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Quick Brined Chops with Grilled Corn Salsa

Hello! Welcome back to Whatcheescooking, the monthly culinary klatch where I share my favorite recipes, tips, and tricks to create restaurant-quality meals at home! 

This month, I was inspired by all the fresh and beautiful produce available this time of year in the Inland Northwest. For this recipe: Sweet grilled corn, fresh cherry tomatoes, crispy snap peas, and microgreens, PLUS a rich basil pesto come together to form an absolutely magical summertime salad…perfect alongside our brined and grilled pork chops. 

*This one requires a little more prep, but it is sure to wow your family and guests! 

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Quick Brined Chops with Grilled Corn Salsa

Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 4 THICCCC Pork Chops 
  • Favorite rub for pork  (I use, AND adore, Flavor Hog by Spiceology!)
  • Quick Brine (recipe below)
  • 2 ears of local sweet corn 
  • 1 cup local (see a trend?) snap peas, sliced into small strips horizontally
  • ½ cup local (or backyard) pea microgreens, washed and dried
  • ½ cup cherry tomatoes of choice, quartered
  • ¼ cup of your favorite pesto (PS: If you don’t have homemade pesto, store bought is fine. Costco has a super tasty one!)
  • Sea salt and cracked pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar 
pork chop ingredients

How to Make Your Quick Brined Chops with Grilled Corn Salsa

Step 1: Prepare your Quick Brine as instructed below. Pour into a vessel deep enough to be able to cover pork chops with brine 

Step 2: Once you’ve got your chops into the brine, cover and place into the fridge for a couple of hours. No real rules here, just trying to give the brine time to work its magic on the chops 

Step 3: Preheat your backyard grill to cook the corn for the base of the salad. The corn just needs a little color/char on it to bring a bit of depth to the salad. Remove it from the grill and set it aside to cool enough to handle it safely 

While your chops are brining away, and your corn has cooled, snag yourself a medium-sized bowl and begin to assemble your salad

Quick Brined Chops with Grilled Corn Salsa

Step 4: CAREFULLY cut the corn off of the cob. I stand it on the wide end, just to slice the first section off, then  lay it on the now-flat side to cut the rest off. When your corn is removed, add to your bowl along with your pesto, tomatoes, peas, and the microgreens. Stir together and add red wine vinegar, salt, and pepper. Taste and season as needed, then cover and place in the fridge until ready to plate 

Step 5: Remove the chops from your brine and pat them dry. As in, as dry as you can get them. Coat your chops with the rub of choice, salt, and pepper 

Step 6: On your preheated grill (you want it to be hot enough to get a good sear on it), place your brined and rubbed pork chops on the grill surface 

Step 7: Grill chops on each side for about 5 minutes, then lower heat and allow to cook until your meat temps at 155°F. The pork will continue to cook after you remove it from the heat, which is why we pull it just before the temp reaches that 155°F. Allow to rest for at least 15 minutes to let ALL the juices stay IN the meat and not run out once you cut it 

I like to plate with just a touch more pesto  (mostly because I’m a fool for good pesto), then slice the chops against the grain for maximum tenderness and top with a semi-copious quantity of the summer salad. SO. DANG. GOOD. 

Quick Brined Chops with Grilled Corn Salsa

We love this meal around our table, as it’s a celebration of all things summertime – grilling, gorgeous local produce and backyard herbs. 

Quick Brine

Step 1: Heat 31/2 cups of water to boil and add ⅓ cup brown sugar, ¼ cup kosher salt, and ¼ cup of the rub you plan on using for the dry rub 

Step 2: Stir over medium to low heat until salt and sugar is dissolved into the water 

Step 3: Once salt/sugar is dissolved, add 1 cup ice and continue to stir. When brine is cooled, set aside until you are ready to add your pork chops 

Have you made pork chops? What’s your favorite way to make pork chops?

Kim Lehr

Kim Lehr is a bar/restaurant industry veteran who owns The Accompaniment Co. and is obsessed with all things pickled. Most importantly? She’s a wife and mom who wants to feed her family more healthful, wholesome, flavorful, and creative meals. Join her to share some of those meals and her small batch, local products with your family’s table.

read all of kim’s articles here.

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