In Marwin Brown’s kitchen, nearly every dish reminds him of a song, but sometimes the song inspires the dish.

Brown is the Austin-based blogger behind Food Fidelity, a recipe and cooking blog that is also infused with Brown’s love of music. When this music director and recipe developer cooks air-fried ribeyes, avocado salad, fried rice, street tacos, red beans and rice and spaghetti and meat sauce, he’s listening to Amos Lee, Rare Essence, Prince, Kelly Price, Lil Kim and J. Cole, and he uses his blog to weave them together.

When he made thick-cut pork chops recently, he set out to blacken them under the broiler and then fry them, a la Cuban fried pork, but when Brown pulled these chops out of the oven, he decided to stop while he was ahead, he later wrote on Instagram (@foodfidelity).

"Sometimes, like that Rolling Stones song vines, ’You can’t always get what you want, but if you keep trying you might get just what you need,’" he wrote. "Sometimes it’s just best to keep things simple and be grateful for the things that are right in front of you."

He shared the recipe for what he’s calling the "You Can’t Always Get What You Want" Blackened Pork Chops on his blog and allowed us to share it here as part of our ongoing #Austin360Cooks project. If you have a dish you love to make, or a unique source of culinary inspiration, post about it on social media or email me at

’You Can’t Always Get What You Want’ Blackened Pork Chops

Blackened pork chops brined overnight and broiled to perfection for juicy chops with big bold flavor. Pork chops have very little fat on them, so it’s very easy to overcook them into a dry mess. Brining adds moisture, flavor and color, all but making cooking the chops idiot-proof. At its core, a brine is just a liquid marinade with high salt content. Since meat contains salt, when it is submerged in a liquid with a higher salt content, the liquid is absorbed into the meat. The meat retains moisture, helping to yield juicy results on the grill.

Other tips: Use an oil with a high smoke point. I prefer ghee (clarified butter), but you can get by with canola or olive oil. How long you broil will depend on the thickness of the pork chops. To test for doneness, insert an instant-read thermometer into the thickest part of the chop. Once it reads 135 degrees, remove the chop from the heat and let rest. It will continue cooking in rest mode and reach the desired 140-145 degrees.

— Marwin Brown

For the brine:

4 cups water

1/4 cup cider vinegar

1/4 cup kosher salt

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon black pepper

Fresh thyme sprigs

2 bone-in thick-cut pork chops

For the blackening mix:

1 1/2 tablespoons smoked sweet paprika

1 teaspoon cayenne

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon ground sage

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

For the brine: Mix brine ingredients (water, vinegar, sugar, salt, herbs) together in a large pot. (You can cut slices into the fatty side of the chop, per the photo, to create more surface area for the sear, or you can leave it as it is.) Place pork chops in a large zip-top bag or glass container and add brine. Brine at least 4 hours, but overnight preferred. Mix together blackening spice rub and reserve.

Make the pork chops: Remove chops from the brine. Pat dry with paper towels. Brush the chops with olive oil or melted ghee and rub the chops generously with the spices. Set chops aside and allow to reach room temperature

Heat oven or broiler to 500 degrees. Place cast-iron skillet or grill pan on upper rack and allow pan to heat for 10 minutes. Carefully remove pan and add chops, then place pan back into the oven. Broil 4 minutes per side, then remove. Let chops rest 5 minutes before serving.

— From Marwin Brown,