Adobo Pork Chops – Food and Wine, June 2014

Grilling in action

Grilling of pork in action

For the first time, Christopher and I have access to a grill. Our new development has communal gas grills throughout, which means that I no longer chuck my “BEST GRILLING RECIPES!!!” food magazines in the trashcan bitterly. Instead, I’ve flipped through the Food and Wine June Grilling issue more times than I ever flipped through my school textbooks.

This is a fairly quick recipe to prepare – grilled bone-in pork chops slathered in a smokey, spicey stovetop sauce. I was excited by the opportunity to use up of more of this giant bag of peppers, some of which I will probably be able to hand down to my grandchildren.  The sauce is straightforward – saute an onion, then the garlic and chilies, add broth, puree.

The recipe’s directions, unfortunately, are not straightforward. “1 and 1/2 ounces dried guajillo chiles,” it says. I looked at my bag of chiles. “17 ounces!” it proclaimed. Having no desire to count each chili in the bag and divide by 17, I pulled out five chiles and hoped for the best. It worked just fine, so I think you’d be safe with 4-7 chiles, based on your willingness to experiment with spicy danger.

MY OTHER ISSUE WITH THIS RECIPE. The very end, it says “serve with corn salad.” There is no corn salad recipe on a single page in that entire issue of Food and Wine. The words “corn salad” are not, in fact, hyperlinked on the Food and Wine website. HELP ME OUT HERE, FOOD AND WINE.

So, in lieu of corn salad, I just made corn on the cob. It worked just fine.

PICTURED – MYSTERY CORN SALAD. Photo Credit: John Kernick

Adobo Pork Chops –  Recipe by Marcel Valladolid

(Food and Wine, June 2014)

My Notes:

  • I used my immersion blender for the sauce. If you do not own an immersion blender, this one  is the one I have. It’s $23 and two years old and still going strong. You can blend right in the saucepan, no messy and hot sauce transfers required. It also makes fabulous smoothies, and since you can move the wand around you don’t get fruit weirdly globbed up at the bottom of the blender.
  • I used five dried peppers, and used scissors to slice them down the side and shake out the seeds.
  • I am still bothered by this mystery corn salad.


  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 small white onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 1/2 ounces dried guajillo chiles, stemmed, seeded and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • Pinch of sugar
  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper
  • Four 1-inch-thick, bone-in pork rib chops
  • Corn salad, for serving


  1. In a medium saucepan, heat the oil. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5 minutes. Add the garlic and chiles and cook, stirring, until well toasted and fragrant, 2 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Simmer the sauce over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the chiles are softened, 5 minutes.
  2. Transfer the mixture to a blender, add the sugar and puree until smooth. Transfer the adobo sauce to a bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Light a grill and oil the grate. Season the chops with salt and pepper and rub with 3/4 cup of the adobo sauce. Grill over moderate heat, turning every 5 minutes and basting with the remaining 3/4 cup of sauce, until cooked through, 20 minutes. Transfer the chops to plates and let rest for 5 minutes. Serve with corn salad.

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