So, we have a confession to make. Even we, as chefs, have our nights where we do not want to cook. Summers are busy with soccer games, a golf game or meeting a friend on a patio leaving very little time to spend in the kitchen. But we still want to eat great tasting food; there is absolutely no compromise there.
Lucky for all of us, it is very easy to ‘not really’ cook with all the great food, produce especially, that is available at this time of year. The key to ‘not really’ cooking a good meal lies in the quality of ingredients that you use. Buy the best ingredients that you can, turn on the barbeque and enjoy the sunshine.
So for a quick dinner for two we bring you the simple grilled pork chop. We were given fresh herbs from a friend’s garden – rosemary, sage and parsley – and purchased extra thick bone-in local pork chops from the Bauer Butcher, located in Vincenzo’s. Fresh lemon juice and a good olive oil are an instant marinade and sauce. And, of course, kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Be generous with the salt: a good four-finger sprinkle on both sides, because meat loves salt.
This recipe will work well with bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts as well. Enjoy this meal with whatever market vegetables you have on hand, and perhaps some leftover potato salad (from last week’s column). We actually sautéed some kale, from the same friend’s garden: wash kale and take leaves off of thick stem. Heat olive oil in pan with one clove of crushed garlic. Add kale (we used three large stems). Season with salt and pepper, and cook for 4-5 minutes. Add a splash of water, a squeeze of lemon and cook for another couple minutes. Done!
Barbecued pork chops
- 2 8-oz pork chops
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh herbs, whatever you have on hand
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Place pork chops in a shallow dish;
Drizzle with lemon juice, herbs, olive oil and salt and pepper;
Allow flavours to absorb for 30 minutes, at room temperature, turning once;
Pre-heat grill to medium-high;
Place pork chops on grill at “10 o’clock;”
Cook for 3 minutes, and then turn to “2 o’clock” for 3 more minutes. This will give you great looking grill marks;
Flip pork chops over and continue cooking for 5 minutes, or until firm to the touch. It is okay if pork chops are slightly pink in the center;
Remove from grill and allow to rest, uncovered, on a plate for 5 minutes before serving; serve with collected juices and drizzle with olive oil.
Chefs Kirstie Herbstreit and Jody O’Malley are both Red Seal certified chefs. Together they run the company YouCanCook2, specializing in interactive dinner parties. You can also find them cooking at Entertaining Elements in St. Jacobs, where they hold private dinners for eight people. To contact the chefs, visit their website www.youcancook2.com.