Monday, May 3, 2010

No idea what to make for dinner...try marinated pork chops!

Sometimes when I don't know what to make for dinner (even though I've already laid a menu for the week...) I come up with great ad-libbed dinners. Other times, I just don't cook and we eat toast. Hey, just keeping it real.

Last week, I came up with something good. I have no idea where the idea came from, because it's really just a basic marinade with an Asian twist. It's probably a simplified conglomerate of many recipes I have read over the years. But it did the job! The sauce was pretty rich; next time, I'd dilute it before thickening it. Don't get me wrong; it was good, just strong. The best part is, you probably have all the ingredients in your refrigerator!

Asian-Inspired Marinated Pork Chops
Printable recipe

2 boneless pork chops
1/2 cup orange juice
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
1/4 cup water
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons oil

Combine the orange juice, soy sauce, and ginger. Pour a few tablespoons in a plastic bag with the pork and marinade for at least an hour. Reserve the rest of the marinade. Preheat the oven to 400. Heat a skillet over high heat and add the oil. Reduce to medium-high and fry the pork chop for a few minutes on each side to brown it. Remove to a pan and place in the oven. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the pork is cooked through. While the pork is in the oven, place the remaining marinade in a saucepan. Whisk the cornstarch into the water and add to the saucepan. Heat over medium heat until the sauce is thickened and translucent.

After removing the pork from the oven, allow it to rest for a few minutes. This will help keep the juices in the meat. Slice the chops and serve with the sauce drizzled on top.

This recipe isn't perfect. It's not very complex and there are many things you could do to make it more delicious. Add fresh orange zest or garlic, for instance. But, with only three ingredients, the marinade can't get more simple which is what you need sometimes.

I know it's naughty, but I buy my meat when it's on sale and freeze it in individual bags. It's way cheaper! When I made this, I poured the marinade right into the bag on the frozen pork chop and let it thaw in a bowl of cold water on the counter. It worked perfectly.

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