Pork chops get a tropical sweet and sour twist with a coconut panko crust and a grilled pineapple salsa.
A two-way love affair is happening here. Not only do fruit and pork chops love each other but coconut and pineapple do too. Pina colada flavors. Minus the rum.
I love how versatile coconut is! Savory, spicy or sweet – it plays nice anyway you want to use it.
You can use boneless or bone-in chops – I used thick boneless ones. To help tenderize the chops and bring in more of that fruity flavor it’s a good idea to marinate them in pineapple juice for a few hours. The extra step makes dry, tough chops a thing of the past.
The salsa is sweet, spicy and a little sour with pineapple, jalapeno peppers, tomatoes, cilantro and lime juice. Bright and sunny. A necessary component for making these chops complete.
Pork chops get a tropical twist with a coconut-panko crust and a grilled pineapple salsa.
- 1 - 3 hours ahead of time drain and pour the pineapple juice from the canned pineapple for the salsa into a large bowl. Prick the pork chops a few times on both sides with a fork and add them to the bowl turning to coat them. Cover and refrigerate. You can also make the salsa a few hours ahead of time to allow the flavors to develop - cover and refrigerate.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a large roasting pan lightly with olive oil or line with parchment first then grease.
- In a small bowl mix the coconut, panko, chile powder, cumin, paprika and a couple dashes of salt and pepper. Mix well and add half to a shallow plate (add more as needed).
- Remove the chops from the pineapple juice and gently pat dry with a paper towel.
- Working one at a time use a pastry brush to coat the chops lightly all over with oil. Dredge with the crumb mixture using your fingers to pat them on and then place in pan.
- Sprinkle the tops of the chops lightly with the leftover crumbs and bake 18-25 minutes depending on the size of your chops - until internal temperature reaches 150 - 160 degrees F.
- Heat a grill pan, a grill or a nonstick skillet over medium heat and lightly grease. Cook the pineapple slices until charred on both sides. Allow them to cool then chop them up - I like the pieces to be on the smaller side for this.
- Toss the pineapple with the remaining salsa ingredients and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Allow the pork chops to rest 5 minutes before serving with the salsa.
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