I’ve had a whole pork loin sitting in the ‘fridge for a few days, now, awaiting gastronomical inspiration.  My first thought was just to roast it, because I haven’t roasted a pork loin in forever – or maybe longer.  But the weather was so nice today that the grill was calling to me.  The grill won.

A couple of years ago, I made a pork chop with an andouille barbecue sauce from a recipe I found in Bon Appetit a few years prior to that.  I had andouille sausage in the freezer, so it was just a matter of cutting that pork loin into big ol’  fat chops for the grill.  Easy money.  I got 8 good-sized chops out of the loin.  4 were vacuum-packed and put in the freezer, the other four were grilled – 2 for us and 2 for friends.

The recipe is really easy – and really really flavorful.  I forgot just how much I enjoyed it – and won’t wait two years to make this one again!

Grilled Pork Chops with Chunky Andouille Barbecue Sauce

  • 1 1/2 cups diced andouille sausage (about 7 ounces)
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 6 1-inch-thick rib pork chops
  • Additional chili powder and ground cumin

Spray grill rack with nonstick spray and prepare barbecue (medium heat). Sauté sausage and onion in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat until onion begins to brown, about 8 minutes. Add tomato sauce, vinegar, sugar, 2 teaspoons chili powder, and 1 teaspoon cumin. Bring to boil; remove from heat.

Serve over grilled chops.

For the chops, sprinkle liberally with chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper and grill until juuuuuuuust barely cooked through.  No dried chops allowed!

We had a bleu cheese polenta and arugula as accompaniments.

Blue Cheese Polenta

  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup polenta
  • bleu cheese (about a tablespoon – more if you want it cheesier…)
  • pinch garlic powder, salt, and pepper

Bring milk, salt, pepper, and garlic to a boil, whisk in polenta and cook about 20 minutes – more or less according to individual package instructions.

Add cheese and stir until melted.

I rarely (if ever) make polenta with water.  Milk makes a wonderful, creamy polenta that is just out of this world good.  While my preference would be for whole milk, we seldom have it in the house so skim works.  A pat of butter helps, too.  And cheese.  Any cheese.


  • 7oz arugula
  • 1 tsp bacon fat
  • splash lingonberry vinegar
  • salt and pepper

Heat bacon grease in skillet.  Add arugula and cook until wilted.  Add a splash of lingonberry vinegar (or other fruity vinegar of your choice) and a pinch of salt and pepper.

It really was a fun dinner with a lot of really different flavors going on.  The fun part was that as different as the flavors were, they all went together really well.

This one could be a company dish really easily.