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The Porkloined Letter: Pineapple-Jalapeno Porkchops with Cilantro Pesto

July 11, 2012


I’ve become a bit of a Food Network addict lately. I especially love Food Network Star and Bobby Flay’s Throwdown. Recently, Flay was challenged to cook Cuban roast pork, and he revealed that he often mixes cilantro pesto into his rice and beans. Although I didn’t think I could hack proper Cuban roast pork, the episode gave me a hankering for chops with some Caribbean flavour.

I had these twice: once marinated for 1.5 hours, then marinated for an entire day. Longer was definitely better, but if you don’t have the time, don’t sweat it too much. A couple hours should do just fine. Oh, and I strongly recommend putting the cilantro-pesto on the side, since all the olive oil may make the chops too fatty. Better to let your guests combine the two as they see fit. Enjoy!

  • 4 pork chops (bone-in or out, but bone-in is more flavourful).
  • 1/2 cup canned crushed pineapple
  • 1/2 cup juice from crushed pineapple
  • 4 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 4 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp diced jalapeno
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped cilantro
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • lime or lemon juice

Cilantro-Pesto

  • 3/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves of diced garlic
  • 2 tbsp chopped pine nuts
  • salt & pepper
  1. Sprinkle some salt and pepper on the chops. In a large bowl, combine everything else in the 1st list: this is your marinade! Emerge your pork chops in this mixture and marinade for 1 hour – 1 day (the longer the better!).
  2. Combine cilantro-pesto ingredients and set aside. 
  3. When your pork is marinated, preheat your oven to 350F. On the stove, warm a couple glugs of olive oil in an oven-safe frying pan over medium-heat. 
  4. When the oil is warm, place your pork chops in the pan and leave on one side until that side starts browning. Then flip over and place the whole pan in your pre-heated oven. Cook for about 10 minutes.
  5. Place pork chops on your plates. Remove about 1/2 the fat from your frying pan, then squeeze a bit of lemon or lime juice in the pan. Mix this with the fat and left-over browned bits and pour this back over your pork chops for extra juiciness and flavour.
  6. Serve with cilantro-pesto on the side. I served this brown-sugar fried plantains and rice & beans (some cilantro-pesto was mixed into them too).
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