Chile-Rubbed Chops with Sweet Potatoes and Grilled Okra

Ancho (Ahn-cho) Chile (Capsicum Annum) means Wide Chile Pepper. This chile ranges from 3 – 4 on a heat scale of 1 to 10. An Ancho is the dried form of a Poblano Pepper and often is mislabeled as a Pasilla or Mulato Pepper. Anchos have sweet fruity flavor with hints of cherry, prune, and fig. Anchos, combined with the Pasilla and Guajillo, form the Holy Trinity of chiles used to prepare the traditional mole sauces. Scoville heat units are 1,000 to 3,000.

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1 teaspoon ancho chile powder*
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon celery seeds
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
4 (1/2-inch-thick) bone-in pork loin chops
2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3 or 4 flat wooden skewers
2 medium-size sweet potatoes
1 pound fresh whole okra
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons butter

*To make ancho chile powder: grind a dried chile in a coffee or spice grinder till a fine powder.


1. Stir together first 5 ingredients and 1 1/2 tsp. salt. Brush pork chops with 1 Tbsp. oil, and rub mixture over both sides. Chill, uncovered, 8 to 12 hours.

2. Soak skewers in water 20 minutes. Preheat grill to 350° to 400° heat. Pierce potatoes several times with a fork. Cover with damp paper towels, and microwave at HIGH 8 minutes or until tender, turning after 3 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes.

3. Toss together okra, pepper, and remaining olive oil and salt; thread okra onto skewers. Grill pork, covered with grill lid, 5 minutes on each side or until a meat thermometer inserted in thickest portion registers 155°. At the same time, grill okra 5 minutes, turning occasionally.

4. Cut potatoes in half, and top with butter; season with salt and pepper. Serve with pork and okra.

Recipe by Robby Melvin, Southern Living
JULY 2015