Sunday, April 14, 2013

Garlic Lime Pork Chops


Garlic Lime Pork Chops

These pork chops have the scrumptious flavors of tangy lime, garlic, cilantro and some Tabasco for a little kick.  I love how the grilling process brings out the tangy lime and garlic flavors so nicely.  The Tabasco addition to the marinade just gives it a little heat on the back end and it is quite subtle……not overwhelmingly spicy or vinegary. 
I reluctantly admit that this recipe is the first time I have brined my meat before cooking it.  I have heard time and time again how brining makes the meat turn out so moist and delicious, yet I have never taken the time to try it until now.  Let me just say that I am totally blown away by the difference this makes in the moistness of my grilled meat.  I will be brining from now on! 
This recipe was inspired by a recipe I found on Epicurious.com – link below http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Grilled-Pork-Chops-with-Garlic-Lime-Sauce-238938

 The recipe called for the pork chops to be grilled and then coated with the garlic lime vinaigrette afterwards.  I decided to marinate the chops in the vinaigrette instead and the end result was awesome!  I added some Tabasco and some Worcestershire for a little kick as well.  Grilling the chops will bring out the best flavors in the marinade, but these chops could also be pan seared on a grill pan on the stove top.  Cheers!
Brine Mixture

1/3 cup salt and 4 cups warm water. 
Dissolve the salt in the warm water.  Add cold water to cool it down- about 2-3 cups of cold water.  For food safety, it is important to cool the water down before placing the pork chops in the brine.  Place the pork chops in the brine mixture, making sure the chops are completely covered by the liquid.  Refrigerate the brine and chops.  Brine the chops in the mixture for 1 hour.  Chops can be brined for longer if desired. 

Garlic Lime Cilantro Vinaigrette

2 cloves garlic, pressed or finely chopped
2 tbsp cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup fresh lime juice, about 3 limes
5 dashes of Tabasco
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup olive oil
1 /2 tsp Worcestershire
Cracked fresh pepper to taste
4 (1/2 inch thick) pork chops

Whisk together lime juice, garlic, red-pepper flakes, salt, then add oil in a slow stream, whisking well. Whisk in cilantro, Tabasco and Worcestershire.   Remove chops from brine, rinse chops in cold water and then marinate pork chops in the vinaigrette for 30 minutes.

Prepare a gas grill for direct-heat cooking over medium-high heat. Take chops out of marinade and season with cracked pepper. Grill pork chops, covered, turning over once, until just cooked through, 5 to 6 minutes total.  After removing chops from grill, allow them to rest on a plate for 5-10 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute inside the meat.