Saturday, June 8, 2013

Honey Garlic Grilled Pork Chops and Fresh English Peas

With summer finally getting underway in Chicago, tonight I'm making a favorite dinner that works particularly well when you are short of time.  Pork chops cook quickly on the grill and fresh English peas are easy to prepare.

If you have not ever made fresh peas, they are in season only for a short time and you really should try them.  They are so tasty and easy to make.  Note that one pound of peas in the pod equals about one cup of shelled peas, so purchase accordingly. As peas are a bit starchy I'm not serving the meal with any potato or rice, as later I'll be serving fresh strawberry shortcakes. To prepare the peas, simply pop them out of the shell, rinse and cook them in chicken broth with a pinch of salt and pepper.  Bring them to a boil in the broth, reduce heat to simmer and cook for about 5-7 minutes.  Taste test for doneness.  Drain and stir in a teaspoon of butter for every cup of peas.  In the time it takes for the chops to cook, the peas will be prepared.  Yes, a delicious homemade dinner in under 30 minutes!  (Check here for my recipe for spring pea soup.)

This is an easy dinner and the sauce is equally good on any meat.  Use this instead of bottled barbecue sauces, which often are filled with a wide range of chemicals and artificial ingredients.  The full recipe below is plenty for 8-12 pork chops or pieces of chicken.  So make this recipe once and use it for several meals.  Just remember to separate out just the amount your need for your dinner as you will be basting it onto raw meat and you don't want to contaminate the entire batch, which you will be keeping on hand for a future dinner.

I used boneless pork loins in these photos, but any thick cut pork chop will do.  These were about 1 and 1/2 inches thick (about 6.5 ounces each) so I grilled them over medium-high heat about 20 minutes in all, turning them and basting them with the sauce about every five minutes.  Adjust your cooking time based on the thickness of the meat and checking the temperature with an instant read thermometer to ensure the center is approximately 145-150F degrees.   You'll also notice that I had run out of fresh garlic, so substituted with granulated garlic.  It wasn't bad, but fresh garlic is better if you have it on hand.

Honey Garlic BBQ Sauce Ingredients
1 cup ketchup
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 garlic cloves (minced)

olive oil
salt and pepper

In a medium bowl  stir together ketchup, honey, soy sauce and garlic. Set aside the amount you will need for this dinner and refrigerate the remaining sauce in an air tight container.

Above is after the first turn. When turning again, turn
them vertically to achieve the crosshatch grill patter.
Preheat the grill until hot. Season both sides of the chops with salt and pepper. Brush each chop with the sauce to coat both sides and edges.  Fold a paper towel down to a 2 inch square and wet with olive oil.  Using tongs, grease the grill grates with the oiled paper towel where you will place the pork chops. This will help reduce sticking.  Place pork chops onto the grill and cook without moving them for five minutes.  Turn and baste with sauce again.  Baste at each turn until the chops are done.  Let rest approximately five minutes and serve with the buttered peas.

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