It's May, and that means grilling season is officially here. So fill up the propane tank or buy a new bag of charcoal, and get your flame on.
There's really nothing you can't cook on the grill, but plenty of folks never get past the basics.
If the only pork you ever put on the grill is a slab of ribs, consider chops and tenderloins for an easy and tasty dinner.
For some inspiration, consider the new book by James Beard-winning authors Cheryl and Bill Jamison, 100 Grilling Recipes You Can't Live Without: A Lifelong Companion (Harvard Common Press, $16.95).
It's packed with plenty of grilling advice and 100 tried-and-true recipes, including this one for dry-rubbed pork chops.
Church picnic pork chops
For the chile dry rub:
2 tablespoons sweet paprika
1 tablespoon kosher salt or coarse sea salt
1 tablespoon ground chipotle chile
1 tablespoon ground dried mild to medium-hot red chile, such as New Mexican, ancho or pasilla, or a combination of these chiles
1 teaspoon ground cumin
¾ teaspoon sugar
For the chops:
4 bone-in center-cut pork chops, ¾-inch thick (10 to 11 ounces each)
Vegetable oil spray
Favorite barbecue sauce (optional)
At least 2 hours and up to 8 hours before you plan to grill the chops, combine dry rub ingredients in a small bowl. Coat chops with spicemixture, place them in a zip-top plastic bag, and refrigerate.
Fire up the grill to medium.
Remove chops from the refrigerator and let them sit at room temperature about 20 minutes.
Spritz chops with oil and transfer them to the grill. Grill, uncovered, for 20 to 23 minutes, turning three times while cooking. Rotate chops a half turn each time for crisscross grill marks. The chops are done when barely white at the center with clear juices. (Don't confuse the colors of the rub and the juices.)
Serve the chops hot, with barbecue sauce on the side, if you wish.
Makes 4 servings.