Recipe: Pork chops and black bean salad by Charlie Abowd

Grilled pork with tropical salsa

Grilled pork with tropical salsa

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I’m sure like myself, most of you are feeling a touch of fall in the air. Our mornings are cooler, the light is changing, and even though the days are still hot, the intensity is waning.

That means our growing season will be winding down and the farmer’s market season will soon be coming to an end. I encourage each of you to come down to Third and Curry streets on a Saturday while you still have the chance.

Local farmers work hard to bring us the finest, fresh and organic fruits, vegetables and flowers each week. Market manager Linda Marrone takes on this endeavor each year with unstoppable energy and commitment and a lot of love. We are lucky indeed.

The sense of community fostered by people gathering to shop, visit and enjoy a beautiful Saturday while supporting local growers is part of the fiber for me makes Carson City the perfect place to live.

The 3rd & Curry St. Farmer’s Market continues every Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., through Sept. 19.

On another note, I would like to thank the community for its support of Officer Carl Howell’s family through all the donations and food purchases made Aug. 20 at Cafe at Adele’s. Thanks to the combined force of the community’s generosity and Adele’s matching funds, Karen and I were able to make a substantial deposit at Heritage Bank to the Officer Carl Howell Memorial Fund, on Aug. 24. The account was established by the Deputy Sheriff’s Association, and according to the organization’s president, Deputy Sheriff Don Gibson, will remain open until Officer Howell’s wife, Rachel, chooses to close it. I encourage everyone to visit any Heritage Bank branch and make a deposit.

This month, we’re going to cook a wonderful meal of pork chops with peach-mango salsa, with black bean salad on the side. The black bean salad was one dish we shared with our fellow travelers at Burning Man. These recipes are a natural bridge between light summer and heavier cooler season fare. Part of the delight in this presentation is how the colors pop on the plate; an edible work of art anyone can accomplish.

Check the ingredients list, as I’m sure you‘ll find some of what you need at the farmer’s market.

Here we go!

Pork chops cooked two ways (your preference) 

Serves 4

You will need:

4 thick-cut chops (1 1/2 inch)

Olive oil

Sea salt (I prefer Maldano’s) and fresh-ground pepper

The chops can be cooked two ways, either seared and put in the oven or barbecued and put in the oven.

For the seared method, pour about a 1/4-inch of olive oil in two separate skillets on medium-high heat. When to temperature, place two chops in each skillet (or all four in one skillet, provided you have one big enough) and sear for three minutes on each side. Season with sea salt and fresh ground pepper. On both sides, before searing. Drain oil and place pork chops in preheated, 350 degrees oven for 12 minutes, which yields perfect medium done pork chops.

For the barbecue method, heat the grill and put the chops on until both sides are marked, no more than five minutes per side. Season with sea salt and fresh ground pepper. On both sides prior to grilling. Then remove to a baking dish and place pork chops in preheated, 350 degrees oven for 12 minutes. There is no need to cook your pork chops to death.

Peach-mango salsa

Prepare the day before, so flavors can marry!

You will need:

1 softball-size or 2 smaller peaches

1 sweet onion, preferably red, chopped

2 jalapenos, finely chopped

3 limes, juiced

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

2 large tablespoons sweet red pepper, chopped

Sea salt to taste

Fresh-ground pepper to taste

Be sure to prepare the salsa the day before serving, in order to give the flavors time to marry.

Peaches will be cut into approximately 1/2-inch pieces; same for the mango. This time of year, limes tend to be a bit hard, so to make juicing easier, place the limes in the microwave for about one minute. This will soften them, making juicing easier.

Combine all ingredients gently, cover and set aside until time to serve. It will go on top of your wonderfully cooked pork chops.

And now, the salad.

Abowd family black bean salad

Serves 4-6

What you will need:

2 cups cooked black beans or 2 cans of black beans

1/4 cup finely chopped sweet red onions

1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro

2 large ears raw corn

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

Combine ingredients in a bowl. Remember, you can cook your own beans or use canned beans. If using canned, be sure to rinse and drain thoroughly before placing in the bowl. The corn will need to be cut off the cob, prior to adding. Beans tend to suck up liquid, therefore, you may need to add a bit more lime juice and salt to taste. Have a good time and play with the consistency and seasoning. Remember, it’s cooking, not baking.

Chef Charlie Abowd co-owns Café at Adele’s with his wife Karen Abowd. Café at Adele’s is located at 1112 N. Carson St., Carson City. For more information or to makes reservations, call 775-882-3353, or visit


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