There’s something about the cooler air of fall that brings on craving for a thick, juicy pork chop. When it comes to thickness, 1-inch is the sweet spot where you can cook the chop entirely through on the stove without it drying out — or getting scorched on the outside before the interior is cooked enough.
This recipe has three basic components: the spice-rubbed pork chop, the plums and liquid that form the pan sauce and the crunchy topping. They are ideal all together, but you could just cook the seasoned chops and call it a day. Or make the chops with the plums and pan sauce only. That third element of the chopped topping brings this dish to the next level by adding textural and flavor contrast — and makes this a dish to share with friends.
Pork Chops with Plums and Pistachio-Parsley Topping
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt, divided
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
4 bone-in 1-inch thick center cut pork chops
1 teaspoon orange zest
¼ cup parsley, chopped
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped pistachios
2 tablespoons olive oil
12 Italian prune plums, cut in chunks
¼ cup orange juice
1/3 cup plum preserves
1. Combine the cumin, garlic powder, ½ teaspoon of the salt, pepper and nutmeg in a small bowl. Sprinkle it on both sides of the pork chops and pat it to help it adhere.
2. Combine the orange zest, parsley and pistachios in a small bowl and set aside.
3. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Fit the chops in a single layer and cook without moving until they are well-browned on the underside, about 6 minutes. Turn the chops over, sprinkle the plums around them, reduce the heat to medium and cover the pan. Cook another 4 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted horizontally into the center registers 140 -145 degrees. Remove the chops from the pan and add the remaining ½ teaspoon salt, orange juice and plum preserves, whisking until the preserves are dissolved.
4. Spoon the plums and pan sauce over the chops and sprinkle with the pistachio mixture.
MAKES 4 SERVINGS