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Spiced Cocoa-Crusted Pork Loin Chop

The other night, we ate the MOST decadent, deliciously chocolate-laden meal and dessert of my life — and it’s all because of YOU, my dear readers. You see, because of you, I was not satisfied with making just one dish for the Savory Spice Shop promotion — nor was I content with the two I already posted. No — I needed a full six course meal full of cocoa-liscious recipes.

Of course, you don’t have to eat this much cocoa in one night if you don’t want to. These dishes are designed to work together, bringing new and different subtle nuances to the meal and NEVER, EVER overwhelming you with sweet chocolate flavor but rather to showcase what different cocoas, married with different spices, can bring to the palate.

You’ve already received the appetizer (savory Dutch Cocoa-Dusted Gorgonzola Truffles, pair them with a juicy red!) and the salad (Strawberries and Arugula with a Cocoa Vinaigrette). Today, I will share with you the main entrée — Spiced Cocoa-Crusted Pork Loin Chops, which we ate with Cacao-Onion Gravy over mashed potatoes and Roasted Vegetables Mole and for dessert Black Onyx Midnight Lava Cake served with Vanilla Ice Cream and Raspberry-Cabernet sauce.

Though this was a feat for me, that required hours in the kitchen to execute all together (remember, recipe creation takes longer than just preparation), many of these dishes can be prepared and cooked up in less than 30 minutes. The most difficult part of all of it was the homemade Mole (for which I created a hybrid of Poblano and Oaxacan flavors). I recommend that if you want to take the time to make mole from scratch (which is TOTALLY worth it!) that you make a big batch and freeze it for future use in enchiladas, tacos, roasted meats etc.

In creating these dishes, I had to be very careful that the cocoa did not overwhelm the dish and that the flavors of the different components of the meal complimented one another and did not make the eater sick of cocoa. According to my husband (the world’s most willing guinea pig) I accomplished this deftly. I hope you’ll agree.

If you’d like to use the exact variety of cocoas I did, check out Savory Spice Shop’s cocoa collection (6 varieties) or buy their Loco Cocoa sampler and mix up some crazy cocoa creations yourself.

Spiced Cocoa-Crusted Loin Chops

  • 1 Tbsp white peppercorn seeds
  • 1 Tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tsp ground clove
  • 4 Tbsp Mayan Cocoa (cocoa, chilis,cinnamon and vanilla)
  • 3 Tbsp sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 to 3 pounds of boneless pork tenderloin chops

Pre-heat over to 400 degrees. Toast seeds over medium heat in a small dry skillet until you begin to see light browning and hear popping sounds. Remove from heat and let cool before pulsing in a coffee grinder to a fine dusty powder. Add to large bowl and mix with Mayan cocoa, salt and ground cloves. Add chops one at a time, covering them in the dusky amber colored powder. Make sure cover the entire chop, even the fatty edge. Set on a cutting board or plate until all chops are coated. Bring 2 tbsp of olive oil to temp in a skillet on medium heat. Once the oil is hot add some chops to the pan, being careful not to overcrowd (overcrowding can reduce the pan’s heat and ruin your sear) about 1.5 minutes each side (be sure to sear the fat on the sides as well. Move to a waiting broiler pan, adding chops as they finish searing. When all chops are seared, slip them into the oven to cook for 5 to 8 more minutes, depending on thickness of loin cut or until a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees.

Your chops will be juicy and infused with spicy cocoa flavor throughout. Enjoy!