Vote for America’s Top #ChopGriller!

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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of the National Pork Board

Grilling Tips for Pork Chops

Recently Susanne’s family had our family over for a barbecue and served this original brined pork chop recipe which was, in a word, phenomenal.

My husband attempted her recipe last weekend for a post dance recital family dinner and our parents couldn’t believe how juicy and flavorful the pork chops turned out.

Try this pork chop recipe out for a summer barbecue – your guests will love it. Love it.  You can read our grilling tips for pork chops below.

Here was our rendition of Susanne’s recipe…

chops

 

Cast Your Vote for a Chance to Win!

In our last post we told you about a contest sponsored by the National Pork Board searching for America’s Top #ChopGriller.

Out of nearly 6,000 entries, the National Pork Board narrowed it down to eight #ChopGriller finalists (two from each pork chop category.) The race is now on for one lucky winner to be voted America’s Top #ChopGriller and they need your votes!

Why would you take the time to vote you might ask?

Well, by submitting a vote, you will be entered for a chance to win a Large Big Green Egg® Grill Package and a summer’s worth of free pork to” get your grill on” this summer (valued at $2,000).

You are allowed one vote per day, so come back daily to enter, and of course for more chances to win.

Voting runs now through June 13th, 2014.

Click here to place your vote today (and tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day…)

Grilling Tips from the Experts…   

Our Grilling Tips for Pork Chops 

In our pork chop grilling experience we have learned the following grilling tips for pork chops have made for the tastiest chops.

stefan2

 1. Brine ’em, baby! 

Susanne’s recipe called for brining the pork chops for 2 – 3 hours prior to grilling.

The brine makes the chops SUPER moist, juicy and flavorful. My sister also made her recipe and loved the brined pork chops so much she told me she will never go without brining again!

brine

2. Get ready to grill 

Preheat grill to around 400 degrees.  Pat the chops dry after removing from the brine and rub both sides with a little olive oil prior to grilling.

3. Watch the clock like a hawk

You do not want to overcook pork so you have to watch the grilling time carefully.  You can use this pork cooking times and temps resource as a cooking guideline.

4. Check the temp 

My husband used a timer and meticulously watched the cooking time and removed from grill when chops reached the recommended internal temperature.

For those of you who didn’t know the National Pork Board recommends grilling pork chops to an internal temperature between 145°F degrees (medium rare) and 160°F degrees (medium), followed by a 3 minute rest time.

145

5. #’s aren’t just for social media

Well, they are not really hashtags, but I couldn’t resist.

When grilling, change the direction of your pork chop on the grill at 1/4 turn angles at equal time intervals to get nice grilling hashmarks on the meat.

Gives them a nice touch for the presentation.

hashmark

6. Give it a rest 

After taking off the grill, cover with foil and let the chops rest for at least 3 minutes to let the juices redistribute. Yummmmm……

Do you have any grilling tips to share? 

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Get Your Grill On [Giveaway!]

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Brined pork chop recipe

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of the National Pork Board 

Nothing makes me happier than the official arrival of grilling season.  In sunny SoCal we truly can grill year round, but I particularly love spring time when we can embrace the arrival of even warmer temps, lighter nights and weekend BBQ’s with friends firing up the grill while the kids run around.

To celebrate, I have an amazing grilling giveaway today from the National Pork Board and Kroger‘s which includes:

$250 Kroger (Ralph’s) Gift Card
Two Grilling Prep Trays from Williams Sonoma
Tong/Spatula Set
Grilling Mitt & Apron
Basting Brush
Digital Thermometer

Hello ultimate Father’s Day gift (enter below!)

Susanne and her husband recently had my family over for a Sunday afternoon barbecue to test out a new brined pork chop recipe and let me tell you, she makes a TOP chop! Hopefully this post inspires you to invite some family or friends over to try it out for yourself.

But before we get into the recipe (which you have to try – total crowd pleaser), I wanted to share a current contest going on where the winner gets a $15,000 backyard makeover!

#ChopGriller Contest 

Do you think YOU have a top chop?

In only 140 characters, enter the reason why you think you make the best chop in the neighborhood in the #ChopGriller contest by May 16th, 2014 and you might be grilling in the backyard of your dreams!

The winner will receive $15,000 toward a backyard makeover, a summer’s worth of free pork and a Large Big Green Egg® in Mahogany Table, Custom EGG® Tools and Big Green Egg Organic Lump Charcoal.

Click here for #ChopGriller contest details and to enter.

Chop Shoppin’ 

Susanne has been on a mission to help me learn to cook for some time now, so I joined her at our local Ralph’s, the ultimate source for barbecue essentials, to get some tips on shopping for her menu, which was to include brined New York Pork Chops, grilled peaches, cous cous and a balsamic Burrata salad.

suschops

There were prepackaged chops in the refrigeration section and also chops available at the butcher counter.

The National Pork Board adopted several new cut names last April to match the names of familiar cuts of beef for easier identification and preparations. For Susanne’s recipe, we went for the prepackaged New York Pork Chop, a boneless cut, formerly known as the Top Loin, or Center Cut.

The prepackaged chops were thinner than the ones behind the counter, so Susanne opted for the thinner variety.

Ralph’s had it on sale at $2.99/lb which means we got 9 New York Pork Chops for only $9.30! Very inexpensive way to feed a group, right?!

Susanne’s New York Pork Chop Recipe 

To infuse the most flavor into the chops, Susanne made a brine for the chops to marinate in for a couple hours before cooking.

Any lean, dry meat, like a pork chop is a great candidate for brining, which enhances flavor and adds moisture.

brining

Pork Chop Brine Recipe

9 New York Pork Chops

1 c brown sugar

1/4 c apple cider vinegar

4 T Kosher Salt

2 T garlic powder

1/2 T black peppercorns

1 T allspice (whole)

2 T dried marjoram (or dried thyme)

2 t dry mustard

1/8 t red pepper flakes

ice cubes

Pork Chop Brine Instructions 

1.  In a medium saucepan bring all ingredients to a simmer (except pork chops and ice cubes- ha!)  Stir until sugar and salt has dissolved.  Remove from heat and pour over ice cubes to cool.

2.  Once cooled, place New York Pork Chops in the liquid and refrigerate, brining for 1-2 hours.

3.   Remove New York Pork Chops from the brine, pat dry with a paper towel,  lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper and rub with a touch of Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

Grill It Like a Steak!

Grilling a New York Pork Chop is very easy, you simply grill it like a steak!

Susanne cooked them on a medium heat grill, and turned a total of 4 times, for 2 minutes every turn, to give them the nice grill hashmark.  The length of time you want to cook depends on the thickness.  Click here for an easy cooking times and temps guide.

When you’ve finished grilling, cover the pork chops with foil and let them rest for 3 minutes before serving.

chops

Here is my husband who was the inspired “SUS Chef”!

grilling

Important note: you don’t want to overcook pork or it will be too dry.

The recommended internal temp for our chops was between 145°F degrees (medium rare) and 160°F degrees (medium) followed by a 3 minute rest time, so Susanne was careful to monitor the temperature to take them off the grill at the right temperature.

A good digital meat thermometer is essential when grilling pork.

145

Then it was time to grill the accompanying peaches.

Grilled Peaches Recipe 

4 peaches, quartered, pit removed

2 t maple syrup

2 t balsamic vinegar

2 t brandy (or sherry wine)

2 t Extra Virgin Olive Oil

salt + pepper

fresh basil, rinsed and torn for serving

Grilled Peaches Instructions

Toss the peaches the rest of the ingredients about 15 mins before ready to grill (except basil).

Grill until just browned and caramelized, turning frequently to maintain the structure of the peach.  Remove from grill and return to the balsamic/maple liquid.

grilled peaches

And look how pretty it turned out to serve on a platter family style with some fresh basil leaves…

familystylechops The meal was served on a bed of cous cous with a refreshing salad of crisp greens with Burrata cheese on the side.

The whole group, including my two picky kiddos, gave it a thumbs up!

girls

Crisp Greens Salad with Burrata Cheese Recipe

Mixed baby greens (we chose one with baby kale)

2 packages Burrata cheese (drained from liquid, dried with paper towels)

1/2 thinly sliced onion, marinated in red wine vinegar and a pinch of sugar to remove the over whelming onion taste.

whole almonds, toasted and roughly chopped

balsamic vinaigrette (you favorite from the store or make your own!)

plateoffood

The entire meal was light and perfect for a warm afternoon.

The combination of the sweet peaches with the brine flavor packed a flavorful punch.  All of the flavors on the plate played so well together, it was fun mixing different ingredients on the plate to make each bite a little different.  Creamy Burrata and crunchy almonds with a bite of pork and peaches- YUM!

Happy grilling from our families to yours!

BBQing

 

Grilling Giveaway! 

One lucky winner will receive $250 Kroger (Ralph’s) Gift Card, two grilling prep trays, tong/spatula set, grilling mitt & apron, basting brush and digital thermometer! Good luck and happy grilling!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of the National Pork Board. We also received the above grilling giveaway items to assist with the writing of this post. 

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