Barbecue-Rubbed Pork Chops with Grilled Pineapple

A colorful presentation of grilled pork chops and pineapple.

A colorful presentation of grilled pork chops and pineapple.

To me, this meal represents summertime cooking at its best.  The aroma of the meat sizzling on the grill, made it very hard to wait for it all to be cooked and ready for eating.   Our neighbor wandered over to share a glass of wine with us and commented on what was cooking and how delicious it smelled!  😀

Everything cooks in about the same time on the grill.

Everything cooks in about the same time on the grill.

One of the meats we particularly like is pork chops cooked on the grill.  We spent a leisurely weekend at home when I planned this  meal cooked completely on the grill that included this recipe for pork chops and grilled pineapple.  The spice rub on the chops is made up of seven spices, giving the meat a bold and zesty flavor. This is counterbalanced by the sweetness of fresh pineapple.  Along with this I made Hasselbach potatoes and cooked them on the grill also.  Stay tuned for this recipe coming up tomorrow. To round out the meal we had fresh asparagus and homemade ice cream for dessert.  (Also coming up this week.)

Hasselbach potatoes and asparagus completed the meal.

Hasselbach potatoes and asparagus completed the meal.

BARBECUE-RUBBED PORK CHOPS

Yield:   Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp. light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 3/4 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1/8 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1/8 tsp. ground red pepper
  • 4  (6-ounce) bone-in center cut loin pork chops trimmed (about 1/2 inch thick)
  • cooking spray
  • 1 fresh pineapple, peeled and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch thick slices

1.  Combine the first 9 ingredients;  rub over both sides of pork.  Heat a grill to medium-high heat.  Coat the grid with cooking spray by rubbing with a paper towel sprayed with cooking spray.

2.  When the grill is sufficiently hot, lay the chops and pineapple slices on the grill rack.  The  pork will cook in about 8 minutes, total. At about 4 minutes, turn the chops and pineapple over, and continue cooking until tender but still moist and juicy.

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SOURCE:  Weeknight Grilling with the BBQ Queens

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Pork Tenderloin with Cheesy Polenta

Pork Tenderloin and Mushroom Sauce

Pork Tenderloin and Mushroom Sauce

With a name like pork tender loin you would expect this cut of meat to be tender, right?   I may be in the minority here, but I’ve had the experience where it wasn’t tender at all;  more like dry, stringy, tough.  Did I do something wrong that ruined it,  or was it the cut of meat?   Most of the recipes I see for pork tenderloin have you cooking it (in the oven) at a very hot temperature, for a short time.  This may be the method of choice, but it doesn’t give me the results I want.

One thing I know about cooking most meats, is that the outside of it needs to be sealed in some way in order to contain its juices within.  This is what makes a cut juicy.  Without this step, cooking it at a high temperature will only dry it out,  and that equals tough!

So, with that in mind, I experimented with a pork tenderloin that weighed about a pound.  The recipe that follows describes what I did, and I’ll tell you right now that I got the results  I wanted:  a juicy, tender piece of meat with the added benefit of deep umami flavor thanks to the browning of the meat and the mushrooms used in the sauce.  Served with a cheesy polenta to spoon the sauce over,  this meal was outstanding.  In the words of my husband, it was “plate-licking good”.

A moist cut of pork with mushroom sauce to spoon over polenta.

A moist cut of pork with mushroom sauce to spoon over polenta.

PORK TENDERLOIN with CHEESY POLENTA

SERVINGS:   about 4

  • 3 Tablespoons EVOO, divided
  • 1 pork tenderloin, about 1 pound weight
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 small – medium shallots, finely chopped
  • 1  8-ounce pkg. mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup cream, light cream or half and half
  • 1 cup polenta ( cornmeal that cooks in 3 minutes)
  • 6 ounces shredded semisoft cheese, such as fontina, gouda, or jarlsburg
  • chopped flat-leaf parsley, or dried parsley, for garnish

1.  Preheat the oven to 375*F, and lightly spray a baking dish appropriately sized to the meat.

2.  In a large skillet, heat 1 Tablespoon oil over medium heat.  Season the meat all over with salt and pepper, and cook in the skillet, turning until browned, about 10 minutes.  Do not skimp on this step, it’s what produces the sear to keep the juices inside.

3.Transfer meat to the prepared baking dish.  Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the meat.  Put into the oven and roast until the temperature registers 145*—-about 12 – 15 minutes.  When temperature has been reached, remove from the oven, cover with foil to keep warm and let rest while you continue.

4.  In the skillet, add the remaining 2 Tablespoons oil, and over medium heat cook the shallots and mushrooms until softened, about 5 minutes.  Add the chicken broth and simmer until reduced, about 3 minutes.  Cover and remove from heat.

5.  Meanwhile, in a saucepan, bring 3 1/4 cups water and the cream to a boil.  Whisk in the polenta.  Lower the heat to medium-low and cook, whisking, until thick, about 3 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in the cheese;  season with salt and pepper.  Cover and keep warm.

6.  Transfer the pork to a cutting board and slice on an angle.  Arrange on a serving dish, top with mushroom sauce and garnish with parsley.  Serve with polenta.

Slice pork, pour mushroom sauce over top.

Slice pork, pour mushroom sauce over top.

Cheesy Polenta

Cheesy Polenta

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This meal can be completed by the addition of a green vegetable, such as green beans or broccoli.  In the event polenta does not appeal to you,  substitute mashed potatoes or rice to spoon the sauce over.  It will be very good however you serve it.

SOURCE:  A Carolyn Original