Friday, March 11, 2011

Ginger Ale Grilled Pork Chop

Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a sucker for ginger ale. No, I am not a 90 year old woman. I just love the stuff. I mix it into almost any cocktail I drink (or with white wine when I am feeling particularly classy). But since it is bad for my teeth, I try to only drink it for special occasions, which is why I still love it so much. It is still a treat. I had a can in the fridge and I decided that I would put it to work on some beautiful pork chops that I picked up at Giant. I've marinated meat in everything from beer, wine, Coke, and Dr. Pepper, but never Ginger Ale. With the pork, it really worked. The peppery ginger and the light sweetness compliment the chop and the bubbles really tenderize it. You end up with a really juicy chop. I like addind the hot pepper for some complexity. otherwise I was afraid that the chop would be too sweet and nothing else going on. The nice part is that you can make this up the night before and leave it in the fridge, marinating all day. All you need to do when you get home is grill or fry it up. Plus, the chops are nice and lean. It really is the perfect weeknight meal.
Ginger Ale Grilled Pork Chop
2 thick cut pork chops (about 1 inch thick)
1 can ginger ale (NOT diet...come on)
1 small hot pepper (jalapeno, serrano, long hots, whatever)
salt and pepper
olive oil

1. Put pork chops into a plastic bag and add coarsely chopped hot pepper with seeds, 1 tsp. salt and as much ginger ale as needed to cover the chops.
2. Let them marinate in the fridge for 8-24 hours.
3. Remove the chops from the marinade, blot them dry with a paper towel, sprinkle generously with salt and pepper on both sides and drizzle lightly with olive oil.
4. Preheat a grill pan or a frying pan on medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add the chops, oil-side-down.
5. Allow to cook on that side for 4-5 minutes. Lightly drizzle the top with oil and flip.
6. You should have a nice, dark color. Cook on the second side for another 4-5 minutes until the done. The inside will be a nice light pink and the chop will be very juicy.
I served it with asparagus and potato salad. Yum!

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