Monday, August 3, 2009

Latin Deliciousness!

While my darlin' worked hard doing all sorts of housework on Sunday, I decided to start thinking about my next meal (no surprise there). Trying to budget, I checked what we already had, which was pork chops and fresh parsley and cilantro. I hate buying fresh herbs because so much of them always go to waste, but low-and-behold, when I quickly searched for some pork inspiration, I found a recipe for Chimichurri (which involves none other than fresh parsley and cilantro)! Needless to say, a latin-themed dinner was in order. I thought up some tasty matching sides and my delicious Sunday dinner was born.

Ancho and Rum-Glazed Pork Chops with Chimichurri, Seasoned Black Beans, and Homemade Plantain Chips

The Chimichurri was easy!
1 1/2 C chopped parsley
1 1/2 C chopped cilantro
1 Tbsp + 1 Tsp dried oregano
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
3 Tbsp chopped garlic (6-7 cloves)
1/4 Tsp red pepper flakes
1 Tsp kosher salt
1/4 Tsp black pepper
1/2 C extra virgin olive oil

Roughly chop parsley and cilantro and add to a food processor. Add the oregano, lime juice, vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper to food processor and blend until evenly mixed and smooth. Spoon into a bowl and stir in red pepper flakes. Add in oil gradually, as you stir so you can control the thickness of sauce to your preference. Store in fridge about an hour for flavors to get even more delicious!

Next comes the marinade, veggies and meat (enough for 2 boneless pork chops)!
2 dried ancho peppers
About 1/2 Cup of dark brown sugar
3 Tbsp olive oil
About 1-2 shots of rum (I used light Rum, but any variety would suffice)
1 sliced Red Bell Pepper
1/2 sliced Red Onion

Seed anchos and chop roughly. Add all ingredients to food processor and blend until smooth. Place pork chops in large ziplock bag and add marinade to coat chops. Set in fridge for about an hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a skillet and quickly brown pork chops on each side over medium heat. Remove from pan and place in pyrex baking dish. Add peppers and onions to skillet and sautee until soft. Add veggies to baking dish as well. Bake uncovered for 1 hour. After removing from oven, let meat rest for 5 minutes before slicing at an angle.

Seasoned black beans are super-easy!
1 can black beans, drained
1/4 chopped yellow onion
2 cloves chopped garlic
1 Tbsp olive oil

Add all ingredients to saucepan, with about 1/3 can-full of water. Let simmer for about 10-15 minutes.

Homemade plantain chips!
1 Plantain
A few cups of vegetable oil
Salt and Chili powder to taste

Slice plantain thinly. I used a mandolin but found using a knife got me an even thinner chip - depends on your preference. Fill a large sautee pan with about 2-3 inches of vegetable oil and heat the oil on med-high heat until it sizzles if you splash a drop of water into it. Carefully add plantain chips using a slotted spoon, and be careful because they will start to stick together. Let cook until they feel crispy. Remove with slotted spoon into paper-towel lined bowl, and sprinkle with salt and chili powder to taste.
These taste amazing dipped in the chimichurri!

Then warm some tortillas to wrap your meat + veggies, beans and chimichurri...and enjoy your delicious latin meal!