Sunday, May 29, 2011

Recipe of the Week: Sweet and Garlicky Pork Chops

Here's another classic recipe which is both simple and delicious, Steven Raichlen's Garlicky Pork Chops. I could have sworn that I've posted this recipe before because I've made this meal numerous times, but I couldn't find it on the blog, so here it is. Hopefully this isn't the second time I've posted this recipe, but if it is maybe it will get you excited to try it out for this upcoming BBQ season.

Not sure if you can tell, but it's raining in this picture; typical. Well the day started off nice and I had plans to BBQ, so nothing was going to hold me back.

The finished product, look at that sweet and delicious char on the edges, which is why YOU HAVE to BBQ these pork chops, you could cook them on a grill pan, but it just isn't the same. The name of the recipe couldn't better describe this meal. To make it simple think a sesame oil, garlicky teriyaki pork chop.

There are a few things to keep in mind to take this dish from good to great:

  • If you have time marinade overnight (the recipe says 1-2 hours, but I think the more time the more flavorful)

  • Use a hot grill, don't put the pork chops on until it's nice and hot otherwise you won't get that nice char, which is the best part of the finished product

  • Cook 4-6 minutes per side, try not to overcook because the pork chops will lose some of their juiciness and flavor, also they will cook while you let them sit on the cutting board

Now on to the recipe:

What you need:

  • 4 thick (1 inch) or 8 thin (1/2 inch) pork chops - about 2 pounds in all - I recommend the thick cuts

  • 1 head garlic, broken into cloves and peeled

  • 3 T sugar

  • 1/3 C Asian fish sauce or soy sauce (go with good fish sauce)

  • 3 T honey

  • 3 T rice wine

  • 2 T Asian (dark) sesame oil

  • 1 T grated fresh ginger

  • 2 t salt

  • 1 t freshly ground black pepper

  • A FOOD PROCESSOR - a good blender, may work, but I highly recommend you get access to a food processor

What to do:

  • Make 1 or 2 cuts in the fat side of each pork chop to keep it from curling during grilling. Arrange the chops in a baking dish and set aside.

  • Combine the garlic and sugar in a mini chopper or food processor and process to a paste or pound to a paste in a mortar using the pestle. Work in the fish sauce, honey, rice wine, sesame oil, ginger, salt, and pepper. Using a rubber spatula, spread the mixture over both sides of the chops. Cover and let marinate in the fridge for 1 to 2 hours, I say more for more flavor. Also turn the chops a few times throughout the marinating process to make sure each side gets coated.

  • Preheat the grill to high - please use charcoal and never use lighter fluid to get it started (use a chimney or my propane starter BBQ)

  • When ready to cook, oil the grill grate.

  • Arrange the chops on the hot grate and grill until nicely browned on both sides and cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes per side for thick chops half that time for thinner chops.

  • Shold read 160 degrees internally when cooked.

  • The chops will have a great juice after finished so I recommend serving with rice.

Here's hoping for better weather because I'll be BBQ'ing rain or shine and would prefer to soak up some rays rather than rain while I'm cooking.

- Kyle

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