Despite spring's reluctant arrival this year, now that June is nearly upon us the weather is finally getting warm enough to BBQ on a regular basis.
Which, of course, means that I will once again be subjecting you to all sorts of grilled, smoked and otherwise BBQed foodstuffs - at least for the month or two it will take for me to start taking the BBQ for granted again and the initial novelty wears off.
If you wish to impress some guests, you can substitute entire pork tenderloins for the chops, grill whole and then slice into medallions just before serving. However, I personally like the idea of elevating the humble pork chop into a masterpiece thanks to the combination of spicy-sweet marinade and fruity salsa (and no, it's not nearly as spicy as you'd think, despite the number of chipotles).
Chipotle Pork Chops with Mango Black Bean Salsa
4 boneless pork loin chops, approx ¾" thick
3 canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
5 cloves garlic
1 small onion, coarsely chopped
½ cup orange juice
Zest and juice of 2 limes
1 tsp dried oregano
¼ tsp allspice
1 ripe mango, diced
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 small red pepper, diced
1 small jicama
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
¼ cup cilantro, chopped
Juice of 2 limes
Salt and pepper to taste
Place the chops in a large Ziploc bag or a shallow dish.
In a blender, combine the chipotles, garlic, onion, orange and lime juice, lime zest, oregano, and allspice; puree until smooth. Pour over the pork and seal the bag (or cover the dish, if using). Refrigerate for 12-24 hours, turning periodically to ensure the meat marinated evenly.
Preheat grill to medium-high. Grill the chops for 6 to 8 minutes per side, or until barely pink in the middle. Remove from grill, cover with aluminium foil and set aside to rest.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the mango, red onion, red pepper, jicama and black beans. Mix in cilantro and lime juice, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper. Let stand for 5-10 minutes to allow the flavours to meld before serving alongside the grilled chops.