Oswald Rivera

Author, Warrior, and Teacher

Category: pork (page 2 of 5)

GRILLED PORK CHOPS WITH GARLICKY FRUIT SAUCE

This is my favorite grilled pork chop dish. Why? Simply because it can include a fruit spread, jelly or jam—whatever you have in the fridge to give it a sweet touch. That, combined with the garlic (and we love garlic), makes it divine. In this rendering, the lowly pork chop will become your go-to dish in a barbecue setting. It’s that good.

GRILLED PORK CHOPS WITH GARLICKY FRUIT SAUCE

Ingredients:

4 to 6 bone-in pork chops
½ cup fruit spread (we used blueberry), jam or jelly
2 tablespoons  grated fresh ginger
4 cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
½ teaspoon honey
2 tablespoons dry sherry
2 teaspoons sherry or apple cider vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions:

1. Rinse pork chops under cool running water and pat dry with paper towels.
2. In a blender, combine fruit spread (or jam or jelly), ginger, garlic, honey, dry sherry, vinegar, salt and pepper. Purée until smooth. Pour mixture over pork chops, coating them well. Let pork marinate in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours or overnight.
3. Prepare grill. When it is hot, grill chops until done to taste, about 6-8 minutes per side. If the chops turn very dark as the sauce caramelizes, move them to a cooler part of the grill to finish cooking. Serve immediately.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings.

 

 

 

HERBED PORK CHOPS

This is the easiest  pork chop recipe I know. Preparation is quick. It’s the braising/steaming factor that takes time, about 45  minutes. In the interim you can be busy making a side dish such as rice or potatoes, or a vegetable. Once it’s done, you’ll love it. Also, this recipe is healthier, no deep frying or roasting in oil or fats.

I’m sure you can also prepared this dish with lamb chops, if that is your desire. Either way, it’s a winner.

HERBED PORK CHOPS

Ingredients:

4 loin pork chops, about 1-inch thick
1 tablespoon fresh chopped sage or 1 teaspoon dried
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 cup water
½ cup dry white wine

Instructions:

1. Rinse chops under cold running water and pat dry with paper towels.
2. In a small cup, saucer plate, or cutting board, mix rosemary, sage, garlic, salt and pepper. Rub the pork chops thoroughly with the mixture.
3. Place the chops in a large greased skillet, add the water, bring to a boil, cover and simmer on medium-low heat until all the water has evaporated, about 45 minutes. Remove the cover and brown chops in their own fat.
4. Add the wine and cook about 1 minute, turning the chops occasionally. The wine should be almost evaporated before serving.
Yield:  servings.

 

 

 

ROAST PORK WITH FENNEL

 

I’m always on the lookout for particular ingredients that can enhance my cooking. This recipe falls under that category. I’ve always been curious about fennel, an aromatic and flavorful herb, very similar to anise, from which comes that popular cordial, anisette. Fennel is used in the cooking of many cultures such as Indian, Afghanistani, Middle Eastern, and is one of the ingredients in Chinese five-spice powder. But, in western cuisine, how would it hold up on its own? Let’s say, if we pair it with meat? I pondered this and decided to combine it with some pork loin which I had on hand. The results were marvelous. And that is the genesis of Roast Pork with Fennel. You will not be disappointed in the results.

I’m sure this recipe can also be paired with steak or lamb. It would be too overpowering with fish.  I would say the same for chicken. But, who knows, it you want to try it with these other staples, go at it and let me know.

I served this dish with mashed potatoes, since the pork loin rendered a great gravy to go with it. A side dish such as rice, couscous or quinoa would complement it as well. Add a good red wine, such as a Cabernet, Zinfandel, or a lighter  Valpolicella or Beaujolais, and you have a feast.

ROAST PORK WITH FENNEL

Ingredients:

1 3½ to 4 pound boneless pork loin roast
3 to 5 cloves garlic, peeled and cut into slivers
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon crushed fennel
½ cup chicken broth

Instructions:

1. Wash the roast under running water and pat dry with paper towels.
2. Make gashes at various points in the roast, top, back, sides. Stud the holes with the garlic slivers. Sprinkle the roast with salt and pepper. Rub the roast with the fennel seeds.
3.  Place in large zip-lock bag, bowl or pan with a cover, and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or, better yet, overnight.
4. Preheat oven to 400 degree F. Remove roast from refrigerator and arrange fat side down on a shallow baking pan. Bake for 30 minutes. Turn over on meat side and continue roasting another 30 minutes.
5. When the roast has baked a total of one hour, add the chicken broth. cover lightly with foil, and bake 30 to 45 minutes longer depending on size of tenderloin. Note that roast should register 140 to 145 degrees on a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the meant when done.
6. Remove from oven, and pour fat and drippings into a medium pan. Place roast on a cooking board and let it rest while you prepare the gravy:  Sprinkle 4 tablespoons flour onto the roast drippings over medium heat, and quickly stir with a whisk. Slowly add a cup of water or chicken stock, whisking vigorously. Allow the gravy to simmer and thicken, adding more liquid as needed until you have 2 cups of gravy. Now, some people insist that the gravy should be strained and then served. I do not do this. I like the gravy as is. Your choice.
7. Serve roast with the gravy.
Yield: 4-5 servings.

 

 

CHULETAS CON LIMON (Lemon Pork Chops)

This recipe came about because my wife made a batch of cornbread, and it was delicious: “Splenfiferous” as Zorba the Greek would say. When I ventured down south, corn bread and pork chops was a natural combo. My wife’s singular cornbread made me hark back to those great gustatory memories. Now, as to the cornbread, you can use whatever family recipe you have or you can go on-line where there are hundreds and pick the one you like.

Chuletas con Limón was one of our family’s go-to dish during lean times.  It has minimal ingredients, is fairy inexpensive, and still gave you a great meal. We would serve it with rice or potatoes, and it never failed.  My father called it “chuletas hervidas,” or boiled pork chops because the chops are steamed in water. Therefore, going back to what was referenced above, it is a healthy dish, no deep frying other than the initial browning. In our family that was not the main concern. We just wanted something cheap and good tasting.

This dish can be done with either center-cut pork chops or boneless tenderloin (which I prefer). Let your taste and pocketbook decide. Also, you can use the pork fat itself for cooking or you can use olive oil or vegetable oil. Your choice. I know, those among us who are health conscious, and that is a worthy endeavor, can forgo the pork fat. But there is no argument that the chops taste better if using the pork fat. I figure, using the latter method once in a while will not kill you; and it’ll give you a great tasting meal.

CHULETAS CON LIMÓN
(Lemon Pork Chops)

Ingredients:

Four pork chops (1-inch thick)
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon fresh chopped oregano or 1 teaspoon dried
4 slices lemon rings, seeded
1 cup water

Instructions:

1. Trim some of the fat that remains around the edge of the pork chops and melt in a large heavy skillet or pan. If the chops are well-trimmed, use one or two tablespoons of olive oil or vegetable oil. You can also substitute shortening, if desired.
2. Sprinkle chops with salt, pepper and oregano on both sides. Add to skillet and brown on both sides slowly, using medium-low heat.
3. Top each chop with a lemon slice and pour in water. Cover tightly and simmer gently until chops are very tender, about 45 minutes. Serve with pan juices
Yield: 4 servings.

 

 

CHULETAS CON AJO Y CONDIMENTOS

This is a very simple and quick recipe, if you adhere to the time constraints when marinating the pork chops. In the Rivera family we especially liked spicy marinated pork chops. This is basically savory pork loin chops with garlic and herbs. Initially, we did not add red pepper to it, Then someone decided to do it and it became the norm in our crowd.  However, if you like your pork chops on the mild side, you can cut back on the red pepper. It’s all a process of experimentation.

In our clan, we normally served this dish with yellow rice. But you can do it (as we did this time) with baked potatoes and a side vegetable. Out choice for the veggie was boiled carrots with a drizzle of honey or maple syrup for added flavor.  But, it can be any vegetable: green beans, sweet peas, brussel sprouts, you get the idea.

CHULETAS CON AJO Y CONDIMENTOS
(Pork Chops with garlic and herbs)

Ingredients:

4 pork loin chops (about 2½-3 pounds)
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 tablespoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon salt (optional)
½ teaspoon ground coriander
¼ teaspoon ground red pepper
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
4 baking potatoes, washed and pricked all over with the times of a fork

Instructions:

1. Place the chops in the freezer until partially frozen, about 20 minutes. Trim off all visible fat.
2. In a cup, combine garlic, cumin, salt, coriander, red pepper and black pepper. Spread mixture thickly on both sides of pork chops. Place on a plate, cover with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and refrigerate from 2 to 8 hours.
3. About 1 hour before serving, place potatoes on preheated 350 degree oven.
4. Place chops on a broiler rack and broil about 4 inches from the heat for 8 to 12 minutes per side, or until the chops are browned and crusty. Be careful not to overcook so they don’t dry out. When ready, serve with baked potatoes and a green of your choice,
Yield: 4 servings.

 

 

 

 

 

KOFTA CURRY – INDIAN MEATBALS

The formal name for this dish is Kofta Curry. But we call it, Indian Meatballs, and it fits. Kofta is a family of meatball or meatloaf dishes found in the Indian subcontinent. Who knew that Indian cuisine had meatballs? In its basic form, koftas are balls of minced or ground meat (beef, pork, chicken, lamb) mixed with onions and spices. I’m told they are also very popular in the Middle East, where lamb predominates. Even the Greeks have a vegetarian version called hortoketftedes.  Let me add, koftas make great sandwiches. If it’s for dinner, the usual accompaniment is boiled rice.

In the recipe given, you can add as much or as little curry powder as you like. I found that, among my Anglo friends, two teaspoons, one each for the kofta and curry sauce, is enough. For a dish more in tune with the Indian palate, then two teaspoons for the meatballs and two tablespoons for the sauce  is more like it.

So, have a change from the usual spaghetti and meatballs. Do it the kofta way.

KOFTA CURRY
(Indian Meatballs)

Ingredients:

1 to 1½ pounds ground pork, beef or lamb
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 teaspoons curry powder (you can use less, see above)
Salt to taste
Pinch of pepper
1 egg, beaten
Oil for frying

Sauce:
1 medium onion, chopped
3 tomatoes, chopped
2 tablespoons curry powder (you can use less, see above)
1 tablespoon flour
2/3 cup beef stock or bouillon
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
Chopped fresh mint for garnish (about 2 tablespoons)

Instructions:

  1. In a medium bowl, mix together the ground meat, onion, curry powder, salt and pepper.  Bind the mixture with the beaten egg.
  2.  Divide the mixture ito 16 portions, more or less, depending on size, and shaping each one into a ball with floured hands.
  3.  Heat sufficient oil to cover the base of a frying pan or skillet, and fry the meatballs, turning occasionally until they are brown on all sides. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and keep warm.
  4.  In the same pan, fry the onion and tomatoes on medium heat for about  minutes. Add the curry powder and flour, and cook for 2 minutes more. Blend in the stock, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer gently for 30 minutes, turning occasionally.
  5.  Sprinkle with chopped mint to garnish. Serve with boiled rice.
    Yield: 4 servings.

 

 

 

 

CHULETAS EMPANADAS (Breaded Pork Chops)

This one is from my first cookbook, Puerto Rican Cuisine in America (Running Press). It’s in its third printing, and still going strong. In Nuyorican cooking, we prepare  breaded pork chops in one of two ways. One method is to apply the breading  and then bake slowly in a medium oven (350 °). The other way is listed in the recipe given. Here, lean pork chops are required, about ½-inch thick. They’re lightly pounded, breaded and then cooked in oil. Back on the block, breaded pork chops were usually served with a salad or yellow rice. But, you’re not confined to any mandatory accompaniment. In this instance we served our pork chops with pierogies. Yes, pierogies. The renowned dumplings of Eastern European origin normally filled with meat, vegetables or cheese. Remember, my friends, never be afraid to experiment. The results may amaze you.

Note that in traditional Puerto Rican cuisine, the herbs are crushed in a mortar and pestle.  I’ve been using one forever; and they can be found these days in any culinary shop, hardware store, or even supermarket. They are constructed of metal (usually aluminum), cast-iron or wood. I prefer the wooden ones since, over time, even after washing, the wood is infused with the herbal fragrance

CHULETAS EMPANADAS
(breaded Pork Chops)

Ingredients:

8 lean pork chops, ½-inch thick, about 1½ pounds
10 whole black peppercorns
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon oregano
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon vinegar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups bread crumbs
Vegetable oil for frying

Instructions:

1. Rinse chops under cold running water and pat dry with paper towels.
2. In a mortar, crush peppercorns, garlic, oregano and salt. Add olive oil and vinegar, and mix.
3  Place chops between two sheets of plastic wrap and pound lightly with a mallet.
4. Rub seasoning into pork chops.
5. Dip each chop into the beaten eggs, then coat with bread crumbs, pressing bread crumbs on both sides with heel of hand.
6. Heat oil in a large skillet or frying pan and cook pork until golden brown (about4-5 minutes per side). Drain on adsorbent paper towels.
Yield: 4 servings.

 

 

 

SAUSAGE AND ONIONS

This recipe came about by chance (like most great recipes do). Some friends gave us a pack of sausages to try out. It was VT99 Blue Cheese sausage from Jasper Hill Farm in Vermont. We’ve had Jasper Hill meats before, but not their sausage product. I figured, Mmmm, what do I do now? When I prepare sausage as a meal, I usually prepare it with bell peppers, be it red or green peppers.  It’s a common entrée in the Caribbean and the Mediterranean. It happened I had no green peppers around, but I had lots of onions. So it became sausage and onions.

I was fortunate in acquiring the blue cheese sausage, and it was delicious! But you can substitute whatever sausage you prefer, be it Italian, German bratwurst, French andouille, Spanish chorizo, turkey or chicken sausage. You can even use the Libby canned sausage—which we substituted back in Spanish Harlem during our lean days. Let me add that some sausages (like the VT99 product) come with a casing that has to be removed before cooking. Check to see what you got.  Also, the recipe runs along the Nuyorican method of preparation with some basic staples. It ain’t complicated at all.

In my family we almost always had the dish over steamed rice. This time we tried something new, red rice. If you can find it, great. If not, regular rice will do, either white or brown; or you can try the dish with quinoa, or even kasha.  This is America, where we experiment and come up with the unusual, as long as it’s tasty.

SAUSAGE AND ONIONS

Ingredients:

4 links sausage, cut into ½-inch rounds
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled and thinly sliced
2 clove garlic, peeled and  minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon fresh chopped oregano or 1 teaspoon dried
2 tablespoons dry red wine

Instructions:

  1. Rinse sausage under running water and pat dry with paper towels.
  2. Heat olive oil in a skillet or fry pan over medium heat. Add sausage and cook until brown, about 2-3 minutes. Add onion and cook, stirring, until onion is translucent. Add garlic and cook 2 minutes more. Season with salt, pepper and oregano. Stir in wine, raise heat to high and and cook until most of the wine has been absorbed, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter and serve with the rice.
    Yield: 4 servings.

 

 

ADOBO PORK

 This recipe is very similar to that Nuyorican favorite, Pernil, or roast pork shoulder. But it differs in terns if ingredients. It’s termed Pork Adobo or Adobo Pork, yet the adobo seasoning has a definite Asian motif—it includes  soy sauce, rice vinegar, and scallions. It brings to mind more of a Filipino adobo. Also, the recipe calls for lots of garlic, which we love. Vampires don’t stand a chance against us. The final result is heavenly. My wife, who is a tough critic, states that this recipe is one of the best she’s ever encountered. That says a lot.

The main ingredient is cubed pork. We did the recipe with boneless pork shoulder, which rendered the right amount of fat in the cooking. This dish is traditionally served with steamed white rice rice. This time around we did it with yellow rice . And, final note: as stated, the recipe calls for rice vinegar which, these days, can be found in most supermarkets or Asian stores. If you don’t have, or can’t find rice vinegar, regular white vinegar will do (although purists will say it doesn’t impart the same flavor).nv

ADOBO  PORK

Ingredients:

14 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
½ cup soy sauce
½ cup rice vinegar
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1½ to 2 pounds pork, not too lean, cubed
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and sliced into thin rings
1 cup water
2 carrots, peeled and cut into ¼-inch rounds
2 scallions, sliced

Instructions:

  1. Place half the garlic in a bowl with the soy sauce, rice vinegar, pepper, and pork. Cover and allow to marinate 1-2 hours.
  2. Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large pan or skillet. Add the remaining garlic, and onion, and cook until golden. Add the meat, plus marinade, and 1 cup water, and bring to a boil. Add the carrots, cover and simmer for 45 minutes. Remove cover and simmer for another 15 minutes. Serve over rice and sprinkle with scallions.
    Yield: 4 servings.

 

 

GRILLED GLAZED PORK CHOPS

Sill in the grillin’ mode. Might as well enjoy it while the season lasts. This time it’s Glazed Pork Chops. A common enough entry. But, when one thinks of glazed pork chops, grilled or not, it’s pork chops smothered with orange marmalade. That’s been most of the recipes I’ve seen. Well, it can be done with any glaze, not just orange. Recently I scoured the fridge and discovered I had some leftover red raspberry and wild blueberry jam. Two small, half empty bottles, and still good to use. I mixed them all up and I had a suitable delicious glaze for the chops.

The trick here is that you can use any kind of crushed fruit for a glaze, even cramberry sauce and and sweet mango chutney. You’re only limited by your imagination.

Ingredients:

¼ cup your favorite jam or marmalade, or a mix
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice
1 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
4 boneless pork chops, ¾-inch think, about 1 pound.

Instructions:

  1. Preheat a charcoal or gas grill for 6 minutes. For best results, brush the grate with vegetable oil before grilling. Fire should only be moderately hot.
  2.  For the glaze, combine jam or marmalade (or a mix), soy sauce, lemon juice, and ginger. Place chops on grill, and pour glaze over chops. Close lid and cook 6 to 8 minutes or until meat is no loner pink. Remove chops and pour glaze from grill over all.
    Yield: 4 servings.

 

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