Easy, Spicy, Juicy Baked Pork Chops

 I'm always on the lookout for easy-to-prepare dinners that are filled with flavor, and this one fills the bill on both counts. Taking less than 10 minutes to prepare, it bakes in a fast oven for 30-40 minutes -- while you relax, chill the wine, freshen the flowers, and set the table.  Added bonus: there's practically no clean-up -- all of the prep is right in the baking dish!

Low in calories and carbs, this recipe boasts a delectable rub that is both sweet and spicy, and seals in all the natural juices of the pork.  Serve simply with a crisp Beaujolais, a fresh salad of mixed greens, and a baked potato.

2 center cut loin pork chops (bone in)
1/2 tsp. each of :
   * Good-quality Hungarian paprika
   * Dried thyme
   * Onion salt
   * Garlic salt
   * Cayenne pepper
   * Ground celery seed
   * Freshly ground five-pepper peppercorns
2 tbsp. Crown Grade A Light-Amber pure maple syrup (see below)
1 tbsp. high-quality honey

1. Sprinkle all dry spices in the bottom of a ceramic baking dish.
2. Gently dredge chops in spice mixture, making sure mixture covers edges, bone, and both sides of chops.
3. Lay seasoned chops flat in baking dish.
4. Drizzle maple syrup and honey over chops.

5. Bake in 400F degree oven for 30-40 mins, or until chops are sizzling and cooked through. Allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving.

The Empty Nester Gourmet Recommends ...

Crown Maple Syrup

Certified Organic, Locally Produced, Available in Light, Medium and Amber

Excellent, high-quality maple syrup