Sweet & Spicy Pork Chops

Today’s recipe is brought to you by my kitchen renovations, or the fact that I was so busy getting everything cleaned and back in its place that I didn’t think ahead to what I was going to cook last night.

Luckily, I had a pack of thin, center cut pork chops on hand and I was able to fix one of the Hillbilly’s favorites.  I saw the original recipe on Destination America’s United States of Bacon where host Todd Fisher travels the US and showcases with some of the best bacon/pork meals at various eateries.

This one was adapted from a recipe at Sweet Maple in San Francisco called Millionaire’s Bacon*.  I don’t get the huge slabs of bacon from the butcher like the restaurant uses, but it does work with some nice, thick boneless ribs or even pork chops.

The combination from the heat of the cayenne and the sweetness of the brown sugar makes a fantastic layering of flavors.  I paired mine with a wedge of iceberg lettuce with low-fat yogurt blue cheese dressing and cherry tomatoes, which I can usually make into a meal all by itself.

Sweet & Spicy Pork Chops

Ingredients:

  • Center-cut, boneless pork chops or boneless ribs
  • Brown sugar
  • Ground Cayenne pepper powder
  • Dried red pepper flakes (optional)

Lightly spray the bottom of a baking dish with non-stick cooking spray (Pam) or some extra-virgin olive oil.  Place your pork in the bottom of the baking dish.  Sprinkle the cayenne powder over the pork in a light dusting.  Cover each piece with a thick layer of brown sugar and press down to pack it onto the surface of the meat.  If you want some extra heat, sprinkle some the red pepper flakes over the top.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 360 degrees for about an hour.  Uncover and bake an additional 10-15 minutes for the surface to lightly brown.  Remove from oven and serve.  I like to drizzle the syrupy drippings from the baking dish over the top of the meat for some extra flavor.

Enjoy!

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*If you want to make the original recipe with the bacon, you’ll need bacon sliced in 1/2 inch thick slices.  Here’s the cooking instructions from the recipe closest to what was featured in the show Millionaire’s Bacon.

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