Grilled Chile Pork Chops with Tortilla Tomatilla Salsa
The best American name for this vegetable would probably be “Mexican green tomato”, but they actually taste nothing like regular tomatoes, In fact, the tomatillo is not a tomato at all. The tomatillo has a tart, lemony flavor that is enhance when cooked (especially roasted) and is an excellent base for salsas. While salsa (salsa verde) is the most popular way to enjoy tomatillo, they can be used in other ways. Tomatillos contain high amounts of vitamin A&C. Tomatillos are our #2 sales item!
1 tablespoon ancho chile powder
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 limes—1 zested and juiced, 1 cut into wedges
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Four 1-inch-thick, bone-in pork rib chops
4 tomatillos, husked and halved
1 serrano chile, halved and seeded
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 Hass avocado, diced
1 cup tortilla chips, lightly crushed
In a large, shallow bowl, combine the chile powder, coriander, oregano, garlic, lime zest, lime juice and 1/4 cup of the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Add the pork chops and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours. Bring to room temperature before grilling.
Set a cast-iron grill pan over high heat. In a bowl, toss the tomatillos and serrano with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Season with salt and pepper. Grill over high heat until the tomatillos are lightly charred, 4 minutes. Transfer the tomatillos and serrano to a work surface. Coarsely chop the tomatillos and mince the serrano. Transfer to a bowl and add the cilantro, avocado and the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Season with salt and pepper.
Lower the heat under the grill pan to moderate. Scrape the marinade off the chops. Grill the chops over moderate heat until lightly charred and an instant-read thermometer inserted near the bone registers 135°, about 12 minutes. Transfer the chops to a platter and cover loosely with foil. Let rest for 5 minutes.
Stir the tortilla chips into the salsa, then spoon the salsa over the chops. Serve right away, with lime wedges.
Recipe by Grace Parisi, via foodandwine.com