Fall is my absolute favorite time of the year. I could list all the reasons why but let’s be honest, it’s all about the food! My Spice Roasted Pork Chops with Coconut Corn Sauce can be made in under 30 minutes and I season the pork with a kiss of cinnamon that just tickles your taste buds in all the right places. I have been obsessed with making blender sauces lately, they are quick, easy, and make me a rock star in the kitchen with minimal effort. This is where my KitchenAid® Torrent™ Magnetic Drive Blender saves the day. I have not only been using it to make my daily smoothie, but it’s also great at making sauces, especially since you can blend hot liquids and safely add ingredients to the chute while the blender is running. This coconut corn sauce has a tropical feel to it, but once it’s paired with the roasted pork chops, you quickly realize that summer is over and fall is here.
Start by taking the pork chops out of the fridge and seasoning them with kosher salt and the spice rub. Just by making a simple rub of cumin, smoked paprika, coriander, and cinnamon, you can elevate the flavor of the chops. Smoked paprika is officially my favorite spice now; it’s so earthy and smoky. By letting the chop come to room temperature with the rub and salt on, it will act as a quick marinade and help form an amazing crust when cooked in a cast iron pan.
While the chop is coming to room temperature you can make the coconut corn sauce. Start by adding the onion, ginger, garlic, and pepper flakes to a pan with a shot of olive oil. Once the onions become a little translucent, go ahead and add 1 cup of frozen corn and cook for five minutes. Having corn kernels in my freezer can be a culinary life saver during those winter months when fresh corn is a long way away. Now add half a cup of low sodium vegetable stock and cook until only one tablespoon of liquid remains in the pan. I always use low sodium stock because I want to control the amount of salt in my food.
Transfer the hot mixture to the KitchenAid® Torrent™ Magnetic Drive Blender and adjust the setting to sauces and soups. Rarely have I been able to get such a silky smooth sauce from a blender without having to strain the sauce after, but luckily those days are gone.
With the blender running, add half a cup of light coconut milk through the chute. The top lid of the blender has a built is liquid measuring cup, so once again, my life gets easier because it’s one less thing to clean up.
The Torrent™ Blender will automatically stop once the sauce reaches the proper consistency. If the sauce is a little too thick, go ahead and add a little more coconut milk.
Now transfer the sauce back to the pan and cook over low heat for 5 minutes until the sauce thickens up a little bit, make sure to check for seasoning. A little squeeze of lime juice at the end will add a nice pop of acid and complement the coconut flavor.
For the pork chops, pre-heat a cast iron pan over medium-high heat for five minutes. Starting with a hot pan is the only way to sear the outside of the pork and get that nice crust. Add a little shot of vegetable oil to the pan and then the pork chops. Resist the temptation to peak and poke at the meat with your tongs, or you’ll risk ruining that beautiful sear.
After two minutes, flip the chops and carefully put the entire pan inside a 450 degree oven. If you have thick chops, I would recommend using a probe thermometer and cook until the internal temperature reaches 140 degrees, or about 8 minutes for a one and a half inch thick chop. When ready, take the chops out of the pan and let rest on a clean plate and cover with tin foil for 5 minutes. The internal temperature will rise another 10 degrees and the juices will redistribute.
Plate your chop with the sauce and garnish the plate with some lime zest and some freshly chopped herbs.
Spice Roasted Pork Chops with Coconut Corn Sauce
Makes 4 servings
For the corn sauce
1/2 red onion, finely diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
1 cup frozen corn
1/2 cup low sodium vegetable stock
1/2 cup light coconut milk
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
For the pork chops
Four 12-ounce pork chops, 1.5 inches thick
Freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley
For the corn sauce, preheat a sauce pan or nonstick pan over medium heat with the oil. Add the red onion, garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to the pan. Cook for 5-7 minutes until the onions are soft and translucent, then add the corn and cook another five minutes. Add the stock and cook until only a few tablespoons are left in the pan. Carefully transfer the corn mixture to the KitchenAid® Torrent™ Magnetic Drive Blender, add the coconut milk and blend until consistency is smooth. Put the sauce back into the pan, add the lime juice and check for seasoning, you will probably need more salt. Cook sauce over medium-low heat until the consistency is that of slightly loose gravy, about 3-5 minutes. If sauce is too thick add a little more stock.
For the pork chops, preheat the oven to 450 degrees and mix the cumin, paprika, coriander and cinnamon together in a small bowl. Season both sides of the pork chops with 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt, a couple cracks of pepper, and a generous amount of the spice rub. Let chops sit at room temperature for 20 minutes. Pre-heat a cast iron pan over medium-high heat with 1-2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Sear the chops for two minutes on the first side, flip and transfer pan in the oven for 8 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chops is 145 degrees. Take chops out of the oven and transfer to a plate, cover with foil and let rest for 5 minutes so the juices can redistribute.
Serve the chops alongside the coconut corn sauce and garnish with lime zest and parsley.
*The Contributor of this post has been compensated by KitchenAid for this post, but this post represents the Contributor’s own opinion.*