Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Spice-Rubbed Pork Chops with Quinoa

One thing to remember when cooking is that you are more than welcome to adapt recipes to your own tastes, preferences and pantries. Recipes are not written in stone! (However, baking is a different story. Too many variables depend on ingredient proportions. It's best not to alter a recipe until you're more familiar with how things work!)

Just because a recipe says to use a certain kind of cut of pork doesn't mean you have to use that cut or even pork! (This rub would work well on chicken, too!) And just because a recipe is meant for the oven doesn't mean you can't cook it in a different manner. Case in point: this recipe. The original recipe uses a pork loin, is baked in the oven and has more heat. I had pork chops, opted for the grill and cut back on the red pepper, but you can go back to the original, if you like. It's your kitchen! Do what you like!

Spice-Rubbed Pork Chops with Quinoa

1 tsp. paprika
1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 lb. pork chops
1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 1/2 cups frozen corn, thawed
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
Freshly ground pepper

Preheat the grill. Combine the paprika, red pepper flakes, cumin and salt in a shallow dish. Rub the pork chops all over with the olive oil, then liberally sprinkle the spice mixture over the chops to coat. Grill the pork chops until cooked. (If you are using a thin cut, grill the chops over a high heat for 4-5 minutes. If you are using a thick cut, start grilling the chops over a high heat with the lid closed, flipping the chops after 1 minute. Close the lid for one more minute. Then turn the heat down to low or move the chops to the cooler side of a charcoal grill and grill with the lid on for 6-8 more minutes, flipping halfway through.) Transfer to a cutting board and let rest 5-10 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the quinoa and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and fluff with a fork. Toss with the corn, scallions, parsley and salt and pepper to taste.

Quick Start with MSPI Mama: This is one of my Quick Start recipes

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