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June 21, 2007 / Tony

Pork Chops with Adobo Paste, Spanish Pilaf?, and Grilled Zucchini

pork-chop-spanish-rice-and-zucchini.jpg 

That was my menu last night.  Finally, we are having some nice weather here in Fargo and last night was an ideal night for grilling.  Here’s what I did:  First the recipe for the pork chop

Adobo is a Spanish word for seasoning or marinade.  This was something I just discovered (thank you Wikipedia).  This mariande/spice paste is plenty spicy and adds a nice crust to the finished meat.  I only made two modification to the recipe-I left out the oregano, I didn’t have any, and when grilling, I did not use the foil pan method, I just used the cover of my Weber grill.  Make sure when you make this recipe to have a cool part of the grill.  In order for the pork to be completely cooked before the adobo sauce is burned, you need a place to cook the chops over indirect heat. 

The flavor of the chops was intense but mostly of paprika and heat.  I was surprised that the garlic and lime flavors were not prominent.  I also think that the pork chop would have benefited from a soak in a brine before hand just for some extra juiciness and flavor. 

I also tried to create a version of Spanish rice.  Instead of searching for a recipe, I decided to see if I could make my basic pilaf recipe work with some Spanish spices and tomato sauce.  So I softened 1 onion in a saucepan with some olive oil, then added 1 cup of medium grain rice.  I let the rice cook for about 2 minutes and then added 1 1/2 cups of homemade chicken stock, 1 cup of tomato sauce (canned), 1 tsp. of cumin, 1 tsp. of chili powder, salt, and pepper.  I then brought it to a boil, covered the pan, and then simmered for 15 minutes undisturbed.  I then gave it a stir and let it sit till I was ready to eat. 

The rice was a little bit underdone even though all of the liquid had been absorbed by the rice.  (Of course, it wasn’t dry in the pan but the rice was pleasantly surrounded by just the right amount of sauce.)  I guess I needed at least another 1/2 cup of chicken stock.  Otherwise, the flavor was very good.  I might add a little bit of hot sauce next time for a little heat and a little boost in flavor. 

The grilled zucchini is a great summer standard of mine and it is so easy.  Simply trim and halve zucchini.  Brush with olive oil and then sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Grill on both sides until they are done.  So easy, yet so satisfying.  The flesh takes on a beautiful char and smoky flavor while the inside turns into a firm yet yielding bite.  If you had some fresh mint around, a sprinkle of chopped mint after cooking would not be out of place. 

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