Yesterday was one of those experimental days. We are trying to eat more healthy in our household, which means lots of fresh salads and grilled chicken. Tasty.... but predictable. I was in the mood for something different, so decided to review the grocery circulars to see what specials might sound appealing and cost effective. Boneless Pork Chops seemed to fit the bill: 10 for $10 - a bargain!
The problem, however, is that I have never cooked pork chops. I vaguely remember eating pan fried chops on the bone as a child, but since it was not a favorite, I didn't try to recreate that eating experience as an adult. But I knew there had to be other healthy and flavorful ways to prepare this meat, so I did what I always do when faced with a question: consult the internet.
Ultimately I settled on two different recipes, both of which we thoroughly enjoyed. The first recipe, Thai Pork Satay, I discovered at All-Recipes - a website that I have used for several years with great satisfaction. The original recipe marinated bite-sized pieces of pork to be grilled on a shish kabob accompanied with bell peppers, onions, and water chestnuts. I chose to marinate the pork chops in an 8x8 pan for about three hours before grilling them whole. We LOVED it! The meat was tender and juicy, and the peanut butter provided a subtle, unexpected flavor.
Ingredients for Thai Pork Satay marinade:
- 1/4 cup crunchy peanut butter (I had creamy on hand and it worked fine)
- 1/4 cup finely chopped green onion (I used onion powder)
- 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic (I used garlic powder)
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes (I used several dashes of Frank's hot sauce)
As you can tell, I made a lot of adjustments to fit my particular tastes and utilize what I had on hand. I mixed all the ingredients in a small bowl, and then spread over the chops. Very easy ...
The second recipe I found on Pinterest (how did we spend our time before the development of this website?!!) I conducted a search for grilled pork chops and this one caught my eye: Tailgater's Grilled Pork Chops - part of the K-State alumni ultimate football guide. I'm not sure what attracted me first - the easy recipe or the familiar state university logo. In either case, I decided that this would be a perfect compliment to the Satay chops. It is amazingly easy to prepare, and while the meat was not quite as juicy as the other, the flavor was slightly sweeter and definitely delicious.
Ingredients for Tailgater's Grilled Pork Chops marinade:
(I made half the recipe and have included my measurements here)
- One six-ounce can frozen lemonade concentrate - thawed
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon season salt (I used a bit less due to the sodium in the soy sauce)
- 1/2 teaspoon celery salt (I used onion powder...)
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
All of the ingredients can be easily mixed in a one gallon plastic bag. Add the chops and marinate in the refrigerator several hours before grilling.
I served both chops with a large salad and corn-on-the-cob. A healthy, filling, tasty meal with plenty of leftovers. Overall, a successful kitchen experiment with two new recipes added to the collection of summer favorites.