Saturday, February 2, 2008

Pork Chops

I'm sure some of you are thinking, oh great, Pork Chops. I'm sure we all grew up eating pork chops that were, well....not good. Dry and chewy, and you HAD to dip them in something to help chew them. Ick. However, I have discovered the wonders of brining!!! Though you have to plan ahead a bit, this is an EASY way to make really good, moist pork chops. I will explain the brining and then post a yummy recipe for Grilled Yucatan Pork Chops and Southwestern Rice Pilaf. Here goes:

I used to buy the nice, thick boneless pork chops at Costco but they're just too thick to cook easily and I end up butterflying them instead. Now I buy the bone-in chops and I love how they come out.

To brine 4 pork chops:
In a non-reactive bowl (glass), mix together 5 cups water, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1/4 cup kosher salt. Put the pork chops in the brine, cover and refrigerate overnight. After brining, rinse chops and season as desired. I love to just put salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder on them and grill them. YUM. And make sure you don't overcook them - don't turn them a lot, and cook them until JUST slightly kind of pinkish inside. They will continue to cook a bit as they rest. These days, we really don't have to cook pork as much as in the past - 160 degrees is sufficient. So here is a yummy recipe to try along with a rice side dish - hope you like it!

Grilled Yucatan Pork Chops
1 can diced green chiles, 7 oz can
2 tablespoons Olive oil
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon minced garlic
4 8 oz pork chops
Pineapple Salsa (below)

(brine pork chops overnight before seasoning). In bowl, combine 1/4 cup green chiles, oil, chili powder, cumin and garlic. Rub onto both sides of pork chops. Cover; chill at least one hour. Grill or broil coated pork chops for 6 to 8 minutes per side or until done.

Pineapple Salsa:
In small bowl, combine remaining green chiles, 1 8 ounce can crushed pineapple (drained), 1/2 cup each diced red pepper and chopped green onions, 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro and 1 teaspoon lemon juice. Let stand 1 hour to blend flavors.

Southwestern Rice Pilaf
7 cups water
2 1/2 tablespoons chicken bouillon
1 tablespoon ground cumin
3 cups long-grain white rice -- uncooked
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup slivered almonds
3/4 cup green onions -- chopped

Combine first 3 ingredients in a dutch oven; bring to a boil and stir in rice. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender. Melt butter in a skillet; add nuts and cook, stirring constantly, until golden. Stir nuts and green onions into rice.

(Jaime, I'll post a homemade pizza recipe soon. :)


Coatney Family said...

mmmmmmm. thank you, thank you. I'm forever making dry, tasteless pork chops. Brining here I come! Thank you. I'm going to make these for Sunday dinner. You're the best!

Auntie M said...

Okay, finally made these last night. ( I kept forgetting to take the pork chops out of the freezer in enough time to thaw and brine!) and they were so moist! And the rice was incredible. Allen, of course, loved them (he's a pork fat rules kind of guy) and I liked them, which is saying something, as I am not a pork fan at all. Three +++ on my yum-o-meter!