Sunday, 5 May 2013

Greek Influenced Grilled Pork Chops

    This year spring felt like a bit of a flirt.  The weather would warm up a little, only to snow the next day.  I still have the snow tires on the van, because every time I would think about getting them off, it would snow again (before you roll your eyes, I have an appointment to get them off this Friday).  I was beginning to wonder if I would ever be able to wear a t-shirt outside again, or see the grass for that matter.  Finally, after lots of false starts, spring has sprung!  Glorious, beautiful spring!!!!!

    The nice weather signals the beginning of barbecue season.  That season where you walk down the street and the smell of the neighbours barbecue makes you drool like a teething baby.  You smell the air like Scooby- Doo, trying to play guess that meal.  Stupidly you keep hoping that your spouse has beat you home and that amazing smell is coming from your back yard.  You arrive home, and make something stupid like mac and cheese because everyone is starving.
    To celebrate the beautiful weather I decided that it was time to kick the barbecue up a bit beyond hot dogs and hamburgers.  I pulled out my cookbooks and began to search for delicious pork chop recipes (can you tell that pork chops were on sale).  I came across this picture of lovely little bits of pork nuzzled in a pita, on a bed of sliced red onions, tomatoes and what I assume was tzatziki sauce (you know that delicious yogurt/cucumber sauce that you get in Greek restaurants).  This is what I decided I would make for my family.  I scanned the list of ingredients, I did not have most of them, and many of them looked too spicy.  I decided that I would adjust the recipe.  This usually spells disaster.  I am famous for substituting and then being surprised at the less than stellar outcome. 
   Normally I make my marinade as I am putting the meat into the oven, then I wonder why the meat is not tender or tasty.  This time I broke with tradition and made the marinade in the morning.  I got a bowl, and mixed 1/2 tsp chili powder (the recipe called for more, but I just can't do spicy), 1 garlic clove that I grated (the original recipe called for 4 cloves), 4 tsp honey, 6 tsp extra virgin olive oil, 6 tsp lemon juice,  some freshly ground pepper, 2 tsp Greek spices.  I whisked them all together, and then put them aside while I put my pork chops into two Ziplock bags.  I then poured half of the marinade into both bags, placed them on a cookie sheet, and put them in the fridge.  I made the marinade in the morning and let is soak in the fridge for the day.

    As the barbecue heated, I took the cookie sheet with the meat out to the deck.  I then handed off to my husband.  The barbecue is his domain at least that's what he keeps telling me.  I'm not going to complain, it's one less step for me, and honestly he does a really great job.  Having said of all of that...
have you ever noticed when you have people over for a barbecue, you spend hours in the kitchen,  making hundreds of salads.  You make a marinade for the meat that you purchased.  You make a delicious dessert.  You buy all of the supplies, see to every little detail.  Your husband grills the meat.  Everyone compliments your husband on the wonderful meal.  They rave about what an amazing job he has done on the barbecue.  Oh it burns, and I'm not talking about the meat.

    The chops were delicious!  Christopher cooked them to perfection.  None of my kids declared that they hated them, in fact they actually all raved.  This recipe is definitely a keeper!  The meat was tender and flavourful.  The ingredients in the marinade are all things that I have readily available in the house.  It took just a few minutes to make the marinade, and then it just soaked until dinner.  These bad boys were a hit, and will be making the summer meal rotation!

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