God bless my mother (who I know is reading this), but growing up, I hated pork chop night. She always pan-fried bone-in chops, and there's nothing wrong with that. I just didn't know pork could be thick, tender, and juicy until I decided to cook it one day myself. (Note: I should admit, in my mother's defense, that I refused to try anything that wasn't Kraft macaroni and cheese, or ground beef tacos in Old El Paso shells with Velveeta on top. Come to think of it, I rarely ate anything that didn't have some form of Velveeta cheese in it or on it, and I only drank SunDrop. My today self shudders at the thought. It's ok. I was quite a picky eater, and it's not necessarily her fault that I didn't like her pork chops. I didn't like anything back then. And I'm very grateful that she placated my horrible palate and always made me macaroni and cheese, no matter what we were having for dinner. When I have children, I'm not going to be that nice. The kids can eat what I make, make something themselves, or starve.) I think my first yummy pork adventure was when I attempted something out of a Rachael Ray cookbook, in which I simply seared the pork chops, threw them in the oven to finish cooking, and made a mustard sauce (similar to the one I made with caramelized onions) out of the pan drippings. It was simply divine. Pork chops are generally inexpensive, they freeze well so you can catch them on sale and stock up, and if you cut the fat off the side, it's a fairly lean cut of meat; a great carnivorous diversion from the usual chicken or beef.
I can't tell you how much Dave and I enjoy grilled pork chops. If done right, they are flavorful and juicy, just as the ones we made last night. What I invented last night sounded like something Giada would make.
Grilled Pork Chops with Rosemary & Garlic
4 pork chops (I used boneless; Kroger was out of bone-in, but whatever you've got will work)
couple sprigs of fresh rosemary (thank you, Christy, for that lovely rosemary plant that I by some miracle haven't killed yet)
one clove of garlic
salt & pepper
extra virgin olive oil
Preheat grill. Prepare a rub for the pork by chopping together the garlic, rosemary, and salt. Mince it into a paste with a sharp knife, or grind together with a mortar and pestle. Set aside. Rub pork chops with oil, pepper generously, then massage the rub into the meat. Grill until cooked through (use a meat thermometer: make sure it registers 170 degrees). Set aside and cover with tin foil, allow to rest for 5 minutes so the juices redistribute and the pork stays juicy.
We devoured these with homemade mashed potatoes and grilled asparagus.
And I know this is random, but if I had all the money in the world, the first thing I'd do is hire someone to go out and buy me all the clothes that Giada wears. I'm sure it helps to have a husband who works for Anthropologie. But still. I love her clothes. All of them.