Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Grilled Chops with Flaming Cherry Salsa

I know.  Two cherry posts in one week.

I'm sorry (no he's not) but the fresh cherry season only lasts so long.  Fortunately pork season lasts all year and if you humor me, I'll have a great giveaway at the end of this post.

We grilled these chops last night and they had just the right amount of "bleep that tastes so good!". Plus, how can you NOT like the fun of a flambe?

grilled pork chops with flaming cherry salsa, big green egg pork chops

Grilled Pork Chops with Flaming Cherry Salsa

  • 4 ea pork chops (bone in loin chops 1" thick) 
For the rub
  • 1 Tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp Mexican chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp Chipotle powder
 For the salsa
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh cherries, pitted and coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 sweet onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 serrano pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tsp of the pork chop rub 
  • 1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup spiced rum warmed to 120 degrees*
  1. Mix the rub ingredients together and reserve 1 tsp for the salsa.
  2. Season the chops on both sides with the BBQ rub.  Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat a charcoal grill to 375f.
  4. Grill the chops for 5-6 minutes per side until they reach an internal temperature of 140f*.  Remove to a plate and let rest.
  5. Put a grill safe medium sized saute pan or skillet on the grill* and melt the butter.  Add the onion and chiles and saute until tender.  
  6. Add the cilantro, white wine vinegar, and pork chop rub.  Cook another few minutes until the liquid is almost gone.
  7. CAUTION - see note below - Remove the skillet from the grill, add the WARM rum, wait a few seconds, light it with a long stem lighter and jump back jack!  The flame will go out in just a few seconds.
  8. Toss the pan a few more times and it is ready to serve on top of the pork chops.
  • Warm Rum: The warm has to be warm to give off enough vapors to ignite.  I warmed mine in a small pan on my grill but you MUST BE CAREFUL.  Spill it in the fire and you may prematurely flambe yourself.  
  • Time and Temps:  Last night I did 4 minutes, rotate a quarter turn, 2 more minutes.  Flipped and went 3 minutes, quarter turn, and then they were ready 1-2 minutes after.
  • Grill Pan:  My favorite pan for the grill is a cheap, oven ready saute pan.  It fits nicely inside a standard 18.5" round grill (BGE, Weber, etc) and holds up to the abuse.
  • CAUTION - Flambeing will create a flash flame.  Wear full length safety gloves and glasses.  Have a tight fitting lid and fire extinguisher near by to extinguish the flame.  Don't do it under an awning.  If you're under 18, get your parents permission first.  Probably illegal in California.  Seriously...BE CAREFUL. 
jalapeno, cherry, onion
I will be sad when the fresh cherries are gone.

grilled pork chops with flaming cherry salsa, big green egg pork chops
Summer evenings + Pork chops + Fire = Mmmmmmm

Grilling tip:  Keep the bugs away by covering your mise en place with your equipment - hey, it worked, don't laugh.

My favorite grill pan - a 10" bargain from the wholesale club.

grilled pork chops with flaming cherry salsa, big green egg pork chops
So good we made it two nights in a row.
Here's a video clip of the flambe part.  Skip to the 1:40 minute mark to see the fire.

Top Chop Pop Giveaway
Now for that giveaway that I promised.  The National Pork Board wants to make sure that you are properly equipped to rock your grill this summer.  This prize pack includes a ton of great grilling gear.  

Big Green Egg not included....that's mine!

This prize pack includes:
  • Weber stainless steel grill pan (13.5" x 18.5")
  • Stainless steel grilling wok (fits perfect on a large BGE)
  • Grilling basket
  • Pair of FireWire flexible skewers (I'm a big fan and use these often)
  • 11 piece stainless BBQ tool set with tote bag
  • Kingsford ball cap and bottle-opener/key chain
  • $100 worth of free pork coupons!
Here's how I'm going to do the giveaway:
  1. How To Enter - Submit a comment below that is 100 words or less explaining why you or someone that you know should be named "Top Chop Pop" and/or give your top pork chop grilling technique.  
  2. Dates - The giveaway will run between now and Sunday, June 24th, 2012.  
  3. Judging - Usually I do random draw.  But THIS time, I am going to have my father pick the winner.
  4. Rules - The National Pork Board only sponsors the prize pack.  All giveaway decisions are made by me and are final.  
  5. If you use the anonymous comment option, you must leave some way for me to easily contact you (Egg forum handle name, BBQ Brethren name, email address, twitter account,etc )
  6. Winner must claim the prize within 7 days of being announced or the prize back will be awarded to the next selection.
For other great ideas for grilling or BBQ pork, check out Pork Be Inspired for some inspiration!  They have a great line up of ideas, recipes, and tips for filling your grill with fantastic pork this summer.

My dad reviewed all of the entries and chose the winner - Casie J - who wrote:

I think my husband should be named top chop pop! He his an awesome father to our 7 kids, and grandfather to our 4 grand kids, (one that we are now raising)! But he is the most awesome BBQ/Griller/Smoker we know! We have all had the chance taste his "bits" as he has learned and I would say mastered, but he always is his biggest crittic and nothing is ever perfect to him,no matter how much we all love it!

Casie, I'll email you today to arrange delivery of your prize pack!

As of 7/9/12 the original winner has not responded so after discussing with the sponsor, a runner up was drawn and the winner is Nan Slaughter of Pots and Pins.