Good evening everyone! We’ve officially entered that splendid time of year known as grilling season. Each evening, the air is filled with the aroma of searing steaks, sizzling chicken and flame broiled veggies. There’s little in this world that can compare with the flavors and aromas of grilling season.
This is why our total inability to grill at our current dwelling is such a letdown. (We don’t have a balcony or patio – and the apartment complex frowns on grilling indoors). Tonight’s recipe is designed for the grill, but it can easily be adapted for the oven or grill pan for those who find themselves in the same situation.
So, whether you’re the master of the grill or adapting for apartment friendly use – let’s dive in to tonight’s recipe!
The Recipe: Adobo Pork & Potato Packets
Original Recipe Found On: Eatingwell.com
What You’ll Need:
4 Boneless Pork Chops (Bone-in chops if grilling)
1 Large Sweet Potato (Peeled)
1 Large Red Potato
1 Large Yellow Potato (Peeled)
1 Medium Red Onion (Diced)
3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Sherry Wine Vinegar
2 Teaspoons Garlic (Minced)
2 Teaspoons Paprika
½ Teaspoon Salt (Divided)
Begin by preparing the adobo sauce. In a small blender or food processor, combine the olive oil, sherry wine vinegar, paprika, garlic and ¼ teaspoon of salt. Pulse the mixture until smooth, making sure to work down any residual mixture on the sides of the blender every few seconds. Set this mixture aside.
You may have already figured this out by the name, but adobo sauce is a Mexican style marinade built with vinegar, paprika, garlic and other spices. It was originally created as a means of preserving food, but with the invention of modern refrigeration, the sauce was adapted to become a food flavoring. It’s a fairly common marinade in Spanish style cooking, so if you’re a fan of Mexican flavors (like we are) it’s not a bad marinade to learn – you can throw it on any piece of meat and instantly create a Mexican inspired dish.
Next, begin preparing your potatoes. Once the sweet potato and the yellow potato (Yukon or gold are the most common yellow potatoes) are peeled (it’s not necessary to peel the red potato) you can begin slicing them. To expedite the cooking process (and allow the marinade to penetrate fully into each potato) it’s important to slice them thin – no thicker than 1/8 of an inch. Use a mandolin for this step to make quick work of this process.
Once all of the potatoes have been peeled and sliced to 1/8 inch thickness, add them into a medium mixing bowl along with the diced red onion. Add the remaining ¼ teaspoon of salt to the bowl along with 3 heaping tablespoons of the adobo sauce. Toss the mixture well to ensure even coating.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees or set your grill to high.
Next, spread about 2 feet of aluminum foil out on your work surface. Fold the foil in half evenly (1 foot per side) and then unfold (this process is identical to the assembly of our carrot pouch from Monday’s recipe). To the right of the crease, spread the potato mixture evenly in the center (as pictured). If you have an abundance of potatoes, you may have to create two pouches. Fold the left side of the foil over the potato mixture and then fold over the sides and top of the pouch. Once the pouch (or pouches) have been tightly sealed, place them on a rimmed baking sheet and into your 400 degree oven. If you’re using a grill, place the pouches over the hottest portion of the grill. Allow the potatoes to cook for 20 minutes in the oven (flipping the pouches after 10 minutes) or 10 minutes on the grill (flipping after 5 minutes).
While the potatoes are cooking, you can begin preparation of the pork chops. Spread the remaining adobo sauce mixture evenly over both sides of all the chops. If you’re cooking the pork chops on the grill, go ahead and place them on immediately following the potatoes. Keep the pork chops towards the front of the grill (or in the cooler zone of the grill) and allow them to cook for about 4 minutes per side.
If you’re not using a grill, break out the next best thing – a grill pan. You’ll want to wait to start the pork chops until after you flip the potatoes (10 minutes into cooking). Place your lightly oiled grilled pan over high heat and let the pan’s surface get nice and hot before adding the pork chops. Cook the chops for 4 minutes per side.
Once the chops have finished cooking (regardless of method used) transfer them to a plate tented with aluminum foil to keep warm while the potatoes finish cooking.
Once the potatoes are tender (watch for hot steam coming from the foil packets!) serve them with the pork chops and enjoy!
This recipe was an easy way to take a traditional summer time dish (pork and potatoes) and twist it on its head. The flavors were a blending of spicy barbeque and Mexican (hard to imagine – but trust me, it’s a good thing).
It’s hard to believe with as much as we love to cook Mexican inspired dishes, but this was our first run in with adobo sauce. As I mentioned above, it’s a versatile sauce that adds just a hint of Mexican flavoring – it’s easy to whip up and completely changes the standard flavors of whatever you add it to. Be sure to try it out during your summertime grilling – you won’t regret it.
Before we finish tonight, I’d just like to take a moment and say thank you. Today (more accurately, tomorrow but we will be gone tomorrow and unable to mark the occasion) marks the 2nd anniversary of Out of the Culinary. Yes, two years ago we debuted this blog as two amateur chefs with little to no (closer to no) cooking ability. All we had was an ambition to eat healthier and to learn to cook on our own.
I launched this blog as a tool to do so. I thought that if we had to make our cooking public and available, we would have to be held accountable and keep to a schedule of healthy eating. It worked.
What I didn’t expect when we launched the blog is that we would discover a passion. What started out as a means to an end (healthy eating) became something fun and a true hobby. It turns out I liked to cook – a lot. Soon the blog turned from a tool for ourselves to a portal for everyone. It wasn’t about being held accountable; it was about sharing our passion for cooking and eating healthy.
We started off with 10 readers a day – and we were thrilled. By the end of last year, we were up to about 50 readers per day and averaging around 1500 page views a month.
Then, something happened. We were featured on Jamie Oliver’s website (I’m still elated to see our humble little blog listed in the links on Jamie’s website!) and we started to gain a wider web presence. Suddenly, this little project born out of a moment of inspiration one May afternoon has developed into a full fledged cooking website.
We average between 100-150 viewers per day and are breaking our monthly viewing records each and every month (4,000 last month). Our readers are from all over the world (!) and we can’t thank each and every one of you enough. If you’re a long time reader, thanks for sticking with us as we’ve grown and developed into what we are today. If you’re a new reader –Welcome!
We have no plans to stop blogging now. We’re going to keep sharing recipes, cooking techniques and our culinary adventures for as long as there’s someone who wants to keep reading them. Here’s to another year of cooking adventure and exploration!
We’re back on Monday with another trip Around the Culinary World. Until then,