Dry rubbed with a sweet and spicy rub, these grilled pork chops are cooked to tender perfection and topped with a fresh cherry, pepper and honey salsa.
Whether eaten right out of the bowl, roasted to bring out their flavor, sprinkled in salads or chopped and used in a dessert like my Old Fashioned Cherry Crisp or my Cherry Ricotta Bruschetta appetizer, cherries like these HUGE Two Bite dark, are beyond sweet and so good for you, too.
I had the pleasure of flying up to Yakima, Washington recently to visit Cat, Erica, Lauren and the Superfresh Growers crew and their hospitality was fantastic.
We toured the orchards (with Mount Adams in the background) and packing plant and got a literal taste and view of all the processes that go into getting these amazing, plump cherries to a market near you. It was fascinating.
Did you know 60,000,000 pounds of cherries are processed per month per season? CRAZY, right?!
After chatting with them for a while I was asked to come up with a savory way to use their Two Bite Cherries, and with grilling season upon us, I thought a good pork chop was in order. I figured a sweet dry rub would work and opted to use the cherries in a bright, sweet and spicy salsa. This works!
The 1-inch thick pork chops I picked up got a dry rub and then on the grill they went!
The cherries got quartered and mixed with fresh, diced peppers, honey and some mint. Super easy to come together and beyond tasty, I think you’ll really enjoy this one.
For other pork dishes try my Pineapple Chile Pulled Pork Sandwiches, Curry, Five Spice Dry Rubbed Pork Ribs, Paprika Pork Schnitzel, or for dessert, try these White Chocolate Cherry Pie Shortbread Bars. Enjoy!
Here’s a few snaps from the trip!
- 2 lbs pork chops
- 2 tbsp Sweet Pork Dry Rub seasoning (See Below)
- 1 tbsp oil
- 4 cups whole cherries
- 1 yellow bell pepper
- 1 jalapeño
- 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves chopped
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 lemon (or 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar)
- 1/8 tsp kosher salt
- 1/8 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 tbsp kosher salt
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 2 tsp garlic powder (or garlic flakes)
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp cayenne powder
Mix together in a small bowl and keep in an airtight container.
Rub pork chops on both sides with 2 tablespoons of the dry rub and allow to rest 1 hour minimum, covered in refrigerator. Bring to room temp (about 15 minutes) prior to grilling.
In a small bowl whisk together the honey, juice from half the lemon or use apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper. Chop the mint, add to bowl. Slice jalapeño lengthwise and remove seeds. Cut into small strips and then cut into small dice, add to bowl. Cut and use half the yellow bell pepper. Discard stem and seeds. Cut into uniform small dice, add to bowl. Save remains portion for other use. Wash, pit and quarter each cherry, add to bowl.
- Mix all salsa ingredients together. Place in refrigerator and chill while you grill pork chops.
- Heat grill to medium (325°F to 350°F) Brush grill or drizzle oil in grill pan.
- Add dry rubbed pork chops and cook for 2 minutes then reposition chops a quarter turn (for crosss hatch marks) and continue cooking for an additional 2 minutes (4 minutes total) or until the underside is caramelized and the pork releases from the grill.
Cook 2 minutes then reposition chops a quarter turn again (for crosss hatch marks) and continue cooking for an additional 2 minutes (4 minutes total) or until the internal temperature is 145°F.
Transfer pork chops to a plate, cover loosely with foil. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.
- Serve with cherry salsa spooned over each pork chop.