, onion powder, cocoa powder, garlic powder, paprika, red pepper, cumin, salt, and black pepper. Rub the mixture evenly over pork chops.
Add the oil to a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pork chops and cook for 3 minutes per side. Put the skillet in oven and bake the pork chops until cooked through, about 3 minutes.
Remove the skillet from the oven, transfer the chops to a serving platter and serve.
And my changes:
I didn’t have all the spices Paula’s recipe called for. This is what I used for a spice rub for two pork chops.
1/2 T. brown sugar
1 tsp. cocoa power
1/4 tsp. Cajun spice blend (garlic, onion, paprika, red pepper, salt)
1/4 tsp. Mrs. Dash extra spicy seasoning blend
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
I fried the pork chops in a grill pan for 3 minutes per side, transferred them to a baking sheet, and baked at 350 degrees for 12 minutes.
I served these for brunch with Blueberry Chocolate Muffins and minneloas (a citrus fruit that is a cross between a grapefruit and a tangerine).