Chipotle Grilled Chops & Roasted Potatoes

Talking to my mom last night, she requested that I stop talking about ice cream all the time. I explained to her that after blogging 10-15 recipes for 7 months straight, I’m feeling a little tapped out on inspiration, and ice cream is easy. I’m always inspired to make ice cream. Who doesn’t like ice cream (besides my mom)?!

Thinking up new things to make for dinner during my busiest season at work has been a challenge. I’ve been sticking to easy stuff, and things I’ve already posted about…we all get in kitchen ruts – even food bloggers. Ask Alicia – she posted so brilliantly the other day about creative burnout in the kitchen, with a hilarious post about “hippie chow.” I love hippie chow, and am a big fan of “stuff over brown rice.” Alicia’s blog, Bread and Honey, is also one of my very favorite reads, and her photos are gorgeous.

I got home from work today and I had some pork chops from our farm share thawing in the fridge for dinner. I was going to make a nice salad to go with it, but since summer still seems not to have arrived in Chicago and it’s been cold and raining for days, I decided that roasted potatoes were on the menu in lieu of salad. I was also feeling too lazy to chop up a bunch of herbs to roast with the potatoes, so I went for my go-to flavoring when life seems dull – the tub of chipotle puree.

I really love chipotles, maybe not as much as my chef-crush Bobby Flay, but I do enjoy their smoky flavor and gentle heat. I’m a bit of a wuss when it comes to really spicy food, but chipotles are just right, and have a great flavor. Do yourself a favor and pick up a can of Chipotles in Adobo at the grocery store, puree it, and store it in the fridge – it’ll keep for a couple months, and you can use a spoonful whenever the mood strikes. A couple spoons of chipotle puree slathered on some brined chops, and another healthy dollop tossed with the potatoes made for a mighty tasty dinner.

Chipotle Grilled Chops & Roasted Potatoes
Serves 2

2 pork chops, about an inch thick
2 quarts water
1/3 cup kosher salt

Chipotle Puree to taste

  1. Fill a large bowl with the water, add the salt and stir to dissolve. Place the chops in the water and let them brine for 30-60 minutes on the counter. When you’re ready to grill, take the chops out of the water, rinse them off quickly and pat dry with paper towel. Slather the chops on both sides with some chipotle puree.
  2. Grill the chops for 4 minutes on each side on a pre-heated grill, and serve with the roasted potatoes.
  3. Taking the time to brine the chops will help keep them moist when you grill them, as well as seasoning them all the way through.

Chipotle Roasted Potatoes
Serves 2

2 medium potatoes (I used my favorite German Butterball taters from Nichols’ Farm)
1 carrot
salt
1 T olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 T chipotle puree

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Scrub the potatoes and carrot. Cut the taters and carrot into bite-sized cubes, and toss into a bowl. Sprinkle the potatoes with some salt, add the minced garlic, plop in some chipotle puree and toss to coat. Spray a sheet tray with oil, add the potatoes and roast for 45 minutes, stirring halfway through. Serve with grilled chops.

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