Tag Archives: pork chop

Authentic Greek…and Beyond

13 Dec

Of the many popular cuisines of the world, I am admittedly uneducated about Greek cuisine.  I can tell you the basics, but beyond that I am sadly ignorant. A little while ago I came across a great Greek-centric blog, Kalofagas – Greek Food & Beyond. I had the chance to chat with Peter Minaki, the man behind the food, about his passion and his wonderful new cookbook, Everything Mediterranean.  Over espresso-boosted drinks, Peter told me about having to fend for himself in the kitchen when his parents would go on vacation to Greece and that while barbecuing was all well and good, it got repetitive after a while.  He started experimenting with Greek classics and discovered he had a real talent for it.

Fast forward to the 2000’s and Peter is ready for a change from the world of finance. His blog is already up and running with a solid following. He gives up his job in 2011 to cook Greek food full-time. He begins to set up supper clubs for 30-60 guests per event in the GTA that become increasingly popular and lo and behold, a cookbook publisher comes calling! Over a summer, he and his partner test and draft a few versions of 300+ recipes and Everything Mediterranean is born.

The book is a thorough and detailed journey through Greek cuisine ranging from the popular dishes (souvlaki, moussaka, grilled octopus, baklava) to the less obvious pistachio-crusted halibut, bianko, pastourma pie and, a dish that aroused my curiosity, feta cheesecake. Each recipe has an easy, step-by-step guide and, should you want it, nutritional information. I made the slow-cooked pork chops in white wine and they came out fabulously. I’m told the maple-crusted lamb and olive oil fries are must-tries. Meanwhile, that feta cheesecake is calling to me…

Would you like to get your own copy of Peter’s book? Check it out over on Amazon! It would make a great Christmas gift for the foodies on your list!

Pork Chops w/ Pineapple Salsa

6 Feb

I have an unabashed love of pork and make some mean bacon and tenderloin recipes. (Have a look around the site – you’re bound to find a few!) What I hadn’t attempted yet, however, was Homer Simpson’s favourite: pork chops. Love ’em, but never make ’em. So off to the interwebs I went and found some inspiration! You’re best to let these marinate for a couple of hours beforehand so that the flavours really soak into the meat, but no more than three hours. Any longer than that and the proteins will start to break down which means you’ll end up with mushy chops…and no one wants that.  As with all meat, let it come to room temperature before you cook it.

I also happened to have a pineapple kicking around that needed to be eaten, so I did up a quick pineapple salsa that I’ve also used with my go-to salmon dish and tossed in some tomatoes that we had in the fridge.

Serves 2.

Ingredients

2 pork chops, bone-in, centre cut
1  lime (juice & zest)
1/2 jalapeno, diced
1 tb honey
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1/3 c olive oil
1/2 pineapple, diced
1/2 red onion, finely diced
1/4 c cilantro, chopped
Kosher salt & black pepper
1 lime, juiced
1 handful cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
3 tb olive oil

Directions

1. Combine the  lime juice, zest, jalapeno, honey, garlic and 1/3 c olive oil in a resealable bag or container. Add in the pork chops and marinate in the fridge for roughly 3 hours, if possible.
2. When ready, heat a heavy-bottomed pan (cast iron is best, but use what you have) with a little bit of canola oil. Let the pan get nice and hot: you want a nice sear on the meat.
3. Remove the pork chops from the marinade and shake any excess off. Season with salt and pepper.
4. Carefully place the chops in the pan, cooking one minute per side. Lower heat and cover, cooking 5 more minutes per side.
5. Meanwhile, combine the pineapple, red onion, cilantro, lime juice, tomatoes and olive oil in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
6. Let the pork rest on a cutting board for 10 minutes to allow the juices to be re-absorbed back into the meat. Then plate and top with the salsa.

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