Chili-Dusted Pork Chops

Enjoy these chili-dusted pork chops topped with watercress butter and fried leeks!
Course: Dinner
Servings: 6


  • 6 pork chops
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup apple cider
  • 1 oz. Kosher salt coarse
  • 1/2 oz. brown sugar
  • 2 dried pasilla chili (or poblano)
  • 2 leeks large
  • 2 cups oil for frying
  • 4 oz. flour
  • salt and pepper to taste

Watercress butter

  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 1/2 cup watercress leaves lightly steamed
  • salt and pepper to taste


Brine pork chops

  • Combine water, cider, kosher salt, and brown sugar. Marinate the pork chops in this brine overnight.

Prepare pepper dust

  • Remove the seeds and stems from the dried chili peppers. Place in a food processor or blender and grind until still slightly coarse.

Watercress butter

  • In as mall heavy-bottomed saucepot, reduce the wine to 1⁄4 cup over medium-high flame. Cool to room temperature and mix with the shallots, lightly steamed watercress, butter, and season to taste.
  • Use wax paper to roll the cooled watercress butter mixture into a 1-inch thick “log” and refrigerate. Ten minutes before serving, cut the butter in 1⁄4-inchthick disks.

Fried leeks

  • Remove the dark green end of the leek. Cut the remaining part in half lengthwise and then cut across so that each section is approximately 2–2 1⁄2 inches in length.
  • Cut these lengthwise into long thin “julienne” strips. Rinse in a colander to remove any dirt. Shake dry, but allow a small amount of moisture to remain.
  • Pre-heat frying oil to 350° in a saucepot. Toss the cut leeks with flour and shake off all excess flour. Deep fry in small batches until crisp. Drain onto paper towels. Remove fried leeks from the oil and immediately season lightly with salt and pepper.

To finish

  • Remove pork chops from the brine and pat dry. “Dust” each pork chop on both sides with ground pasillas—the amount depends on how spicy you want the pork chops.
    Grill and finish in the oven if necessary to an internal temperature of 140°. Top with watercress butter and a mound of fried leeks.


Recipe by Bruce Riezenman, Chef/Owner of Park Avenue Catering and author of PairIt!
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