Let the grilling begin! Labor Day weekend is upon us, and cooking up some delicious grilled food and enjoying it outdoors is practically mandatory. Today’s recipe – Greek-Style Pork Chops from the July 2010 issue of Cooking Light – caters both to those who have outdoor grills and those who don’t; the recipe is actually written for a grill pan but can be prepared either way. Plus, it’s a super healthy option to work into what is typically (for us, anyway!) a pretty indulgent weekend. More room for cupcakes, right?
To make the dish, I started by marinating the pork chops. In a large zip-top bag, I combined 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar, 1 teaspoon of dried oregano, 1 teaspoon of olive oil, and 2 minced garlic cloves. I added 4 boneless center-cut pork loin chops (mine were about 5 ounces each) and sealed the bag. I marinated the pork at room temperature for 20 minutes, turning them after 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, I whisked together 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar, 1 teaspoon of olive oil, 3/4 cup of plain fat-free Greek-style yogurt (I used Fage 0%), 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh dill, and 1/8 teaspoon of coarse salt to make a sauce for the pork. I covered the sauce and stashed it in the refrigerator. I also diced plum tomatoes (1 1/2 cups), cucumber (1 cup), and red onion (1/2 cup) and combined the ingredients to make a salad. The recipe said to season the salad with 1/8 teaspoon of coarse salt, but I definitely thought it needed more. I’d recommend starting with 1/4 teaspoon and seasoning to taste from there.
Once I had the sauce and the salad prepared, the chops were ready for the grill. I heated my grill pan over medium-high heat and sprayed it with my olive oil mister. (The recipe suggests cooking spray.) I removed the pork from the bag, set the chops on my designated meat cutting board, and discarded the marinade. I sprinkled both sides of the pork chops with 1/4 teaspoon of coarse salt and added the pork to the preheated pan. I cooked the chops for 4 minutes on each side, removed them from the pan, and then let them rest for 2 minutes before serving. I served the pork chops on top of the tomato mixture, topped with the yogurt mixture.
This dish has so many fantastic qualities. It was fast, easy, inexpensive, and (most of all) delicious. The juicy pork chops and super fresh salad just taste like summer. The creamy yogurt sauce is such a treat, too; it really takes the dish to the next level. I look forward to making this one again and again.
Whether you’re grilling, traveling, or just doing some much-deserved relaxing at home, have a wonderful and safe Labor Day weekend!
TIPS: To prepare pork chops on the grill, I would recommend grilling them for 3 – 4 minutes per side over medium-high heat. Don’t forget to oil the grill grates before throwing the chops on! (I forget at least one out of every four times, guaranteed.)
Recipe link: Greek-Style Pork Chops