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Chop Chop Pork Chop

Ingredients:

4 12-oz. natural (non-marinated) pork loin rib chops, 1 1/2-inches thick
Pineapple Brine (see recipe, below)
1/2 fresh pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into 4 long pieces*
1-2 T. olive oil
1 or 2 fresh serrano OR jalapeño chiles, thinly sliced
4 small green onions, thinly sliced
3 T. fresh lime juice
2 T. finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
2 T. maple syrup
1/2 t. salt
Pineapple Brine:
2 T. salt
2 T. packed brown sugar
6 oz. pineapple juice (3/4 c.)

Instructions:

For brine, stir together salt, brown sugar and 1 cup water in small saucepan. Bring to boil, stirring occasionally, until salt and sugar are dissolved. Remove from heat. Stir in 3 cups cold water and pineapple juice; let cool.

Place pork in large, resealable bag. Pour brine mixture over pork; close bag to seal. Turn bag to evenly coat pork with brine. Refrigerate for 3 hours, turning bag occasionally. Remove pork from brine; discard brine. Pat pork chops with paper towels, then brush with olive oil.

Prepare a medium-hot fire in grill. Grill chops, uncovered, over direct heat for 12-16 minutes or until internal temperature of pork reaches 155 degrees F, turning chops over halfway during grilling. At the same time, grill pineapple until slightly golden and caramelized, turning over often. Transfer chops to cutting board. Loosely cover with foil; let rest for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, for salsa, finely chop pineapple. Place chiles, pineapple, green onions, lime juice, cilantro, maple syrup and salt in medium bowl. Gently toss until mixed. Serve salsa with chops.

*If fresh pineapple is unavailable, use a 20-oz. can crushed pineapple, drained (do not grill).

Recipes are courtesy of Bob Blumer, The Surreal Gourmet.

For more inspiration on winter grilled meals with pork, including recipes and preparation tips, visit TheOtherWhiteMeat.com and click on “Recipes” on the menu bar and then on “Grilling.” While online, look under “All About Pork” on the menu bar for the demonstration videos, “Fire Up the Grill” and “Grilling with Food Safety in Mind.”

Published in the January 18, 2006 issue of Farm World.

1/18/2006