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Old 04-21-2005, 07:49 PM   #1
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Post Southwestern-Style Pork Chops with Ancho Chili Powder

Southwestern-Style Pork Chops with Ancho Chili Powder

Serves 4

4 rib pork chops, about 1 1/2 inches thick
3 tablespoons ancho chili powder (see Note)
1 tablespoon crushed toasted cumin seeds (see Note)
1 teaspoon dry mustard
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
vegetable oil cooking spray
Baja-style tomato salsa (see below)

1. Combine the chili powder, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, and dry mustard in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper, stirring well.

2. Rub the mixture into the meatiest parts of the pork chops and put the chops in a glass or ceramic dish. Cover and set aside at room temperature for about 30 minutes, or refrigerate for as long as 8 hours.

3. Prepare a charcoal or gas grill. Lightly spray the grill rack with vegetable oil cooking spray. The coals should be moderately hot.

4. Grill the chops for 8 to 10 minutes on each side, or until a meat thermometer inserted in the center of the meatiest sections registers 150 to 155 F. Let the chops rest for a few minutes before serving. Serve with salsa.

Note: Ancho chili powder is made from ground ancho chilies, which are mildly hot. The powder is stronger-tasting than other chili powders and is generally available in Hispanic and specialty markets. If you cannot find it, substitute any chili powder.

To toast the seeds, spread them in a small, dry skillet and cook over medium-high heat for about 60 seconds or until fragrant. Crush the seeds with a skillet. Measure after crushing.

Makes about 2 cups
1 pound tomatoes, chopped
2 yellow or red bell peppers, seeded and chopped
1 cup cooked corn kernels (see note)
3 scallions, finely chopped
2 jalapeno or Serrano chilies, seeded and chopped
1 large clove garlic, minced
3 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste

Combine the tomatoes, peppers, corn, scallions, chilies, garlic, cilantro, lime juice, vinegar, and salt in a glass or ceramic bowl and stir gently to mix. Adjust the salt. Let the salsa stand for about an hour to let the flavors blend. Serve or cover and refrigerate for several hours. Let the salsa reach room temperature before serving.

Note: You can use frozen corn kernels, cooked and cooled. For better flavor, use leftover boiled summer corn, or, best yet, grill a few ears over hot coals or roast them in a very hot oven (400 F) until the husks blacken, which will take about 15 minutes and require turning several times. Let the corn cool and then slice the kernels from the cobs.

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