Saturday, September 25, 2010

Latin-Rubbed Pork Loin Chops with Chimichurri

We made these Latin-Rubbed Pork Loin Chops with Chimichurri only because I was looking through my cookbooks for pork chop recipes and this one seemed to have ingredients that I already had in the house. I found it in Grill Every Day which isn't a cookbook I turn to very often, but I was flipping through it just to see if there were any other grilling tricks I wanted to learn before it's too cold to grill anymore!

I'm not sure why I haven't paid more attention to this book, because there are lots of recipes for the basics - pork chops, pork tenderloin, chicken, steaks, etc. My Mario Batali and Bobby Flay grill books - which I turned to most often this summer - have more complex and expensive recipes.

So anyways, I learned that you can have a fabulous dinner with nothing more than a spice rub and sauce both made of simple ingredients. The flavor combination of the rub and the Chimichurri is really great and we were raving about it with every bite!

We followed the instructions almost exactly, except that we made the Chimichurri in a blender instead of a food processor. And even though it looks complicated when you read it - make a rub, make a sauce, etc., I think this is one of those dinners you can have on the table in a about a half an hour. Start the coals, make the rub, whip up the sauce and get grillin'! We threw some asparagus on the grill with it and we were ready to go. Yum!

Latin-Rubbed Pork Loin Chops with Chimichurri
Serves 4

4 bone-in, center-cut port loin chops, 3/4 to 1 inch think (10 to 12 ounces each)
Extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup Latin Spice Rub
1 cup chimichurri

Latin Spice Rub
makes about 1/4 cup
1 Tbsp. packed dark brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. Kosher or sea salt
1 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

2 large cloves garlic
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. Kosher or sea salt
1/2 tsp. sugar
1 cup packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

For the Latin Spice Rub: In a small bowl, combine the sugar, salt, pepper, ginger, cumin and cayenne pepper. Stir well to blend. Use immediately, or transfer to a jar with a tight-fitting lid and store away from heat and light for up to 6 months.

For the Chimichurri: In a food processor fitted with the metal blade, combine the garlic, red pepper flakes, cumin, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and sugar and process until the garlic is minced. Add the parsley and lemon juice and pulse until the parsley is finely chopped. With the machine running, pour the 1/2 cup olive oil through the feed tube and process until the sauce is well blended.

For the Pork: Prepare a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill or preheat a gas grill on medium-high.

Remove the port chops from the refrigerator 20 to 30 minutes before grilling and place them on a rimmed baking sheet. Rub the chops on both sides with olive oil. Liberally season the chops on both sides with the spice rub. When the grill is heating, make the sauce.

To create a cool zone, bank the coals to one side of the grill or tun off the burners. Oil the grill grate. Place the pork chops directly over the medium-hot fire. Grill on one side until nicely seared, about 4 minutes. Turn and cook until seared, 3 to 4 minutes longer. Move the chops to the cooler part of the grill, cover, and grill until the meat is slightly pink in the center, or an instant-read thermometer registers 145°, 10 to 12 minutes longer.

Remove the chops from the grill and let rest 5 minutes. Transfer to chops warmed dinner plates and spoon some of the sauce over the top. Place the rest of the sauce in a bowl for passing. Serve immediately.

I thought this would be a good recipe for Weekend Herb Blogging because of the use of parsley in the Chimichurri. Parsley is almost an invisible herb to me - something green that a lot of Italian recipes call for. Something my grand ma told me to chew on to freshen my breath (but tasted gross so I never did). So i was impressed when this simple ingredient, that I use alot but have never appreciated on its own, was used with some simple spices and oil to make such a great sauce.

Look for more herb recipes at Healthy Green Kitchen who is hosting this week's Weekend Herb Blogging roundup.


Joanne said...

I love the simplicity of this, and I agree - it's amazing what you can do with a rub and a sauce! Great meal.

Duane said...

One of the better rubs I've tried and the chimichurri was perfect. Can't wait to try this on ribeyes!