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Aztec Style Pork Chops

Jane ButelThis recipe has been reproduced with the kind permission of Jane Butel and comes from her latest book Real Women Eat Chile.

Often credited with starting the Tex-Mex mania, Jane Butel published her first cookbooks on New Mexican and American Mexican food in the 1960s. Sixteen cookbooks later, her books and her Cooking School in Albuquerque, which Bon Appetit called among "the best in the US", bring you all there is to know and love about this cuisine.

Jane is an internationally recognized authority on the regional cooking of the American Southwest. The daughter and granddaughter of accomplished home economists, she is a cookbook author, teacher and television personality.

Her interest in Southwestern cooking predates its current widespread popularity by decades. She was the first to write about the cooking style that evolved in the Southwestern border area and is credited with starting the USA's love affair with this cuisine.

Jane operates her own site-based Cooking Schools, which have been recognized far and wide for their quality of instruction. Jane's Cooking School specializes in week long and weekend full participation classes on New Mexican and Southwestern cooking - to find out more click here.

Aztec Style Pork ChopsYou’ve got to give the Aztecs credit for chipotles—they are the spicy, subtly smoky red jalapeños that give this recipe a super punch. The honey and cinnamon pair beautifully with the pork and serve to make for a lacquered brown on the outside of the chops. You are set here with spice for a very healthy entrée. I like these served with spiced steamed spinach and whipped sweet potatoes —special enough for company.


2 dried chipotle chiles, reconstituted (see instructions below), minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup honey
1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground pure mild red chile
4 pork loin chops (1-inch thick), trimmed of excess fat
4 cinnamon sticks
4 slices jicama, each ¼-inch thick


  • In a shallow bowl, combine the drained chiles, garlic, honey, ground cinnamon, and ground chile.
  • Add enough chipotle cooking liquid to make a thick paste.
  • Marinate for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Preheat the grill, stovetop grill, or a large, heavy, seasoned skillet to medium high.
  • Grill the chops for 8 minutes per side.
  • At the same time and on the same surface, grill the jicama until it is slightly edged with brown on each side.
  • To serve, top each chop with a cinnamon stick. Overlap each chop with a slice of the grilled jicama.

Reconstituted chipotles:

  • To reconstitute chipotles in a microwave oven, place the pods in a 4-cup glass measuring cup.
  • Cover with water and add 1 teaspoon cider vinegar.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and cook for 5 minutes, on full power or until the skin slips on the flesh.

Serves: 4

Jane Butel

Reprinted with permission from Real Women Eat Chiles by Jane Butel