Pineapple Pork Chops

I didn't have pork chops for the first time until my senior year of high school when I was living with family friends. Pork was rarely served in my house. I remember my dad made ham once and no one ate it, and that's the last time he ever made pork (besides bacon) again. When I had pork chops I was super nervous to eat them because all I could think about when I thought of pork was that gross ham my dad had served. Luckily, I was pleasantly surprised at how tasty they were! I must have a short memory span because I forgot how delicious they were and it took me 11 years to eat them again... But this recipe definitely reminded me how delicious they are and I definitely won't let another 11 years go by without making pork chops again, that's for sure!

This recipe can't get much easier with only 6 ingredients. I used a cast iron grill to get the nice charred lines, but you could easily bake the pork chops or cook them in a regular sauté pan. If you bake them, you would marinade the chops and pineapple, preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and bake the pork chops for about 25 minutes, or until cooked through. Add the pineapple the last 10 minutes of baking, just to get them warmed and a little caramelized.

This dish is great year-round because you can use fresh sliced pineapple when it's in season, or simply used canned sliced rings. The savory pork chops and sweet pineapple can give it a summery freshness, or a savory fall flavor.

Ingredients:

5 boneless pork chops (serves 2)

5 pineapple rings (I used canned pineapple in juice, but you could also use fresh pineapple)

fresh black pepper

Marinade:

1/2 cup coconut aminos

1/4 tsp ground ginger

1 garlic clove, minced

1 tablespoon pineapple juice (I used the juice from the can)

Directions:

1. Whisk the marinade ingredients in a small bowl

2. Place pork chops in a shallow baking dish or large plastic bag

3. Place pineapple rings in a shallow dish or large plastic bag

4. Divide the marinade in half and pour over pork chops and pineapple. Marinade for at least 1 hour in the fridge, 4 hours or overnight is best

5. Heat cast iron grill or large sauté pan. If using cast iron, it should be pre-oiled, but if using sauté pan, add 1 tablespoon cooking oil

6. Place pineapple on grill and grill on each side for about 5-6 minutes, until nice grill marks form

7. Remove pineapple to small plate

8. If needed, add a little bit more oil to the grill or pan and add pork chops and add a dash of cracked pepper. Cook 5-6 minutes each side until no longer pink and nice grill marks form (make sure to add pepper once you flip the chops)

9. While pork chops cook, add any left over marinade to a small sauce pan and heat on medium. Cook down marinade while pork chops are cooking, stirring often to keep the bottom from burning

10. Plate pork chops and top with one pineapple slice

11. Drizzle marinade over pork chops and serve with your favorite side dish.

Enjoy!!

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