Shaker Gourmet

The recipe this week comes from Shaker Chris of Exit Stage-Left:

Iowa Pork Chops with Maytag Blue Cheese Butter

For the blue cheese butter:

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 ounce Maytag Blue cheese, crumbled, at room temperature
1 tablespoon chopped toasted walnuts
1 tablespoon thinly slivered fresh basil
Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground black pepper

For the pork:

4 bone-in pork loin chops (each about 1 1/4 inches thick and 8 to 10 ounces)
2 cloves garlic, cut in half crosswise
Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground black pepper

1. Make the blue cheese butter: Place the butter and blue cheese in a mixing bowl and mash together with a fork. Stir in the walnuts and basil and season with salt and pepper to taste (add just a little salt; the cheese is already quite salty). The blue cheese butter can be kept refrigerated, covered, for 5 days or frozen for 3 months.

2. Set up the grill and preheat to high.

3. When ready to cook, rub both sides of each pork chop with a half clove of garlic, then season the chops generously with salt and pepper. Brush and oil the grill grate. Place the chops on the hot grate and grill until cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes per side. When ready to turn, the chops will be nicely browned on the bottom. To test for doneness, use the poke method; the meat should be firm but gently yielding. Or insert an instant-read meat thermometer sideways into a chop: The internal temperature should be about 160°F.

4. Transfer the grilled chops to a platter or plates and let rest for 2 minutes. Top each with a dollop of the blue cheese butter and serve.

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