Well, there were some thin-sliced porkchops marked down "Today Only" which means you buy them and cook them asap, right? And, for not procrastinating, you save half off the pricier (read: fresher) chops. Now, these are the thin kind of chops that are mighty fine when dragged through some beaten egg and then breaded with Italian breadcrumbs and fried to almost crisp. And they usually look real pretty sitting on a plate next to some fettuccine Alfredo and maybe a Caesar salad. Oh yeah! And that's what I fully intended to do.
But when I woke up today Spring was outside my window and new sunlit green leaves were giggling in the breeze! March in New Orleans is something to behold. Parade weather, y'all! How could I possibly spend the afternoon inside my kitchen frying porkchops on the stove?? Impossible.
And so, the whole day was changed. Immediately, I put the porkchops in a jumbo ziplock bag with some marinade. Then, instead of running to the store for more oil, I spent the afternoon cleaning the patio - pruning and blowing away the Brown of Winter. Then, just as the sun got heavy in the sky, it was time to fire up the grill and pour a glass of Pinot Noir. Since these chops were so thin, they'd likely be done in one glass of wine. Sound odd? Let me explain.
My Father loved fire and he worked it like a Neanderthal. Gas stoves, trash burn piles, candlelight story lighting, fireplaces and, most of all, barbecue pits were his tools. He could cook enough barbecued chicken to feed an army in an afternoon. And that was good because, being good Catholics, he and my mom had created an entire regimen of bottomless little Irishmen.
Dad would fire up the grill and pop open a beer. Hey, "King Of The Grill" is a thirsty title! He could perfectly predict how long the chicken would take to cook by how many beers he could drink by lunch. "Oh, that looks like a Three Beer Chicken to me," he'd say. And he was always right. Or, maybe by then he was too buzzed and we were too hungry to care if it was really done or not.
Did I mention that I live in the house in which I was raised? It's a rare blessing which came about after Hurricane Katrina. We were homeless and this house was for sale. I lost one house and got my home back. Who needs furniture? So blessed. And so, now, I stand on the same patio as my Dad grilling "One Glass Of Pinot Noir Porkchops" under the same Great Oak tree that shaded him when I was a child making mudpies beneath its branches.
ONE GLASS OF PINOT NOIR PORKCHOPS
1 pack of thin-sliced pork chops
1/4 cup of Badia seasoning
1 cup of Mojo Criollo Spanish marinade
1 lime sliced
Rinse the porkchops well and place them in the plastic bag. Add the seasoning and marinade and close the bag. Squish it around to make sure all the goodness gets on all the porkchops. Let this marinate in the fridge for an hour or up to overnight. Badia and Mojo Criollo are both readily available at any good grocery store in either the seasonings or foreign food departments. Just ask. When time to grill, preheat the grill on HIGH. Place chops on the grill and turn the heat to MEDIUM. Let them get nice and seared on one side before you turn them - about 10 minutes (or half a glass of wine). Then, flip the chops and let them cook another ten minutes until it's time for a refill!! Of course, they cook so fast because they are cut so thin - you don't want to overcook them or they'll be tough and dry. Place the finished chops on a platter. Drizzle them all with a light sprinkle of fresh lime juice and sprinkle chopped fresh cilantro over the top. I served mine with leftover jambalaya and white beans on the side. It was terrific!
Dinner.... done in less than thirty minutes! Time to kick back in the arms of the Great Oak with a glass full of memories.
Happy Mardi Gras to all my friends all over the world!
Questions? Comments? Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org