Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Tropical Grilled Pork Chops

I was skeptical to try a pork chop recipe because growing up, I remember pork chops as a rather tough in texture meat to eat. However, this recipe changed my relationship with pork chops and provided a great intro to the summer season!

Grocery List:
4 boneless pork chops
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 tablespoon water, or as needed
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup of chopped mango
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of cilantro
2 teaspoons of lemmon juice
1 poblano pepper, minced (if you want a spicier taste with the sweet, try jalapeno pepper)
1 cup of unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup of pineapple, minced
1 pinch of white pepper
1/3 cup soy sauce

Well, I got another new toy from World Market - the mortar and pestle. It is one of those things that looks all 17th Century apothecary-esque , a faux marble bowl with a grinding-like tool.

(this is a picture from the World Market website of the one I got, $14.99)

After mincing the garlic in the food processor, I combined the chili powder and the cayenne with the garlic and mashed it together in the mortar with the pestle, adding the water to form a paste. Next, I took a small saucepan, added the vegetable oil and the paste on high heat until it began to bubble. Then I added the vinegar and turned the heat to low, stirring continuously. Next, stir in the sugar until it dissolves and turn up the heat to medium.

While this simmers, go ahead and cut your mango. Now, I have never seen a mango before today, certainly not familiar with chopping it up. First, I peeled it - that was a good start. Then, I started cutting it horizontally, until I hit a hard spot, which was the seed, that I just couldn't seem to get around. I basically minced what I could around the seeded portion and I got the 1/2 cup of mango that I needed from about 1/2 of the mango. Once you have the mango portion, add it to the saucepan cooking on the stove along with the salt, cilantro, lemon juice and the poblano pepper (or jalapeno for spicier tastebuds). To conjure the flavors from the various spices, let this simmer on the stove for about 15-20 minutes. Next, stir in the applesauce and pineapple chunks, then add the white pepper, and let cook for another 10 minutes.

Last, add the soy sauce and your marinade is complete!

To help tenderize the pork chops, I did add a meat tenderizer that I already had in my spice cabinet. If you have meat tenderizer, I would suggest it, but it is not a necessity. Take your pork chops and put them in a Ziploc bag, followed by the contents of your marinade from the saucepan. Move the pork around in the bag, making sure all chops and sides of the pork are coated, then place in the fridge for at least 1 hour.

I went to a happy hour at Primo's with some ladies from work during this 1 hour marinading time...

When I returned, slightly over 1 hour later, I used my griddle - a grill-like mechanism that sits on the burners of your stove. I believe it was an infomercial product from Bed, Bath & Beyond or Target that I bought when I moved into my first Dallas apartment 3.5 years ago. One can use a large skillet to achieve the same results, or a real grill, but I do love my griddle.

Coat whatever you use as your grilling surface in a light PAM spray or something equivalent, then place your pork chops on the surface on high heat. Flip frequently and add additional marinade to the top of each pork chop once you flip. After about 15 minutes, the meat will be cooked and you have yourself delicious tropical grilled pork chops.

To compliment this entree, I chopped squash, zucchini, carrots and broccoli, and steamed them in a skillet. After they were steamed to perfection, I sprinkled with garlic salt and soy sauce for flavor.

For the calorie conscious, this meal is listed as only 270 for the pork and 130 for the veggies. Not too shabby!

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