Friday, March 27, 2009

Grilled Adobo Pork/Chili Rubbed Pork Chops

from Cooking Light

You should always read through an entire recipe before you decide to make it. Because if you don't, you may be surprised by something. Like how much work it is.

That's what happened to me with this recipe. I scanned the ingredients and though, "sounds good." Bought everything. Then read the recipe and was like, WHAT?? Who has TIME for THIS??

However, since I didn't want to waste the ingredients, I enlisted The Big Geek's help and went through all the steps to make the marinade and sauce, then let the pork marinate overnight, and then had TBG grill the pork. We had both decided that it had better be the best thing we'd ever eaten with all the work it took.

It was good. Really good. And spicy. But I'm not sure it was so good it was worth all the trouble. Especially because I have a different recipe that takes about 5 minutes and tastes REALLY similar.

But here it is anyhow:

Cooking spray
3 ancho chiles (they are dried)
1 garlic clove
1/4 small onion, peeled
1 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/4 tsp ground oregano
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/8 tsp ground cumin
dash of ground allspice
2 Tbsp cider vinegar, divided
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
4 (6 oz) bone-in center-cut port chops (about 1/2 inch thick), trimmed
2 Tbsp fresh orange juice
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice

To make the marinade:

Heat a large skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat. Remove stems and seeds from chiles, tear chiles into large pieces, and place in skillet. Cook 15 seconds or until thoroughly heated, turning pieces occasionally (be careful not to burn chiles). Remove from pan.

Add garlic and onion to skillet (yes,just toss them in without chopping). Cook until browned (about 5 min), turning frequently.

Return chiles to skillet and add broth through allspice. Stir in 1 Tbsp vinegar. Bring mixture to a simmer, and then cook 5 minutes or until chiles are soft. Remove from heat and cool slightly.

Place cooled mixture in a blender or food processor (you may need to do this in more than one batch). Process until smooth, then return to the skillet. Cook 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in salt and sugar. Cool completely.

When marinade is cool, combine 1/2 cup of marinade and remaining Tbsp of vinegar in a ziplock bag. Add pork chops, remove air, and seal. Squish them around so the marinade gets all over the pork chops and marinate 8 hours or overnight in the fridge.

Place remaining marinade in a diffferent (small) bag. Add orange and lime juice, squish to combine, and refridgerate.

The next day/8 hours later:

Prepare the grill. Place pork on grill rack coated with cooking spray (reserve marinade). Grill 4 minutes each side or until thermometer registers 160, basting frequently with reserved marinade. Remove from heat.

While pork is cooking, heat the reserved sauce in a small saucepan (over medium heat until heated through). Spoon on top of cooked pork.

Some notes: I don't know what we did wrong, but our marinade either needed more liquid or cooked off more liquid than it was supposed to, because we barely had 1/2 cup total. So I just sort of divided it and did the best I could. The pork was coated, but there wasn't enough to baste. However, the marinade was thick enough that it didn't matter. I added more brown sugar to taste to the sauce b/c it was REALLY tart, but perhaps the amount of sauce I ended up with was wrong b/c I was just guessing.

So you can do all that and end up with some pretty good (and spicy) pork (either plan something different for your little geeks or don't marinate their pork), OR you could just do this:

Chili Rubbed Pork Chops (adapted from a Weight Watchers recipe I got from a friend):

1 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp unpacked brown sugar
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp garlic powder (I use 1 1/2 b/c I like garlic)
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
If you like it spicy, add 1 tsp Cayanne and 1 tsp red pepper flakes. Otherwise, omit.

4 1/2-inch thick pork chops (WW says boneless and lean, but with the bone is fine, too).

1. Preheat broiler and broiler pan coated with cooking spray (or grill)

2. In a small bowl, combine spices. Add Worcestershire sauce and stir until paste forms.

3. Rub paste all over pork chops.

4. Broil (or grill) 4 min on each side or until done (160).

That's it. If you want these to taste more like the Adobo pork you could add some lime juice (maybe 1/2 tsp) to the paste, and maybe some brown sugar (1 tsp).

I'm pretty sure we'll be opting for the quick and easy version in the future.

And if you care, the original WW recipe said to serve the chops over steamed green beans drizzled with lemon juice, so you could get the citrus flavor from there as well. The original recipe is 5 pts per serving.

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