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Please, PLEASE follow the recipe precisely. I left in every single word of Head Lizzard's instructions partly due to humor, but more importantly for emphasis. At least once in your life you should have a 'blackening' experience. Oh, and they're not as spicy as you think. Cooking time varies per the amount of chops. Prep time depends on 'cool down' time. I had to guess. (Note: If your not so courages, just use the amount of seasoning desired and "bronze" the chops stovetop on lower heat and increase the cook time. You can, also, partially cover the pan to keep the splatter down and encourage faster cooking. Just don't over cook.)
- 8 (5 ounce) pork chops, 3/4-inch thick
- 1⁄2 lb melted unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
- 2 1⁄2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 3⁄4 teaspoon white pepper
- 3⁄4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1⁄2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- 1⁄2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- NOTE: The 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, must be kept melted and warm in the skillet. Let the chops come to room remperature before blackening.
- Combine the seasoning mix ingredients thoroughly in a medium-size bowl.
- Heat a large cast-iron skillet over very high heat until it is extremely hot and just short of the point at which you see white ash or a white spot forming in the skillet bottom, about 8 minutes. (The time will vary according to the intensity of the heat source.) Heat the serving plates in a 250F oven.
- Just before cooking each chop, dip it in the melted butter so that both sides are well coated, then sprinkle each side generously and evenly with the seasoning mix (use between 1/4 and 1/2 teaspoon on each side), patting it in with your hands. (If you lay the chop on a plate or other surface to season it, be sure the surface is warm so the butter won't congeal and stick to the surface instead of to the chop.
- Wipe the surface clean after seasoning each chop. (Use any remaining seasoning mix in another recipe.) Immediately place the chop in the hot skillet. If the chop is very lean, pour about 1-teaspoon butter on top. (Be careful, as the butter may flame up.) If you cook more than 1 chop at a time, place each chop in the skillet before buttering and seasoning another one.Cook uncovered over the same high heat until the underside forms a crust, about 2 minutes (the time will vary according to the thickness of the chops and the heat of the skillet or fire). Turn the chops over and pour about 1 teaspoon more butter on top of each, if needed.
- Cook just until meat is done, about 2 minutes more. Serve the chops crustier side up while piping hot. Clean the skillet after cooking each batch and repeat the blackening procedure with the remaining chops.
- To serve, place 2 or 3 chops on each heated serving plate. If you use a serving platter, DO NOT STACK THE CHOPS.
- Some personal notes from Head Lizzard: If you do not have a heavy duty commercial range hood, capable of disposing of an incredible amount of smoke, DON'T cook this inside. If you live in an apartment, like I do, where your smoke detector is attached to a central fire system, you will very quickly become well known to all your neighbors, and your local firefighters. In all likelyhood you will also get to meet your landlord. A good, 40,000 BTU to 50,000 BTU barbecue will do a good job of providing sufficient heat. Be sure you have all your doors and windows closed, and invite your neighbors to the barbecue.
- This method generates a totally unbelievable amount of smoke.
- However, the results are worth it. Whatever you are cooking by this method, it is an entirely incredible taste experience.