PROK CHOPS AL PASTOR

A dear friend from Florida recently sent me a publication that promotes the American pork industry. The publication, Pork Checkoff Report (Spring 2017), highlighted a recipe, Pork Chops al Pastor with Chipotle Marinade, that garnered my interest. I come from a Hispanic culture that consumes a lot of pork dishes. And, in my family, we favor cooking pork in cast-iron. So the recipe was a perfect follow-up to my last post (Cast-Iron Steak) which sings the praises of cast-iron cooking.The recipe is easy, no fuss, and delicious---the traits I admire most in any dish. Served with Mexican rice and slice avocados, it's glorious .

For those who have never prepared Mexican rice, it's very similar to its Caribbean counterpart. A quick preparation would entail: heating 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add 1 cup washed and rinsed long grain rice. Cook the rice, stirring until it puffs up and becomes golden. While rice is cooking, sprinkle with 2 cloves garlic, minced; and 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin. Stir in one small onion, peeled and finely sliced into rings. Cook until the onion is tender. Stir in 1/2 cup tomato sauce and 1 1/2 cups chicken broth. Cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes until rice is done. Remove from heat, fluff with a fork, and serve. That's it.

Note: the recipe serves two people, but you can double it for four servings (as I did).


PORK CHOPS AL PASTOR WITH CHIPOTLE MARINADE

2 bone in ribeye (rib) pork chops, 3/4 inch
3 tablespoons olive oil

CHIPOTLE MARINADE
1 white onion, halved
2 cups pineapple, peeled and cut crosswise into 1/2 inch thick rounds
3 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1 teaspoon oregano, Mexican
1 teaspoon cumin
2 tablespoons canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce

FOR CHIPOTLE MARINADE:
Combine all marinade ingredients in a large blender and puree until smooth.

In a large bowl, marinate pork chops with the marinade. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour.

Heat a large suate pan with olive oil to medium heat and saute pork chops unil golden, approximately 10-12 minutes (5-6 inches on each side), and chops reach an internal temeperature between 145 to 160 degrees F. (use a digital thermometer).

Serve with Mexican rice, sliced avocados and charred pineapple.