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seasonal-pork-chops.gif Andrew Bezek

Seasonal pork chops come out to play

Grilled, seared and succulent, pork chops are dressed for a successful season in bright colors, acidic flavors, smoky sauces and blossoming side dishes.

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Photo by Andrew Bezek 

Heritage pork chop

Michael “Ruby” Rubinstein, chef de cuisine, Momofuku, Las Vegas

Price: $49

Rubinstein is Vegas-born and raised, and his first job was on the breakfast buffet shift at Buffalo Bills Casino. Now as chef de cuisine at Momofuku’s first outpost in the West, Rubinstein has moved far beyond the buffet with plates like this: center-of-the-plate-worthy pork chop power surrounded by a garden-green cascade of watercress.

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Seared szechuan apple-vidalia pork chop

Benjamin Park, chef, Flying Squirrel Bar, Chattanooga, Tenn.

Price: $21

Spring patio season has sprung at the Flying Squirrel Bar, which looks like a treehouse transplanted amidst brick industrial buildings. One sign of the lighter, brighter seasons to come is this local pork chop, served with grilled cornbread, a Szechuan apple-Vidalia demiglace, young carrot puree and strawberry-spring pea mostardo.

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Grilled duroc pork chop

Peter Serantoni, chef/co-owner, Bruno’s Italian Kitchen, Brea, Calif.

Price: $24

Bruno’s highlights different menu items throughout the week — from Meatball Monday to Wine-d Down Wednesday and Seafood Sunday — but pork chops are a steady presence on the menu. This grill-marked chop is dressed for warmer weather with mashed fingerlings and a bit of pancetta, then topped with hazelnut salsa verde and microgreens.

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Photo courtesy of Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises 

Pork chop adobo

Cory Morris, chef, Nacional 27, Chicago

Price: $19.95

Nacional 27 has been in River North for 20 years now, serving food representing all 27 countries of Latin America. That’s a lot of ground to cover, and Cory Morris (formerly of Mercat a la Planxa) is forging new pathways, from Argentinian wood-fire cooking to Peruvian street food. He marinates this 10-ounce pork chop overnight in a mild adobo paste before grilling and topping with mango salsa and a generous handful of blistered shishito peppers.

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