Old El Paso Pork Chops

Old El Paso Pork Chops seasoned with American Taco Spice.

I always have a homemade Mexican seasoning in my pantry that I like to call American Taco Spice.

If you sprinkle two tablespoons of it on a pound of ground beef, it will taste just like meat seasoned with the spice packet found in an Old El Paso taco kit. This type of taco seasoning and the popularity of tacos from Taco Bell have become the standard "taco" flavor in the U.S., although real Mexican tacos are vastly different.

My American Taco Spice seasoning doesn't require any water and it has no preservatives. It has a fresh taste with bolder flavors than the spice packet and makes for a mighty fine American taco. The star of the show is chili powder and cumin followed by salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder.

I use the seasoning on any cut of meat, not just for tacos and it's especially tasty on burgers. For this recipe, I sprinkled it on bone-in pork loin chops that I grilled for lunch. (Hence the name Old El Paso Pork Chops!) Joining the chops on the plate are microwave-steamed veggies and plain white rice. It was a healthy meal for two and the seasoning was key to making it extra delicious. The whole plate takes around a half hour to make.

Makes 1/2 cup
Store in jar with tight lid
3 Tbs Chili Powder
3 Tbs Kosher Salt
2 Tbs Cumin
2 Tbs Fresh Cracked Black pepper
1 Tbs Onion Powder
1 Tbs Garlic Powder

Mix together well. Use to season individual cuts of meat or 2 tablespoons per pound of ground meat for tacos.

Old El Paso Pork Chops with Veggies and Rice
Serves 2; 35 minutes
3  Bone-in Center Cut Pork Chops
2 Tbs American Taco Spice
1 Cup White Rice
12 oz (1 bag) Vegetable medley (Broccili, cauliflower and carrot)

Preheat grill to high. Season pork on both sides with American Taco Spice. (Approximately 1 teaspoon per side)

In a pot or sauce pan, stir rice in a little oil over high heat until well coated. Add 2 cups of water, boil and cover. Reduce heat to medium-low let simmer 10 minutes. Turn off heat, do not remove cover. Let steam until chops and veggies are finished. Remove lid and fluff.

Place chops over direct heat on grill. Let cook 3 1/2 minutes. Flip and cook 3 1/2 minutes more or until internal temperature reaches 130° for medium. Remove from grill, let rest 10 minutes.

In a microwave steam bag, Cook vegetables on high for five minutes. Let steam an extra minute or two more once microwave shuts off. Remove from bag. Start microwave as soon as chops are removed from grill and are resting.

Place a scope of rice, some veggies and a chop on plate and serve.

The chops were on sale: 3 weighing 1.30 lbs @ $2.99 per pound cost $3.89. The veggies were 40% off and cost $1.49 for 1 12 oz bag. The rice and seasoning were in my pantry. So the total cost of the fresh ingredients per serving was $2.68.  That's a steal for this yummolicious meal!

Eat well, cook often ...

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