Hye Thyme Cafe: Pineapple and Kabosu Marinated Pork Chops

Welcome to the Hy
e Thyme Cafe. Although not all of my recipes are Armenian, the name is a little nod to my Armenian grandmother who is no longer with us. The Hye refers to all things related to her homeland, and she represents all things food-related to me, so the two just seemed to go together. I can't even claim that my Armenian recipes are truly Armenian, since Greece, Turkey, Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, and even Egypt share so many foods that they've all sort of morphed into one over thousands of years.

Whether you like to cook, bake, have never done either, or just like to play with your food...come on in and join me! :)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Pineapple and Kabosu Marinated Pork Chops

Pineapple and Kabosu-Marinated Pork Chops : Hye Thyme Cafe

I was standing in the meat department at the grocery store debating what I wanted to get. I saw a nice beef roast, but I knew I wanted to try some sort of a marinade with Kabosu juice. We recently had Teriyaki Steaks, so I didn't want to go in that direction again already, and we were pretty much chickened out at that point. We did a full turkey dinner recently as well, and I don't eat fish, so that brought me to the pork chops.

I knew we had red quinoa in the pantry - we hadn't tried the red yet. I think I actually prefer it, and depending on what you're doing with it, it's certainly more colorful. Anyhow, I decided to use the quinoa as one side and was going to do something with broccoli as another, but then we decided to finish up the Beet, Carrot, and Apple Salad I made a few days before, so the broccoli went into some crepes later in the week.

OK, so I'm making Pork Chops with Kabosu, but what is going with the Kabosu? If you haven't had it before, it's a Japanese citrus fruit. I found a can of pineapple in the pantry, so I decided to start there and see what happened.

1/4 c olive oil
1/4 c kabosu juice
1/4 c pineapple juice from 20 oz can
    Dole Crushed Pineapple in 100% Juice*
1 t fine sea salt
2 t black pepper
1 T fresh grated ginger

*If you opt to use a fresh pineapple, you might want to use less juice, or at least not marinate it for very long. I'm assuming the fresh would be more acidic and long marination might affect the texture of the pork.

1 T butter
1 T Wondra flour
1/2 c pineapple juice
1/4 c kabosu juice
1/2 t powdered ginger
1 t diced dried New Mexico Chilies
salt and pepper
Gravy Master

I started off by trimming most of the fat off the chops, but you can certainly leave it on for flavor if you want, or trim it off and set it aside to use later when browning the chops.

Put them in a large Ziplock bag and give them each a few whacks with a meat mallet, then pour in the marinade, zip the bag shut and chill - standing or in a bowl in case your zipper fails.

When you are 20-30" from starting your dinner prep, take the chops out of the fridge to come to room temp. You never want to cook meats straight out of the fridge - not if you want them tender anyhow.

Preheat the oven to 325. Drain the chops and pat them dry, then brown them for about 3" on each side. A grill pan is nice if you have one. I gave mine a quick shot of cooking spray first. You want to pat the excess marinade off the chops so that you don't end up steaming them rather than browning.

Top each with about 1T of the crushed pineapple and toss them in the oven to finish; about 20".

For the sauce, whisk together the butter and Wondra over medium heat until it starts to get some nice golden color to it, then add the other ingredients and bring it to a boil, whisking until slightly thickened. Because it was so light, I added the few drops of Gravy Master for color.  

We liked that the Kabosu really shined through, but the ginger didn't at all, so I will increase that next time. Because the Kabosu is tart, even though it was balanced against the sweetness of the pineapple juice and the sweet heat of the chilies, I'm thinking I might add a small amount of honey or brown sugar next time as well. The chops were very tender.

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