Being stuck in a rut is no fun. It tends to suck all the joy out of everything, even things you normally like to do. Like menu planning, for example. For awhile now, with zero inspiration, zero want-to, and high grocery bills just to make the same. old. things, it’s been one of those joyless, insufferable tasks. Every time I sit down to do it lately it’s all “what? This again? Didn’t we just eat, like, last week?” And this is coming from someone who, as you fine people know, LOVES food and eating. It’s a sad state of affairs. But, once again I lean heavily on the grill to take care of some of this food ennui for me. For example, Wednesday night’s planned Asian chicken dish was a no go because I just didn’t feel like eating it without my spring rolls (that those damn meanies had to go and discontinue on me). No problem, heat up the grill, rub some Williams Sonoma spicy lime rub on the chicken, grill it, slather it in barbecue sauce. I’m a firm believer in the notion that there ain’t nothing a little barbecue sauce and a grill can’t cure. This dinner did not contain the barbecue sauce but it is full of all of my favorite things: spicy serrano chiles, pork and beer all slapped together on the grill. And just like that, I’m excited about eating again. For one night anyway.
Jalapeno and Beer Brined Pork Chops
recipe from Homesick Texan
um, pork chops. I used three bone in ones
a bottle of beer, I used Shiner
a Tablespoon or so of kosher salt
a Tablespoon of black pepper
2 medium sized serranos, cut in half
2-3 large garlic cloves, chopped
a Tablespoon brown sugar
a couple Tablespoons worth of cilantro
juice from a couple of limes
Mix all the brine ingredients together in a large ziplock bag. Add in about a cup or so of cold water. Add the pork chops, close the bag, and turn it around to coat the chops. Refrigerate (in a bowl so nothing leaks) for about four hours and up to overnight. When ready to cook, heat up your grill however you do it, whether you get your charcoal going or just light up your propane. Grill the chops until cooked through. Or if your grill runs out of propane after you’ve only cooked one side of the damn chops, heat some oil in a cast iron skillet, brown on both sides til cooked through. I served mine with Mexican rice, tortillas and some sliced tomatoes and avocados. I meant to make cilantro vinaigrette for the tomatoes and avocados, but by the time Erik got home and dinner was done it was about 8 and I just didn’t feel like doing it. I highly recommend doing up a vinaigrette though.