Friday, June 3, 2011

What's for dinner? Cuban Pork Chops with Mojo!

Last night I wanted something different for dinner than the usual pasta or rice dish. I was officially craving meat. After looking around the internet for a few minutes, I had my heart set on the following recipe which you should definitely try because it was all sorts of delicious.

Ingredients for dinner for 2
1 cup, plus 1/4 cup orange juice (keep seperate)

  • 1/2 cup, plus 1/4 cup fresh lime juice (keep seperate)
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 2 (1-inch-thick) pork chops with the bone in them
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fine sea salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder 
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder 
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1 cup arugula, for garnish
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, chopped, for garnish
  • 1 avocado, sliced, for garnish

  • Now what?
  • In a container big enough to hold your pork chops, combine 1 cup orange juice, 1/2 cup lime juice, and 1/4 cup vinegar. Add the pork and let it sit and marinate for about 1 hour in the fridge. This will make the meat super tender and juicy.
  • In a small mixing bowl, combine all dried spices. Pat the pork chops dry with a paper towel and rub with the dry spice mixture all over your chops.
    Heat oil in a large saute pan over high heat. Place the pork chops in the pan and sear on 1 side until brown. Flip over and turn the heat down to medium-low. Add the onion and saute for 2 minutes. Then add the garlic and continue to cook until garlic begins to brown. Pour in the remaining 1/4 cup orange juice, 1/4 cup lime juice, and white wine. Simmer until the liquid is slightly reduced and begins to thicken. The chops should be cooked through.
    Remove the chops from pan and put on a warm plate. Continue to reduce the juices in the pan by half. Spoon over the chops and serve immediately.
    Garnish with chopped arugula, tomatoes and avocado. Yum!

    Side note for hungry people
    I was so hungry that I actually served the chops on a small bed of dairy-free mashed potatoes (no butter or milk at all).  To make these you warm up a big splash of olive oil (about a cup) with some fresh rosemary leaves, a chopped shallot and a clove of garlic. Remember it shouldn't fry, it should just simmer on very low heat so that the oil gets infused with the flavors of the rosemary, shallot and garlic. Meanwhile, boil your potatoes with skin and all until they are ready (they should fall off your fork when you stick it in there to check if they are cooked). When ready, save a splash of your cooking water in a cup on the side. Mash up your potatoes with the desired amount of infused oil, which should be nice and fragrant by now, and use some of the cooking water you saved if you need your potatoes to be a bit softer/mushier. Add salt and pepper to taste, and voilà!

    So good!

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