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.