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Thursday, July 2, 2009

Pineapple Pork Chops and Goat Cheese Stuffed Mini Peppers: Recipe

I try to imagine what would be interesting and exciting for the summer barbecue using the pork chops in the refrigerator. I search through some recipes and then take a mix and match approach. I love muted spices - quiet ones - not necessarily "in your face look at me I'm really hot" spice. That's tough to take. And to counter the smokey flavors I like, I love to use fruits and vegetables that are in-season, naturally. Meanwhile I stare at the package of adorable mini sweet peppers I bought in the market...hmmm, what to do with them?

I start with good meat and then look inside the pantry for the spice combo that will work well - simple: olive oil, cumin, coriander and salt. Then I imagine the pork with something sweet and I take from a recipe: pineapple!

Back to those peppers, quickly. I wanted to stuff them so I thinned out some awesome goat cheese with a bit of olive oil and added the extra salty flavor of a green olive tapenade.

These would be a great hors d'ouevre for a party because they look so pretty and are easy to eat with your hands. A perfect party food.

Pineapple Pork Chops
1 1/4 lb. pork loin chops
1 Tbsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. olive oil

8 oz. can pineapple rings, drained and chopped
1/4 cup pomegranate seeds
1/4 tsp. minced jalapeno
1 white peach, diced
juice of 1 lime

Prepare the barbecue.

In a small bowl, mix the salt, cumin and coriander. Next drizzle in the oil and whisk well. Smear each chop, both sides, with the mixture and let sit in the fridge for about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine all other ingredients in another bowl and gently mix.

Grill chops about 7 minutes per side over direct heat and serve with salsa on the side.

Goat Cheese Stuffed Mini Sweet Peppers
3.5 oz. four pepper Crottin Montchevre, room temperature
1 dry pint sweet mini peppers, slice off tops and remove core and seeds
1/2 cup jumbo, pitted, Sicilian Green Olives, in oil
1 garlic clove
3 Tbsp. Olive Oil + 3 Tbsp. Olive Oil + 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil

Prepare barbecue

In a food processor, combine garlic, olives and 3 Tbsp. oil and puree. Put cheese in a medium bowl and whisk in 3 Tbsp. oil so cheese is smooth. Add in the green olive mixture and mix. Set aside.

Grill the peppers quickly - about 2 minutes per side - and put on a plate. With a pastry brush, coat each pepper lightly with the remaining tablespoon of oil and sprinkle with salt. Once peppers have cooled to the touch, stuff each one with about 1 Tbsp. of the cheese mixture. Can be served warm or at room temperature.

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