August 14, 2011

Grilled Pork Chops with Asian Black Bean-Garlic Marinade

This pork chop recipe had been on my menu plan for a couple of weeks now. I originally slated it when we were doing SBD phase 1, but I kept pushing it back because I couldn't find the black bean-garlic sauce. I finally got the chance to try a different grocery store and I was able to purchase the key ingredient. All in all, this marinade was really easy to whip up and was soooo tasty. The flavor was reminiscent of the Saito Chicken marinade we love, but a little more intense (which is a good thing). There is a high sodium content in the black bean-garlic sauce which, along with the other ingredients, basically brined our pork chops. I was afraid that the sodium was going to be too much, but it wasn't. (PS-don't taste the marinade beforehand...just trust me on this.) The meat turned out to be flavorful and juicy, not overly salty. Hooray! We served our chops with some steamed green beans and broccoli mixed together and had a very yummy dinner.

Grilled Pork Chops with Asian Black Bean-Garlic Marinade
Adapted from: The Bon Appetit Cookbook: Fast Easy Fresh via the Kalyn's Kitchen website

4-8 thick cut pork chops, preferably bone-in (mine were boneless)
olive oil, for oiling grill grates
3 T Black Bean Garlic Sauce
2 tsp. minced garlic
1 1/2 T soy sauce
2 tsp. sesame seed oil
3 T fresh lime juice (I used my fresh-frozen lime juice)
1 T ginger puree
3 T peanut oil

Trim any excess fat off the pork chops (leave a little bit on, but not much). Combine marinade ingredients. Put pork chops into a Ziploc bag (or a plastic container with a snap-tight lid) and pour marinade over. Let pork marinate in the refrigerator for 4-6 hours (or longer if you're away from home all day.)

When you're ready to cook the pork chops, remove the meat from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature. Oil the grill grates with a paper towel dipped in olive oil, then preheat gas or charcoal grill to medium-high. (You can only hold your hand there for 2-3 seconds at that heat.) Lay pork chops on the grill at a diagonal to grill grates and cook 3-4 minutes or until grill marks appear, then rotate a quarter-turn and cook 3-4 minutes more to get second set of grill marks.

Turn pork chops over and cook 6-8 minutes more, or until internal temperature is about 145F on an instant-read meat thermometer. (I use my Polder Meat Thermometer with Probe and Timer to get the temperature just right.) If you don't have a meat thermometer, the pork should feel firm but not hard to the touch. You can cut a piece open to check and it should be barely pink inside. (For years I cooked pork to 160F, but now I like it only cooked to medium; if you want it more well done, cook just slightly longer.) Serve hot.

The Result:
So good! I actually made 8 boneless pork chops for this quantity of marinade, although the original recipe suggests a serving of only 4 chops. I think the marinade recipe is flexible enough to where it worked, but I don't think I would have stretched it anymore than that. This is another grilling favorite!

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