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Spice up your next barbecue with the flavors of Mexico.

Try my Grilled Tequila Pork Chops with an Avocado Salsa and a Jalapeño Jelly Glaze.


Do you ever get confused when you are trying to buy pork chops? Some have bones—some do not; and there are several different types. Just which is the best?

Pork chops come from the loin of the hog. There are three specific cuts of chops, and each cut has several names. Some cuts labeled as chops are not really chops at all. This can be puzzling for the consumer.

Pork chops with the following names are chops: 1. Rib Chop, Pork Rib Chop, Bone-In Ribeye, or Rib-End Cut Chop. This is the most common boneless chop sold by your supermarket. It comes from the rib section of the loin. If this cut has a bone, the bone runs along one side of the chop and the large eye of the loin muscle. This is a delicious chop. 2. Center-Cut Loin Chop, Top Loin Chop, Porterhouse Chop, or Center-Cut Rib Chop. This cut has both loin and pork tenderloin sections.

3. Loin Chop, Pork Loin Chop, Pork Loin End Chop, or New York Pork Chop. Loin chops come from further down the loin of the pig. They do not contain any tenderloin section. This is a good chop for the home cook and my personal favorite. The following are not chops: 1. Sirloin Chop, Pork Sirloin Chop, or Sirloin Steak. This cut comes from the loin end of the pig and may contain some tenderloin meat but also some hip bone meat. 2. Shoulder Chop, Blade Chop, Pork Shoulder Steak, or Pork Steak. This cut is part pork loin and part port butt. It is not good for grilling and should be cooked “low and slow” like a pork shoulder.

When I am making pork chops, I prefer buying ones with bones. I think the bone adds more flavor. I also prefer the Loin Chop, aka Pork Loin Chop, Pork Loin End Chop, or New York Pork Chop.

When I created recipes for the Steele’s Markets ads, it seemed like pork chops were always on sale. It got difficult to find new and different ways to fix that old standby. This recipe is one of my favorites—it turns plain old pork chops into a gourmet’s delight.

Grilled Tequila Pork Chops with an Avocado Salsa and a Jalapeño Jelly Glaze Serves 6

To marinate pork chops: ¼ cup tequila ½ cup fresh lime juice ½ cup red onion, chopped 2 tablespoons sesame oil 1 teaspoon ground cumin 1 teaspoon minced garlic 6 boneless pork loin chops, cut 1 ½-inches thick, fat trimmed In a small bowl, combine tequila, lime juice, red onion, sesame oil, cumin, and garlic. Blend well and reserve 2 tablespoons of marinade. Place pork chops in a shallow dish, covering with marinade. Cover pork chops with plastic wrap and refrigerate 2 to 4 hours, turning occasionally. For the salsa: 4 Roma or plum tomatoes, chopped 1 avocado, chopped 4 green onion, thinly sliced ¼ cup red onion, chopped 1 serrano pepper, seeded and finely diced 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely diced 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, snipped 1 teaspoon minced garlic ½ teaspoon salt 2 tablespoons reserved marinade In a small bowl, combine tomatoes, avocado, green onions, red onion, serrano and jalapeño peppers, cilantro, garlic, salt, and reserved marinade. Cover and refrigerate until time to serve.

To grill pork chops: ½ cup jalapeño jelly Drain pork chops and grill on a grill rack over high heat for 8 to 11 minutes or until juices run clear, turning once, and brushing with jalapeño jelly during the last 5 minutes. Serve with salsa.

Carol Ann


Carol Ann Kates is the award-winning author of cookbook, Secret Recipes from the Corner Market and Insider Grocery Shopping Secrets. She’s an expert in how to shop, select, and store produce for maximizing home cooking outcomes and minimizing time and money spent. As a former supermarket and deli operator, Carol Ann shares grocery-insider wisdom—the same expertise you used to receive when patronizing a mom-and-pop establishment. Contact her at CarolAnn@CarolAnnKates.com and explore her website, www.CarolAnnKates.com.

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