Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Blueberry Pork Chops!

Happy almost Independence Day!  I love the 4th of July.  I always have.  I used to love going to the parade in Clayton, CA.  It is such a cute, small town parade.  I am sure they have something like that here in Reno/N. Nevada….I just don’t know where.  We will sleep in (yay!) and go to a BBQ later in the day.  We will watch fireworks, of course.  That’s the best part!  I love fireworks!!

I’m not going to give you another 4th of July recipe today…..I am sure you already have your menu picked;)  Right?  You all totally plan ahead…..I am sure.  I do, however, have a kick-ass summer recipe for you.  You don’t even have to turn on your stove.  Ok, you do if you want to make homemade croutons.  You can skip that and used bagged ones if you absolutely don’t want to turn your stove on.  Are you dying to know what the recipe is?  Is the suspense killing you?

This, my friends, is a blueberry pork chop salad.  I know, I know…it sounds weird.  Just trust me.  I marinate the pork chops in a delicious blueberry and mustard marinade.  Then, I grilled them and served them over a salad filled with shallots, cucumbers, goat cheese, fresh blueberries and a yummy blueberry dressing.  It was so crazy good.  You will want blueberry pork chops all the time.

I was telling my mom about this recipe and she was skeptical, in true Carol fashion.  But the pork really works well with the sweetness of blueberries and the tang of mustard.  I love the sweet with the tangy.  And blueberries are super abundant right now, so why not take advantage. 

The first step is to make the dressing/marinade.  I used garlic, a shallot, Dijon mustard, olive oil, apple cider vinegar and blueberry preserves.  You can also see my pork chops above.  I used boneless chops that were on the thinner side. 

These will grill super-fast, and they were also crazy cheap!

I chopped my shallot pretty finely.  I think a shallot is milder than an onion, but nobody wants a huge piece in their dressing.

Everyone in the pool!

Once I whisked the olive oil in….this was ready.

Oh yeah, I also seasoned this with salt and pepper which didn’t make the picture.

I put my chops in a re-sealable plastic bag and covered the chops with about half of the dressing.  I marinated this all day.  I popped the bag in the fridge and just let it go.

Isn’t the color pretty?  I love blueberries…they turn everything a really pretty purple.

I poured the rest of the dressing into a container and popped that in the fridge also.  Make sure that you do not mix your dressing used for marinating and your dressing that will top the salad.  The two shall never meet and mingle.  In fact, once the marinade has served its purpose, I toss it.  You can’t eat it as it could have nasty little pork germs in it.

I grilled my chops on my indoor grill.  Once again, it was too windy to BBQ here.  I swear our new house is in a giant wind tunnel. 

I grilled these for about 5 minutes.  If you are using your outdoor grill, I would say these would be done in about 8 minutes total, 4 per side.  Try not to overcook your pork.  Pork chops get a bad rap for being dry, but if you are careful not to overcook them….they don’t get dry.  I take mine off a smidge early because they will continue to cook while they are resting.

In the meantime, I did make some homemade croutons.  I happened to have some sourdough bread, so I had no choice but to make some.  Homemade croutons from sourdough bread are the best and ridiculously easy.

All I did was toss my cubes into a combination of butter and oil.  I added some garlic salt and pepper and browned the cubes on both sides.  These are heaven in a bread cube.

I chopped some more shallots for my actual salad and some cucumbers.  I also rinsed some fresh blueberries.  You can add whatever you like on your salad.

I used mixed greens and some goat cheese too.  I sliced my pork really thin and topped my salad with the pork and dressing.  Oh man, this was a good salad.  Everything worked together perfectly…..the pork, blueberries, goat cheese, etc.  I felt light and healthy eating it.  And the best part was that I didn’t have to heat up my kitchen!

These pork chops would be fabulous on their own, using the dressing as a sauce….you don’t have to make a salad out of it.  But doesn’t a salad like this feel so summery?

Don’t be a skeptical Sue like my mom….try this!  You will love it!

Blueberry Pork Chops

2 tablespoons shallot, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

¼ cup Dijon mustard

¼ cup apple cider vinegar

¼ cup blueberry preserves

¾ cup olive oil

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

1 to 1 ½ pounds boneless pork chops

Whisk together shallot, garlic, mustard, preserves, vinegar, salt, pepper and olive oil.  Pour ½ of this mixture over pork chops.  Marinate pork chops for at least 4 hours in the refrigerator.  Pour remaining dressing into a container and chill.

Pre-heat grill.  Drain marinade off pork chops and discard.  Grill pork chops for about 4 minutes per side or until cooked through.  Serve with chilled dressing.

1 comment:

  1. this looks delicious!
    however i can't stop laughing since i thought that the picture of your shallots on the cutting board had a bloody band-aid on the left, and i kept reading and waiting to see if you said something about cutting yourself of something! but you didn't! finally i realized that you would like never just casually put a band-aid on your cutting board, aaaaaaand it was just the handle of the cutting board! sooo, there's that.