Spice Blend Meets Salsa for Big Flavor

Summer grilling is back...yay!

Grilled Pork Chop with Nectarine Salsa Grilled Pork Chop with Nectarine Salsa

After getting a couple of bone-in center cut pork chops from the sustainable, family-run Diamond Mountain Ranch at the Long Beach Farmer's Market, I was inspired to dress 'em up nicely for dinner. The grill seemed like the perfect place for them.

I threw together a few of my favorite items from the spice drawer to give a bold flavor to the chops. The great thing about this EASY spice blend is that you get big flavor from a small amount of ingredients...and you probably have these items in your kitchen. If not, you are missing out and need to add them!

Smokey Spice Blend
Makes 1/4 cup

Combine these ingredients in a small jar:
2 Tbs chili powder or ancho chili powder
1 Tbs cumin
1 Tbs garlic salt (or garlic powder if limiting salt/sodium)

Use some now and save the rest for later.

NOTES: If using garlic salt, there is no need to salt the chops, chicken, ribs or whatever else you might be seasoning. Use 1-2 tsp per pound of protein as a rule of thumb. I used about 1 tsp per 12 oz chop.

The grill was heated to about 400 when I put on the chops. The grilling time varies with bone-in vs boneless and how you like your meat cooked. I cooked the bone-in, 1 1/2 inch thick chops about 5 min a side for just a hint of pink. Using a thermometer, I recommend taking them off when they register 135 degrees. While resting, they will come up another 5 or so degrees and you don't want to overcook these beauties.

For a perfect accompaniment, I whipped up some Nectarine Salsa. The abundance of amazing summer fruit at the Farmer's Market sometimes leads me to buy too much (oops!), so this salsa was a great way to use up some of our bounty. I used regular and white nectarines here, but you could use one type or even sub peaches or plums if you like.

Nectarine Salsa
Makes 2 cups

Combine these ingredients in a small bowl:
2 large or 4 small nectarines
2 Tbs finely chopped red onion or shallots
2 Tbs finely chopped jalapeno
2 Tbs finely chopped fresh cilantro
2 Tbs lime juice

Stir gently. Tastes great with pork, chicken, fish (tacos!), and organic corn chips.