|These tasty Salsa Pork Chops simmer in the CrockPot while you're busy doing other things!|
When I looked at these photos for Crockpot Salsa Pork Chops, it got me thinking about what a balancing act food blogging can be. Sometimes you hit a home run with a great recipe and great photos on the first try. Occasionally the photos are perfect but the recipe is kind of "meh" when you taste the finished dish. (Those photos get deleted immediately and that recipe doesn't make it on the blog!) In this case, I made the recipe twice to try to get a better photo, and in both cases I wasn't completely satisfied with the photos. However, I was completely happy with these tender Southwestern-flavored pork chops in a sauce that was just slightly spicy. This recipe was so good I've decided to live with the photo (at least until I make it again and try for a better one!)
I adapted this recipe from one found in Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Recipes for Two, a book with recipes designed for small slow cookers and that serve two people. I chose to double the recipe for four servings, but if you're interested in slow cooker recipes that don't serve a crowd, this book has a lot of good ideas. (And it's a very old book, so you can follow that link and buy it very cheaply at Amazon.com. Full disclosure: Kalyn's Kitchen does earn a small commission when people buy through that type of link, so thanks!)
I used pork loin sirloin chops and trimmed off the fat on the edges. (Remember the guildeline of less than 10% total fat if you're doing the South Beach Diet. These pork chops don't need the fat because they are tender from simmering in the flavorful sauce.)
I mixed equal parts of ground cumin, garlic powder, Vege-Sal, and black pepper and used it as a rub to season the chops before browning.
I know some people don't like to brown meat when they're using the CrockPot, but I wouldn't skip the browning step, which adds a lot of flavor.
Put the browned pork chops in the bottom of the slow cooked and pour the sauce over, then cook for 2-3 hours on high and that's it. (I switched the pork chops halfway through so the bottom ones were on top, but it's probably not essential.)
(Makes 4 servings; recipe adapted from Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Recipes for Two.)
4 pork chops with fat trimmed (I used pork loin sirloin chops, remember the guideline for 10% fat or less if you're making this for the South Beach Diet.)
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. Vege-Sal (or use a smaller amount of regular salt)
1/2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper (or less if you're not a pepper fan)
1 T olive oil (or less for a non-stick pan)
1 cup salsa (I used Pace Picante Sauce Mild, but choose the level of hotness and brand you like.)
2 T fresh-squeezed lime juice
(If you want more sauce you could use 1 1/2 cups salsa and 3 T lime juice)
(I used my Crock-Pot 2.5-Quart Slow Cooker for this recipe. If you only have a larger slow cooker, the recipe could easily be doubled. The leftovers from this were great, so don't be afraid to double it.)
Trim all fat around the edges of pork chops and discard fat. Combine ground cumin, garlic powder, Vege-Sal or salt, and fresh ground black pepper in a small bowl; then use the spice mixture to rub the trimmed pork chops on both sides.
Heat the oil in a heavy frying pan, add pork chops and cook over medium heat until well-browned, about 5 minutes per side. (The pork chops don't need to be done clear though, but they should be nicely browned.)
Spray sides and bottom of the slow cooker with olive oil or non-stick spray. Put browned pork chops into the slow cooker, pour over salsa-lime mixture, and cook on high for 2-3 hours, or until the pork chops are very tender when pierced with a fork. (I switched them halfway through so the ones on the bottom were on the top, but it's not essential.)
Serve hot, with a little sauce spooned over each pork chops.
I'm guessing this freezes well, but I don't know for sure because I gave my frozen leftovers to my brother Mark and his wife Lisa to try. Maybe they will report back here about how the frozen pork chops were when they reheated them.
South Beach Suggestions:
As long as you choose lean pork chops and trim the fat on the edges, this is a great recipe for any phase of the South Beach Diet. For phase one, I'd love to eat this with Spicy Mexican Slaw. In the photo I'm serving it with Georgette's Really Lemony Greek Pilafi for phase two.
Five More Tasty Ideas for Pork Chops:
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Pork Chops with Balsamic Glaze from Kalyn's Kitchen
Pan-Fried and Roasted Pork Chops with Apricot Dijon Sauce from Kalyn's Kitchen
Pork Chops with Garlic-Lime Sauce from Dine and Dish
Braised Pork Chops with Cabbage from French Kitchen in America
Pork Chops with Simple Mushroom Gravy from Green Lite Bites
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)