Smoky Hot Chops with Cool Cucumber-Tomato Salad
Food and Drink

Courtesy of the National Pork Board,

Smoky Hot Chops with Cool Cucumber-Tomato Salad

"Between the cayenne and the hot pepper sauce, these mamas set your senses aflame and then chill them down with a blue cheese-topped side."

Serves 4


4 New York pork chops, thick-cut boneless, top loin, about 1 1/2-inches thick

2 tablespoons smoked paprika

4 ½ teaspoons hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco), plus more for serving

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon onion powder

2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved

1 cucumber, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice

¼ red onion, halved and thinly sliced

¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped

¼ cup blue cheese dressing, or more to taste

salt, to taste

pepper, to taste

In a small bowl, combine the smoked paprika, hot sauce, cayenne, salt, garlic powder and onion powder, stirring to make a paste. Divide the paste into two small bowls, with about 2/3 of the paste in one bowl, and 1/3 in the other.

Arrange the chops on a plate or platter and use a butter knife to thinly spread the bowlful of 2/3 of the spice paste over both sides of the meat. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Prepare a grill to medium-hot heat and lightly oil the grate. Grill the pork until the internal temperature reaches 145°F (medium rare) to 160°F (medium), 4–5 minutes per side. It’s okay if some of the spice paste sticks to the grill. Transfer the chops to a platter, spread the remaining spice paste from the second bowl on top of the chops, and set aside to rest 3 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the Cool Cucumber-Tomato Salad in a large bowl. Combine the tomatoes, cucumber, onion, parsley and salad dressing, tossing gently. Add more dressing, salt and pepper to taste.

Serve the chops with the cucumber-tomato salad alongside. Pass the additional hot sauce at the table.