Saturday, February 2, 2013

Greek Pork Chops with Lemon Rice Pilaf

This Greek influenced meal had me exclaiming "Opa!" earlier this week.

Normally I prefer thick, center cut pork chops but every now and then, we'll pick up a pack of those super cheap and thin "assorted pork chops".  They are cut from the extreme ends of the loin (shoulder and sirloin) and can be tougher but this marinade helps take care of that and adds flavor.   (Warning - it will also find any paper cuts or scratches you have on your hands, yeeouch!)

Greek Pork Marinade

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients (1 1/4 cup)
  • 3/4 cup oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried mint
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  1. Makes enough for 4-6 pork chops, 2 tenderloins, or a small loin roast.
  2. Whisk all ingredients together until well blended.
  3. Marinade pork in a Glad zipper storage bag for 4-6 hours before grilling.
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Reserve and dice some of the marinated red onion for the rice.

I grilled the thin chops for about 3 minutes a side over glowing coals.

I made some zucchini and yellow squash ribbon skewers and had a few of the thin slices leftover so I diced them up and added it to the Lemon Rice Pilaf for an excellent rice side dish that even Trevor devoured.

Greek Lemon Rice Pilaf
Adapted from Greek.Food.Com

Ingredients (4-6 servings)
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced
  • 1 cup rice
  • 2 1/2 cups warm chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup finely diced zucchini and yellow squash
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Melt butter in a pan over medium high heat. Saute the red onion until just softened, about 5 minutes. (Note: If you are using red onions from the Greek pork marinade, they will be slightly pickled and cook quicker.)
  2. Add the uncooked rice, toss to coat rice in the butter, and saute until the rice starts to turn golden and gives off a nutty aroma, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add the hot broth and lemon juice and quickly cover. Bring to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.
  4. Working quickly to minimize the time the lid is off, stir in the zucchini and/or squash. Cover with lid and cook another 5 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat, leaving lid on and rest for 5 minutes. Fluff with fork and serve.
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The zucchini and yellow squash skewers are easy too.  Just slice zucchini and squash into thin ribbons on a mandolin.  Then just fold them as shown on a couple of small skewers.  

Marinade in a vinaigrette for 30 minutes.  Then grill over a medium high charcoal grill for 90 seconds, flip and cook another 90 seconds.  

These cook super quickly so don't turn your back.
Make these last because they cool off quickly.

I had made tzatziki sauce to go with it all.  I hate cucumbers but love pickles and tzatziki, go figure.

Hey, it is Ground Hog Day today!  I need to go to the store and buy some ground pork.


  1. Beautiful meal Chris.
    Enrico and I will do the veggie skewers today. I love the look of them.
    Be well.


  2. I saw my shadow when I got out of bed this morning, even though it was 5:30 am and pitch dark. I think that means we're going to have 6 more years of winter. Great marketing idea for Whole Foods: "Free range ground groundhog, $29.95 per pound (hey, they're not that easy to catch)."

  3. This looks so delicious. I will be trying the chops and rice very soon!

  4. that has got to be the prettiest way to serve zucchini that i have ever seen! opa indeed, perfect meal!

  5. I saw this over on Facebook and said to myself "that darn Chris has done it again". Really nice meal Chris. And great photos. I buy those porkchops for breakfast. A quick fry and along side a sunnyside up egg ... mmmm. And snicker about the Ground Hog Day. I just realized I accidentally had ground pork on ground hog day. Asian sliders.

  6. You "need to go to the store and buy some ground pork."? Didn't you do that yesterday and the day before? I like the sound of all of this. It's given me an idea or two. Now, where do I find a Greek pig?

  7. It all looks and sounds really good and I want to try the marinade. Great presentation!

  8. What a good looking dinner. Love the zucchini ribbons and the lemon rice looks and sounds tasty. They are both the perfect sides for these delicious looking chops... the marinade rocks!

  9. This marinade looks like a winner. And the squash on the skewers is a fantastic idea.

  10. Loveee pork chops and this meal looks delicious. The zucchini ribbons are beautiful and I am a huge rice fan...Perfect!

  11. Delicious! Now adding pork chops to the menu too. Love the way you did your veggie ribbons, very cool idea :)

  12. Everything looks so good. The pork chops, the rice and the ribbons. Looks like I may need to get a mandolin. ;)

  13. Man you make pork chops look beautiful. Those grill marks! I love that you grill all year round. I love the thick cut chops too but sometimes I crave these because the bone gives it flavor! But it sure is hard to cook it right so it won't overcook. Never grilled the thin ones before though. I bet it was amazing with that marinade!

  14. Made this last night for myself & my husband for dinner. This was one of the best pork chop dishes i've ever had!! Thanks for sharing! =)

  15. Made the rice last night with some greek chicken sausages. It was awesome. Topped it with some feta which really accentuated it. Thanks.


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