In some ways, Seattle reminds me of the small town in northern Minnesota where my parents grew up and where my grandparents still live. Their town sits on the edge of Lake Superior, at a place where dozens of rivers empty out into the lake and the shoreline alternates between rocky beach and sheer cliffs. In the summer, there’s plenty of blue and green beauty, and the sun shines warm, but not hot, before an evening chill sets in every night. The same goes for Seattle this June, on the days when it hasn’t been drizzly and gray (today, I’m looking at you).
Tuesday was one of those gorgeous, pleasant days. I sat at my desk, with the sun warm on my face and the breeze floating in through the open window, and thought about northern Minnesota summers and my impending trip to the grocery store to pick up things for dinner.
Those thoughts converged, and I could see my grandfather on the back porch lifting the lid on the grill, and I could hear my grandma busy in the kitchen and the faint sounds of the Twins game playing softly in the background. I could picture the round wooden table set for dinner, the table crowded with bowls and platters.
We LOVED these chops, and will make them all summer long and for summers to come. I think the blend of spices could be varied, but the below combination of smoky, sweet, and spicy was spot-on. We had just an hour to let the chops sit in the spice paste, and they were still very flavorful. I’m excited to see if they improve with a longer soak.
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for grates
2 tablespoons light-brown sugar
1 tablespoon coarse salt
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
4 bone-in pork loin chops (3 pounds total)
In a bowl, mix together garlic, oil, sugar, salt, paprika, pepper, and cayenne until a paste forms. Coat pork chops with paste and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate 1 hour (or up to 3).
Heat grill to medium-high; clean and lightly oil hot grates. Grill pork, covered, 5 minutes per side for medium. Let rest 5 minutes before serving.