The “other white meat,” much like pasta, sure gets a bum rap. A simple Google search aimed at comparing the nutritional values of chicken and pork turns up numerous articles that tell us everything from,”pork is a great alternative” to “pork is many times higher in fat than chicken.” How the heck are we supposed to find the truth in all of that?
Well, one way is to consider the reputability of the source. Another is to cross-reference several reputable sources to glean similarity. Yet another is to pick up a package of pork at your grocery store and read the label. I tend to rely on a combination of picking up the package and visiting porkandhealth.org. Based on the same I opt for pork tenderloin chops, which have essentially the same ounce for ounce fat content as a skinless chicken breast.
Now, if you’re worried about other things in relation to pork, know that cooking it to the correct internal temperature makes all the difference. I follow the updated guidelines that recommend an internal temperature of 145 degrees and have never had any problems. If you’re still not convinced, a good bit of reading (using the reputable sources like the one mentioned above) should help. Goodness knows I do my best to educate my partner and he still curls his lip when I mention pork. This isn’t to say that he doesn’t eat it. 🙂
What follows is one of my favorite recipes, which is very simple to make if you have the right ingredients on hand. Recipe numero ventuno:
CURRY PORK LOIN CHOPS
Ingredients: 12 center-cut, boneless pork loin chops (~.5 inch thickness), ~1-2 tablespoons olive oil, ~2-3 tablespoons curry powder (I used Spice Supreme, which includes turmeric, coriander, fenugreek, fennel, chilies, cumin, cloves, black pepper, onion, garlic, and a trace of salt), ~1 tablespoon black pepper, ~1 tablespoon brown sugar
Preparation: Preheat oven to desired temperature (I used convection bake at 350 degrees). Spray a baking pan with non-stick spray (I use an olive oil version). Set aside.
Place pork loin chops into a bowl and add olive oil and ~1-2 tablespoons curry powder. Mix ingredients with hands until oil and powder are well mixed and coating chops. Place chops into pan, then thoroughly wash hands. Sprinkle black pepper, brown sugar, and ~1 tablespoon additional curry powder onto chops.
Place pan into oven and cook to desired doneness. I used a meat thermometer and my cooking time was ~15 minutes for ~.5 thickness chops. (tip: oven-safe meat thermometers save much time and guesswork) Also, to further reduce fat, I cut away excess fat after cooking (can also be done pre-cooking if desired).