Pork Chops on the Grill with Curried Baby Zucchini

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Grillin' up a storm




The weather was looking rather foreboding today. It never made it out of the forties and it rained most of the day. This was disappointing as we had made plans to grill out again tonight. Fortunately it dried up enough to get the charcoal lit and give the royal treatment to a couple of bone-in pork chops that I've been drooling over each time I open the fridge.

          These yummy chops came from the meat cooler at Trader Joe's. I took them out of the fridge about 30 minutes before the hit the grill to give them time to come up to room temperature. This keeps the meat from seizing up and becoming tough once it's exposed to heat. I hit the chops with some salt and fresh ground pepper and let them relax while the coals were heating up. If you plan to grill over high heat I would suggest rubbing the meat with olive oil before seasoning to keep them from sticking. When you use a "low and slow" method (as described in this post) you shouldn't experience the meat sticking to the grill so the oil isn't necessary.

Nutiva brand
coconut oil
           Once the pork was on the grill it was time to pick a veggie. Another Trader Joe's specialty, baby zucchini, has quickly become one of our favorite foods. They are really easy to prepare and cook up deliciously with no more than a little oil and your preferred seasonings. Tonight I picked coconut oil as our fat as the slight sweetness marries well to the flavor of the zucchini itself and was also a natural fit for tonight's featured seasoning, a basic curry powder. A dash of salt and black pepper rounded out the flavoring for the veggies. I heated the coconut oil over medium heat and sliced the baby zucchini in half lengthwise. Once halved the zucchini go right into the hot oil along with the seasoning. These should cook until soft but not mushy. They should remain whole spears when handled.

          As the zucchini finished up I headed back to the grill and flipped the chops. These were shaping up nicely but were going to need a dressing. Back in the kitchen I raided the pantry to put together a sauce. Luckily enough we had and open bottle of pinot noir so I poured the remainder into a sauce pan and cranked the heat on high. I also threw in a handful of dried (unsweetened) cranberries and some chopped, dried apricots (also unsweetened). Bringing the wine and fruit to a boil for a few minutes rendered a nice red wine reduction sauce to drizzle over the chops.

          Putting it all together we had a really great meal with complimentary sweet and savory notes. The meal paired well with a glass of the same pinot noir I made the sauce from (Blue Fin winery again from TJ's at $3.99 per bottle!). We're trying to squeeze all the mileage we can out of the grill before the winter puts an end to it so I look forward to adding some more meal ideas and recipes soon.

          I'm always interested in hearing your reviews of the meals or how you tweaked the recipe so feel free to comment below or email me directly with your feedback. You are also welcome to join my email list to receive updates on new posts and recipe/meal ideas. Thanks as always for reading!







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Pork Chops on the Grill with Curried Baby Zucchini

Grillin' up a storm




The weather was looking rather foreboding today. It never made it out of the forties and it rained most of the day. This was disappointing as we had made plans to grill out again tonight. Fortunately it dried up enough to get the charcoal lit and give the royal treatment to a couple of bone-in pork chops that I've been drooling over each time I open the fridge.

          These yummy chops came from the meat cooler at Trader Joe's. I took them out of the fridge about 30 minutes before the hit the grill to give them time to come up to room temperature. This keeps the meat from seizing up and becoming tough once it's exposed to heat. I hit the chops with some salt and fresh ground pepper and let them relax while the coals were heating up. If you plan to grill over high heat I would suggest rubbing the meat with olive oil before seasoning to keep them from sticking. When you use a "low and slow" method (as described in this post) you shouldn't experience the meat sticking to the grill so the oil isn't necessary.

Nutiva brand
coconut oil
           Once the pork was on the grill it was time to pick a veggie. Another Trader Joe's specialty, baby zucchini, has quickly become one of our favorite foods. They are really easy to prepare and cook up deliciously with no more than a little oil and your preferred seasonings. Tonight I picked coconut oil as our fat as the slight sweetness marries well to the flavor of the zucchini itself and was also a natural fit for tonight's featured seasoning, a basic curry powder. A dash of salt and black pepper rounded out the flavoring for the veggies. I heated the coconut oil over medium heat and sliced the baby zucchini in half lengthwise. Once halved the zucchini go right into the hot oil along with the seasoning. These should cook until soft but not mushy. They should remain whole spears when handled.

          As the zucchini finished up I headed back to the grill and flipped the chops. These were shaping up nicely but were going to need a dressing. Back in the kitchen I raided the pantry to put together a sauce. Luckily enough we had and open bottle of pinot noir so I poured the remainder into a sauce pan and cranked the heat on high. I also threw in a handful of dried (unsweetened) cranberries and some chopped, dried apricots (also unsweetened). Bringing the wine and fruit to a boil for a few minutes rendered a nice red wine reduction sauce to drizzle over the chops.

          Putting it all together we had a really great meal with complimentary sweet and savory notes. The meal paired well with a glass of the same pinot noir I made the sauce from (Blue Fin winery again from TJ's at $3.99 per bottle!). We're trying to squeeze all the mileage we can out of the grill before the winter puts an end to it so I look forward to adding some more meal ideas and recipes soon.

          I'm always interested in hearing your reviews of the meals or how you tweaked the recipe so feel free to comment below or email me directly with your feedback. You are also welcome to join my email list to receive updates on new posts and recipe/meal ideas. Thanks as always for reading!







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