Tequila Pork Chops with Salsa Verde Guacamole

Happy Labor Day all!  As it’s a holiday I’ve been home all day working on a project.  Being home all day means I had no excuse for not cooking dinner.  Having another project means that dinner needed to be pretty quick and easy.  This is recipe number two from the Septembed 2001 issue of Cooking Light.  There a big section on pork this month – 25 recipes I think.  Guacamole is a perennial favorite so it’s a nice addition.  And a necessary one.

I didn’t have or need a whole pork tenderloin for tonight so I thawed a couple of Ault’s Family Farm pork chops instead.  I made a half recipe of the marinade and a half recipe of the guacamole.  I actually cheated big time on the guac, but I’ll get to that in a minute.  I also decided to make some rice figuring a little filler wouldn’t hurt and it gave me a way to use the last of the cilantro in the fridge before it got slimy.  The marinade is good.  It does add a little something citrusy to the pork. I was surprised that it called for lemon juice instead of lime. Next time I’d probably make the switch, but tonight I had lemons and not limes so I went with it. I reduced the last of the marinade and cooked it to make a little pan sauce.  I won’t bother with that next time. It was fine, but nothing special.  The marinade gets a touch strong when it’s reduced.  The truth is that it’s the guacamole that makes this meal better than average.

This is supposed to be a tomatillo guacamole.  I’m sure the recipe is just fine.  However, I just made 10 cups of salsa verde from my garden’s green tomatoes and jalapenos so I used that instead.  I used one avocado and about 1/2 C of the salsa verde and a teaspoon or two of fresh chopped cilantro.  It was done in about 2 minutes and it rocks!  It’s smooth and cooling next to the heat of the pork chops, exactly like it’s supposed to be.  This is chip worthy guacamole.  I’ll definitely make it again.

Throw a little fresh cilantro in with the rice in the last 5 minutes or so of cooking and that’s it.  Dinner.  Throw in a beer if that makes you happy.  I know this is the traditional last day of summer, but I’m going to try to hang on a little longer so  you’ll be seeing a few more “summer” meals from me in the coming days.  Enjoy!

Tequila Pork Chops with Salsa Verde Guacamole

Ingredients

1/4 cup tequila
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 jalapeño, chopped
2 bone-in pork chops, 1-2 inches thick
1 teaspoon olive oil

Directions

Combine tequila, lemon juice, ground cumin, crushed red pepper, and chopped jalapeño in a zip-top plastic bag. Add pork tenderloin to bag; seal. Marinate in refrigerator 2 hours.
Remove pork from the fridge and bring almost to room temperature. Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed or grill pan. Add the pork chops. Cook about 6 minutes on each side. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.

Salsa Verde Guacamole

Ingredients

Salsa Verde (jarred or mine is green tomatoes, red onion, jalapenos, garlic, lime juice, cilantro, salt and pepper)
1 ripe avocado
2 tsps chopped fresh cilantro

Directions

Peel the avocado and remove the pit. Mash the avocado. Add 1/2 cup of the salsa and some chopped fresh cilantro. Mix, cover and refrigerate until serving.

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