Don't let cold weather stop you from making your grill marks in winter

The Oklahoman's Food Dude has a recipe for grilled pork chops made on your stovetop.
by Dave Cathey Published: February 27, 2013
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Despite a recent blast of chilly weather, it's been a mild Oklahoma winter, which has prematurely stirred my inner grill-master from hibernation.

Oh, you wicked, wicked global warming, er, climate change.

While we've had plenty of sunshine and some splashes of springlike weather, it's still a little too chilly to cook out after 5 p.m. — certainly after dark.

Never fear: The cast-iron griddle I got a couple of Christmases ago from my in-laws is here.

The kids have gotten to where they actually like burgers made on the flat side of the griddle better than, pause for dramatic effect, those cooked on grill. Gasp ... Protestations of disbelief ... Curse words and raised, shaking fists from my friends at American Propane.

All right, all right, I'm not trying to convert anyone away from using the outdoor cookers the good Lord gave us. But alternatives are great.

The reason the grill is in no danger is because the cast-iron griddle works great on anything you can grill, but not everything you cook on the grill is optimal for homes without industrial vent hoods.

A rib-eye steak cooked on your griddle will fill your house with smoke faster than a Cheech and Chong film festival. Burgers aren't much better.

Enter pork chops. And at the top of the pork chop hierarchy is the Porterhouse pork chop, a dense cut that includes tenderloin. Unlike the Porterhouse steak, the pork chop is very lean. So, it needs a flavor boost, perhaps even gravy.

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by Dave Cathey
Food Editor
The Oklahoman's food editor, Dave Cathey, keeps his eye on culinary arts and serves up news and reviews from Oklahoma’s booming food scene.
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Griddled Porterhouse Pork Chops with Blood Oranges

4 Porterhouse pork chops, 3½ to 4 pounds

2 small onions, sliced very thin

2 cloves garlic mashed in 2 teaspoons salt until paste

2 cups chicken stock or reduced-sodium broth

1½ teaspoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon toasted fresh ground pepper

¼ teaspoon chile de arbol or cayenne pepper

1 or 2 blood oranges, sliced thick

Combine paprika, garlic powder, onion, powder, salt and pepper to make rub, then apply evenly on both sides of the chops and season the orange slices.

Heat a cast-iron griddle over two burners on high heat until smoking hot. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Cook seasoned pork chops on each side for 2 minutes. To get waffle marks, turn chops 45 degrees after 1 minute.

Use pot holders to move griddle into oven and bake until chops' internal temperature reaches 155 degrees, 22 to 25 minutes.

With 10 minutes remaining, add orange slices and flip after 5 minutes.

Remove chops and orange slices from oven; remove to a platter and let rest at least 5 minutes.

Serve chops with spaetzle, rice pilaf or mashed potatoes and warm rolls. If you want gravy, see below.

Garlic-Onion Gravy

¼ cup mix of olive oil and bacon drippings

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon fresh thyme

2 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper

While chops are in the oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the flour and stir constantly to make a roux; heat until roux is the color of caramel, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the onions and salt and pepper.

Stir until onions are softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add garlic and chicken broth and increase heat to medium high and bring to a boil. If consistency is too thick, add water. Once consistency is correct, reduce heat to medium and stir in thyme. After 5 minutes, reduce heat to low until chops are ready.

SOURCE: DAVE CATHEY

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