If there’s nothing better than a perfectly cooked pork chop, then there’s nothing worse than an overcooked one. Since this cut of meat is relatively lean, the line between just-right and dried-out is a matter of minutes. Which is why, on this week’s Dear Test Kitchen, our test kitchen director Josh Cohen called in Isaac Toups to give us a crash course on Pork Chops 101. Isaac is the chef behind Toups Meatery and Toups South, both in New Orleans, as well as the author of Chasing the Gator. (If you’re like me, you also rooted for him on Top Chef, Season 14!) In this episode, Isaac and Josh talk about loin versus rib chops, brining versus marinating, Frenching versus not Frenching, eating with your hands versus not eating with your hands, and more.
Want Josh’s recipe from the episode? Okay, you got it! Thin-cut pork chops are perfect for a quick dinner. (Get bone-in for bonus points.) After they marinate in olive oil, lime juice, fresh garlic, and lots of spices (smoked paprika! ground cumin! chile powder!), they take about 5 minutes to cook. The only question is: What’ll you serve them with?
Savory pork loves sweet fruit. Case in point: this juicy tomato and mozzarella salad starring sweet nectarines. If nectarines aren’t your thing, feel free to swap in any stone fruit, like peaches or plums.
Emma is a writer and recipe developer at Food52. Before this, she worked a lot of odd jobs, all at the same time. Think: stir-frying noodles "on the fly," baking dozens of pastries at 3 a.m., reviewing restaurants, and writing articles about everything from how to use leftover mashed potatoes to the history of pies in North Carolina. Now she lives in Maplewood, New Jersey with her husband and their cat, Butter. Stay tuned every Tuesday for Emma's cooking column, Big Little Recipes, all about big flavor and little ingredient lists. And see what she's up to on Instagram and Twitter at @emmalaperruque.