Archive for October, 2011

Tired of the same old holiday turkey year after year? Try this cranberry-orange alternative. The turkey isn’t whole. Instead, it’s a boneless butterflied turkey breast – perfect if you don’t like carving the bird or if you prefer all white meat anyway. The meat is marinated in an orange-sage marinade and then served with a simple cranberry sauce made with the boiled marinade.

TIMING
Prep: 10 minutes
Marinate: 2 to 8 hours
Grill: 30 to 40 minutes.

BBQ TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT
– Long-handled tongs.

THE GRILL
Gas: Direct heat, medium (350°F)
Clean, oiled grate
Charcoal:
Direct heat, light ash
12-by-12-inch charcoal bed (about 3 dozen coals)
Clean, oiled grate on lowest setting
Wood:
Direct heat, light ash
12-by-12-inch bed, 3 to 4 inches deep
Clean, oiled grate set 2 inches above the fire.

INGREDIENTS (MAKES 8 SERVINGS)
Juice and grated zest of 1 small orange
Juice and grated zest of 1 lemon
¼ cup olive oil
2 teaspoons chopped or grated peeled gingerroot
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage leaves, or ½ teaspoon dried
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 turkey London broil, about 2½ pounds (see “What Is Turkey London Broil?”)
Oil for coating grill grate
2 cups (about 8 ounces) fresh cranberries, rinsed
¾ cup sugar
4 tablespoons (½ stick) butter, cut into pieces.

WHAT IS TURKEY LONDON BROIL?
Turkey sales spike during the holidays and drop off during the rest of the year. To attract health-conscious consumers year round, turkey producers have begun marketing turkey London broil as an alternative to beef London broil. Turkey London broil is simply a butterflied boneless turkey breast. This cut is tailor-made for the summer grilling season because it’s boneless, easy to work with, cooks in about 30 minutes over direct heat, and feeds a crowd of 8 to 10 people. Plus you can flavor it in any number of ways.

DIRECTIONS
1. Combine the orange juice and zest, lemon juice and zest, olive oil, ginger, garlic, sage, ½ teaspoon of the salt, and the pepper in a large zipper-lock bag. Add the turkey and press the air out of the bag. Seal and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 8 hours.
2. Remove the turkey from the marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Save the marinade. Sprinkle the turkey all over with the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt. Let the meat rest at room temperature before grilling, about 45 minutes.
3. Heat the grill as directed.
4. Brush the grill grate and coat it with oil. Put the turkey on the grill, cover, and cook for 30 to 40 minutes, or until just slightly pink in the center and the juices run clear (about 160°F on an instantread thermometer). Turn the turkey several times during grilling to brown it all over. If your grill has a temperature gauge, it should stay at around 350°F.
5. Remove to a platter, cover loosely with foil, and let rest for 10 minutes.
6. While the turkey cooks, pour the marinade into a small saucepan and boil for 5 minutes. Strain through a sieve and return to the saucepan. Add the cranberries and sugar, and cook over medium heat until the cranberries pop and the mixture thickens slightly, about 10 minutes. Whisk in the butter just before serving.
7. Slice the turkey thinly and serve with the cranberry sauce.

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Here’s a simple dish characteristic of Middle Eastern Mediterranean cooking. Cubes of marinated grilled lamb rest on a flavorful bed of couscous seasoned with cinnamon, coriander, and allspice. We prefer to grill large cubes of meat directly on the grill grate, but if you prefer, you can skewer the meat before grilling.

THE GRILL
Gas: Direct heat, medium (350°F)
Clean, oiled grate
Charcoal:
Direct heat, medium ash
12-by-12-inch charcoal bed (about 3 dozen coals)
Clean, oiled grate on lowest setting
Wood:
Direct heat, medium ash
12-by-12-inch bed, 3 to 4 inches deep
Clean, oiled grate set 4 inches above the fire.

TIMING
Prep: 5 minutes
Marinate: 1 to 4 hours
Grill: 15 minutes.

BBQ TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT
– Long-handled tongs.

INGREDIENTS (MAKES 4 SERVINGS)
Juice of 1 large lemon
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1½ pounds lamb leg meat, cut into 2-inch cubes
Oil for coating grill grate
1¼ cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup instant couscous
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice.

DIRECTIONS
1. Combine the lemon juice, olive oil, rosemary, 2 of the garlic cloves, ¼ teaspoon of the paprika, ¼ teaspoon of the salt, and ¼ teaspoon of the black pepper in a large zipper-lock bag. Add the lamb and press the air out of the bag. Seal and refrigerate for 1 to 4 hours.
2. Let the lamb rest at room temperature before grilling, about 20 minutes.
3. Heat the grill as directed.
4. Brush the grill grate and coat it with oil. Remove the lamb from the marinade and discard the marinade. Using tongs, put the lamb directly on the grill grate (or skewer the lamb for a pretty presentation), cover, and cook for 12 to 15 minutes, turning often, for medium-rare meat. The lamb should be reddish pink in the center and will cook a bit further once removed from the heat.
5. While the lamb cooks, bring the broth to a boil in a medium saucepan. Stir in the couscous, cinnamon, coriander, allspice, and the remaining minced garlic, ¼ teaspoon paprika, ¼ teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cover, remove from the heat, and let stand for 5 minutes.
6. Fluff the couscous with a fork and divide among 4 plates. Top with the grilled lamb and serve.

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We prefer lamb leg meat for this dish, particularly leg “steaks” cut from the sirloin or center-cut lamb leg “chops”. The sirloin steaks come from the larger, upper part of the leg, and the center-cut lamb leg “chops” are cut from the central portion of the leg. These two cuts have a rich flavor that stands up to the bold spiciness of the jerk paste.

TIMING
Prep: 5 minutes (plus 5 minutes for jerk paste)
Marinate: 2 hours or overnight
Grill: 6 to 10 minutes.

BBQ TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT
– Long-handled tongs
– Long-handled basting brush.

THE GRILL
Gas: Direct heat, medium-high (450°F)
Clean, oiled grate
Charcoal:
Direct heat, light ash
12-by-12-inch charcoal bed (about 3 dozen coals)
Clean, oiled grate on lowest setting
Wood:
Direct heat, light ash
12-by-12-inch bed, 3 to 4 inches deep
Clean, oiled grate set 2 inches above the fire.

INGREDIENTS (MAKES 4 SERVINGS)
2½ cups Jerk Wet Paste
4 lamb leg steaks, each 8 to 10 ounces and ¾ to 1 inch thick
Oil for coating grill grate
2 tablespoons vegetable oil.

DIRECTIONS
1. Spread the jerk paste all over the lamb steaks and put in a shallow baking dish. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
2. Rest the lamb at room temperature before grilling, about 45 minutes.
3. Heat the grill as directed.
4. Brush the grill grate and coat it with oil. Put the steaks on the grill, cover, and cook for 3 to 5 minutes per side for medium-rare to medium (135° to 145°F on an instant-read thermometer). Brush both sides of the steaks with the 2 tablespoons oil when you flip them. If your grill has a temperature gauge, it should stay at around 450°F.
5. Remove the steaks to a platter or plates, cover loosely with foil, and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

GETTING CREATIVE
– You could use a dry rub instead of a wet paste for these steaks. Sprinkle the steaks all over with about 2/3 cup of Jerk Rub or a commercial jerk rub. Marinate and grill as directed.

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Garlic-Buttermilk Lamb Chops With Hot Pepper Honey - BBQ And Grilling Recipes

Loin lamb chops are a better buy than rib chops. First of all, there’s less bone. The dirty secret of meat pricing is that whatever price per pound you’re paying for meat, you’re also paying for bone. Second, loin chops are more tender. They come from the center of the animal’s back, and the farther you get from the fore and hind legs, the more tender the meat will be. Best of all, loin chops usually cost less. That’s because rib chops look more familiar to most people, resembling the chop we know from cartoons and our dogs’ squeaky toys, so they are more in demand and, therefore, higher priced.

TIMING
Prep: 5 minutes
Marinate: 2 hours
Grill: 8 to 16 minutes,

BBQ TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT
– Long-handled tongs.

THE GRILL
Gas: Direct heat, high (500°F)
Clean, oiled grate on lowest setting
Charcoal:
Direct heat, red hot
10-by-10-inch charcoal bed (about 3 dozen coals)
Clean, oiled grate on lowest setting
Wood:
Direct heat, red hot
10-by-10-inch bed, 1 inch deep
Clean, oiled grate set 2 inches above the fire.

INGREDIENTS (MAKES 4 SERVINGS)
3 tablespoons coarse kosher salt
½ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
Big pinch (about 1/4 teaspoon) crushed red pepper flakes
2 cups buttermilk
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons chopped garlic, jarred or fresh
1 tablespoon minced gingerroot, jarred or fresh
8 loin lamb chops, 1½ inches thick, about 6 ounces each
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Oil for coating grill grate
1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce.

DIRECTIONS
1. Combine the salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes, buttermilk, the 2 tablespoons honey, the garlic, and the ginger in a gallon-size zipper-lock plastic bag; seal and shake until the salt dissolves, about 30 seconds.
2. Add the lamb chops and seal the zipper, leaving about an inch open; push on the bag to release any trapped air through the opening, and close the zipper completely. Massage the liquid gently into the meat, and refrigerate for 2 hours.
3. Heat the grill as directed.
4. While the grill is heating, remove the lamb chops from the bag and discard the marinade. Pat the chops dry with paper towels and rub the outside of each chop with the olive oil.
5. Brush the grill grate and coat it with oil. Put the chops on the grill with plenty of room around each. Cover and grill for 4 to 8 minutes per side for medium-rare to medium-done (135° to 145°F).
6. In a bowl, combine the ¼ cup honey and hot sauce with a small whisk until well blended.
7. Serve the chops drizzled with the hot pepper honey.

GETTING CREATIVE
– Try this recipe with chicken parts, game hens, or pork chops.
– Vary the flavors in this recipe by replacing part of the buttermilk with coconut milk and adding curry to the marinade; or substitute puréed salsa for half the buttermilk and add cumin to the marinade.
– You can alter the punch of the hot pepper honey by using more hot sauce or a spicier variety, like habanero or Scotch bonnet.
– Garnish the chops with minced cilantro or with slices of grilled garlic.

TIPS
– The amount of marinating time given in the recipe is the minimum for getting the flavor of the marinade into the meat. Because the acid content of buttermilk is mild, it will not harm the meat if you marinate it longer, up to 12 hours.
– If you like your lamb more well-done, choose thinner chops or cook them over medium-high heat for 2 to 4 minutes longer.
– If your chops are very thick (1½ to 2 inches), grill them for a few minutes on their edges in order to cook them through evenly. You may have to support the chops with tongs to keep them balanced on their sides.

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Although veal loin chops benefit from the extra moisture in a marinade, veal rib chops, which have more marbling, don’t really need an infusion of liquid to keep them moist. We like to dry-rub rib chops and serve them with a chunky sauce. Veal chops take well to the warm spices in Indian garam masala and the cooling flavors of the traditional Indian cucumber-yogurt salad known as raita.

THE GRILL
Gas: Direct heat, medium-high (400° to 450°F)
Clean, oiled grate
Charcoal:
Direct heat, light ash
12-by-12-inch charcoal bed (about 3 dozen coals)
Clean, oiled grate on lowest setting
Wood:
Direct heat, light ash
12-by-12-inch bed, 3 to 4 inches deep
Clean, oiled grate set 2 inches above the fire.

INGREDIENTS (MAKES 4 SERVINGS)
For the veal:
4 veal rib chops, each 10 to 12 ounces and 1 to 1½ inches thick
½ cup Garam Masala Rub
¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper, or more to taste
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Oil for coating grill grate
For the raita:
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and finely chopped
1 cup plain yogurt
1 tablespoon minced scallion (white part only)
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint leaves
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper.

TIMING
Prep: 10 minutes (plus 5 minutes for rub)
Marinate: 1 to 8 hours
Grill: 8 to 12 minutes.

BBQ TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT
– Long-handled tongs.

TIPS
– Whole-milk yogurt tastes best in the raita, but low-fat yogurt will work.
– For a thicker texture in the raita, drain the yogurt in a cheesecloth-lined colander set over a bowl for about 1 hour. Or use a mixture of ¾ cup undrained yogurt and ¼ cup sour cream.

VEAL CHOPS AND BEEF STEAKS
The best veal chops for grilling are rib chops and loin chops. These same cuts would be called steaks when cut from mature cattle. Veal rib chops look similar to a beef rib-eye steak with a bone running along the edge of the chop. Veal loin chops are the equivalent of a beef porterhouse steak with a small piece of the tenderloin and a larger piece of top loin separated by a T-shaped bone. Like the equivalent cuts from mature cattle, veal rib chops have a bit more intramuscular fat, a firmer texture, and more flavorful meat. Veal loin chops are more tender and have a bit less fat, but they are more apt to become dry and tough on the grill. A third option among veal chops is the top loin chop, the equivalent of a beef strip steak with relatively lean and tender meat. All three veal chops are interchangeable in the recipes given here.

DIRECTIONS
1. For the veal: Trim the surface fat on the chops to about ¼ inch. Scatter the garam masala and cayenne all over the chops, patting it in with your fingers. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour, or cover and refrigerate for up to 8 hours.
2. For the raita: Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Refrigerate for 1 hour or up to 8 hours to blend the flavors.
3. Heat the grill as directed.
4. If the seasoned chops were refrigerated, rest them at room temperature before grilling, about 45 minutes. Sprinkle the chops all over with the salt.
5. Brush the grill grate and coat it with oil. Put the chops on the grill, cover, and cook for 4 to 6 minutes per side for medium-rare (135°F on an instant-read thermometer). If your grill has a temperature gauge, it should stay at around 450°F. 6. Remove the chops to a platter or plates, cover loosely with foil, and let rest for 5 minutes. Serve with the raita.

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We like both veal loin chops and rib chops for grilling. Loin chops are a bit leaner, so we add extra moisture and flavor by soaking them in a spicy vodka marinade. A pat of butter flavored with wasabi paste also adds a bit of fat, moisture, and flavor to the tender chops.

TIMING
Prep: 10 minutes (plus 5 minutes for marinade)
Marinate: 2 to 3 hours
Grill: About 10 minutes.

BBQ TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT
– Long-handled tongs.

THE GRILL
Gas: Direct heat, medium-high (450°F)
Clean, oiled grate
Charcoal:
Direct heat, light ash
12-by-12-inch charcoal bed (about 3 dozen coals)
Clean, oiled grate on lowest setting
Wood:
Direct heat, light ash
12-by-12-inch bed, 3 to 4 inches deep
Clean, oiled grate set 2 inches above the fire.

INGREDIENTS (MAKES 4 SERVINGS)
4 veal loin chops, each about 10 ounces and 1 to 1½ inches thick
1 cup Wasabi Vodka Infusion (a variation of Horseradish Vodka Infusion)
1½ teaspoons wasabi powder or wasabi paste
4 tablespoons (½ stick) butter, softened
Oil for coating grill grate.

DIRECTIONS
1. Trim the surface fat on the chops to about ¼ inch. Put the chops in a large zipper-lock bag and add the vodka infusion. Press the air out of the bag, seal, and massage the liquid into the meat. Refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours.
2. Mix the wasabi powder with 1½ teaspoons water and let stand for 10 minutes to form a paste. Mix the rehydrated wasabi into the softened butter with a fork. If using prepared wasabi paste, just mix the paste directly into the softened butter without adding water.
3. Heat the grill as directed.
4. Remove the chops from the marinade and discard the marinade. Pat the chops dry with paper towels and let rest at room temperature, about 30 minutes.
5. Brush the grill grate and coat it with oil. Put the chops on the grill, cover, and cook for 4 to 6 minutes per side for medium-rare (135°F on an instant-read thermometer). If your grill has a temperature gauge, it should stay at around 450°F.
6. Remove the chops to a platter or plates, cover loosely with foil, and let rest for 5 minutes. Melt about a tablespoon of the wasabi butter over each chop.

TIPS
– If you can’t find wasabi, replace it with 2 teaspoons finely grated fresh horseradish or well-drained prepared horseradish.
– For help with choosing veal chops, see below.

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Lean, tender, and fine grained in texture, center-cut pork loin remains the most popular pork roast available. We love Latin American flavors with pork, so we’ve flavored this roast with a spicy beer marinade and then rubbed it with a coarse chimichurri paste inspired by Argentina’s national table sauce. Grilled squares of polenta provide an earthy note of corn.

TIMING
Prep: 40 minutes (plus 15 minutes for marinade and rub)
Marinate: 3 hours to 2 days
Rest before grilling: 1 hour
Grill: About 1 hour.

BBQ TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT
– Long-handled tongs
– Sturdy, long-handled spatula.

THE GRILL
Gas:
Indirect heat, medium (350°F)
3- or 4-burner grill–middle burner(s) off
2-burner grill–1 side off
Clean, oiled grate
Charcoal:
Indirect heat, medium ash
Split charcoal bed (about 2 dozen coals per side)
20 replacement coals
Heavy-duty drip pan set between banks of charcoal
Clean, oiled grate on medium setting.

INGREDIENTS (MAKES 4 TO 6 SERVINGS)
For the polenta:
¾ cup coarse yellow cornmeal
3 cups cold water
1¼ teaspoons kosher salt
½ cup crumbled queso blanco or grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or flat-leaf parsley
Oil for coating baking dish and polenta
For the pork:
1¾ cups Fire Beer Marinade
1 boneless center-cut pork loin roast, 2½ to 3 pounds, surface fat trimmed to ¼ inch
½ cup Green Chimichurri Rub
Oil for coating grill grate.

DIRECTIONS
1. For the polenta: Put the cornmeal, water, and salt in a saucepan and whisk vigorously. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to medium-low and regulate it so that the mixture simmers gently until it is very thick and pulls away from the sides, 30 to 40 minutes, stirring almost constantly. It takes patience, but the stirring prevents the polenta from becoming gummy or burning on the bottom. When the polenta is thickened, stir in the cheese and cilantro.
2. Coat an 11-by-7-inch baking dish or other shallow 2-quart baking dish with a small amount of oil. Scrape the hot polenta into the dish and smooth the top. Let cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate until very firm, 2 to 3 hours or up to 2 days.
3. For the pork: Put the marinade and pork in a large zipper-lock bag. Press the air out of the bag, seal, and massage the marinade into the meat. Refrigerate for 3 hours or up to 2 days.
4. Remove the pork from the marinade and discard the marinade. Pat dry with paper towels and sprinkle the pork all over with the chimichurri rub, patting it in with your fingers. Let the meat rest at room temperature before grilling, about 1 hour.
5. Heat the grill as directed.
6. Brush the grill grate and coat it with oil. Put the pork on the grill away from the heat, cover, and cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat registers about 145°F, 50 to 60 minutes. If your grill has a temperature gauge, it should stay at around 350°F.
7. While the pork cooks, cut the polenta into 12 square “cakes.” Coat the tops with oil or oil spray. When the pork is nearly done, grill the polenta cakes directly over the heat until nicely browned, 8 to 10 minutes per side.
8. Using tongs and a spatula for support, remove the pork to a large serving platter. Cover loosely with foil, and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes. Cut into slices ½ to 1 inch thick and serve with the polenta cakes.

SHORTCUT
– To save time, replace the polenta with prepared polenta, which is sold in a cylindrical package in the refrigerated section of most grocery stores. Slice the cylinder of polenta crosswise about 3/8 inch thick, and grill as directed.

CHOOSING A PORK LOIN ROAST
Cut from the same general area of the pig as pork tenderloin, center-cut pork loin is lean and fine grained in texture. It’s the most popular pork roast sold. But other pork loin roasts can be used in any recipe calling for a center-cut roast. Here’s some anatomy to help you visualize the differences among pork loin roasts. The entire loin runs along either side of the pig’s back, from the shoulder to the hip. The loin muscles closer to the shoulder are worked more heavily and yield a slightly tougher and coarser roast called the blade roast. Loin muscles near the hip are also worked pretty hard and yield the similarly dense sirloin roast. While these bone-in loin roasts are slightly tougher than boneless center-cut pork loin, they’re also juicy and full of flavor because the muscles are more developed. The bones provide a bit of juice and flavor as well.

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The most tender meat on any animal comes from muscles that are rarely used. On four-legged animals, the least-used muscles run along the middle of the back and the inside of the rib cage. The muscles close to the rib cage yield the lean and aptly named tenderloin cut. While whole beef tenderloin is a rather large cut (about 5 pounds), whole pork tenderloins weigh less than a pound because they come from smaller animals. For this and other reasons, pork tenderloin has become extremely popular. Like boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pork tenderloins are easy to prepare, cook quickly, and marry well with a variety of flavors. They’re especially good grilled. Here, we give the pork tenderloin moisture and flavor by soaking it in a brine of tequila, lime, cumin, and cilantro. A simple stew of hominy and chipotle salsa rounds out the textures and flavors.

TIMING
Prep: 10 minutes (plus 10 minutes for brine and rub)
Brine: 2 to 3 hours
Rest before grilling: 1 hour
Grill: 16 to 20 minutes.

BBQ TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT
– Long-handled tongs.

THE GRILL
Gas: Direct heat, high (500°F)
Clean, oiled grate on lowest setting
Charcoal:
Direct heat, red hot
12-by-12-inch charcoal bed (about 3 dozen coals) with high- and low-heat areas
Clean, oiled grate on lowest setting
Wood:
Direct heat, red hot
12-by-12-inch bed with a 4-inch-deep area for
high heat and a 2-inch-deep area for low heat
Clean, oiled grate set 2 inches above the fire.

INGREDIENTS (MAKES 4 SERVINGS)
For the pork:
1½ cups Tequila Brine (a variation of Cumin, Coriander, and Lime Brine)
2 pork tenderloins, 12 to 16 ounces each (see Tips)
½ cup Fragrant Chile Rub
Oil for coating grill grate
For the hominy:
1 can (19 ounces) hominy, rinsed and drained
½ cup chicken or vegetable broth
½ cup chipotle salsa
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro.

DIRECTIONS
1. For the pork: Put the brine in a 2-gallon zipper-lock bag. Add the tenderloins, press out the air, seal, and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours.
2. Remove the tenderloins from the brine and pat dry with paper towels. Rub the tenderloins all over with the chile rub. Cover loosely with foil and let the meat rest for about 1 hour at room temperature.
3. Heat the grill as directed.
4. Brush the grill grate and coat it with oil. Grill the tenderloins until browned all over, about 2 minutes on each of the 4 sides. Reduce the heat under the chops to medium-low (on a gas grill) or move the tenderloins to the low-heat area (on a charcoal or wood grill), cover, and grill until the meat is just firm when poked and an instant-read thermometer registers 145°F, another 2 to 3 minutes on each of the 4 sides. Transfer to  platter, cover loosely with foil, and let rest for 5 minutes.
5. For the hominy: While the tenderloins cook and rest, combine the hominy, broth, and salsa in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook until heated through, about 5 minutes.
6. Slice each tenderloin into 6 thick slices. Serve 3 slices per person, with some of the hominy and a sprinkling of chopped cilantro.

GETTING CREATIVE
– For smoky-tasting tenderloins, soak 1 cup of hickory or oak wood chips in water for 20 to 30 minutes. Add the soaked chips to the high-heat area of the grill until they begin to smolder. Grill the tenderloins as directed, covering the grill to trap the smoke.

TIPS
– Pork tenderloin is covered with a thin, shiny membrane called silver skin. If left on, the silver skin can cause the tender-loin to curl up during cooking. Remove the silver skin by grabbing it at the thick end of the meat and separating it from the meat with a small knife.
– If you don’t have chipotle salsa, combine ½ cup salsa with ½ to 1 teaspoon ground chipotle powder or 1 to 2 teaspoons adobo sauce from canned chipotles en adobo.
– Hominy is whole, dried white or yellow corn kernels that have been treated with an alkali, such as lye, to remove the hull. They have a firm texture and a slightly sweet, earthy taste that’s featured prominently in the Mexican stew known as posole. Sometimes whole hominy is labeled posole because it is used so often to make the stew and to differentiate whole hominy from hominy grits, which is hominy that has been ground coarse, medium, or fine.

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Molasses-Brined Pork Chops with Roasted Corn Salsa - BBQ And Grilling Recipes

Modern breeding methods and consumer demand have resulted in lean pork with less intramuscular fat – the other white meat. That’s great for reducing our overall calorie intake, but it presents a few challenges for grilling pork without drying it out. Here’s where brining really shines. When you soak pork (or other lean meats) in salty water, the meat actually becomes juicier – a fact you can prove by weighing the meat before and after brining. The meat essentially absorbs the brining liquid, which increases its water weight. (This is one reason that commercial meats are often brined: You pay more for the meat because it weighs more, and producers can promote brining because it adds flavor and moisture. Of course, you can save money by brining fresh meat yourself at home.) Here’s how it works: The salt in the brine causes protein strands in the meat to unravel, or “denature.” As they unwind, the protein strands get caught up in one another, forming a sort of web, and the brining liquid gets caught in that web. Even trapped in the newly formed web, resulting in moister grilled meat. And the technique couldn’t be easier. As in marinating, you simply mix up a flavorful liquid (with the addition of extra salt and sometimes sugar) and then let the meat soak in the refrigerator for a few hours. See page 85 for more on the technique of brining.

TIMING
Prep: 10 minutes (plus 5 minutes for brine)
Brine: 4 to 6 hours
Rest before grilling: 1 hour
Grill: 14 to 20 minutes.

GETTING CREATIVE
– If you prefer boneless meat, replace the rib chops with boneless rib chops or center-cut loin chops and reduce the cooking time slightly.
– For smoky-tasting chops, soak 1 cup of hickory or oak wood chips in water for 20 to 30 minutes. Add the soaked chips to the high-heat area of the grill until they begin to smolder. Grill the chops as directed, covering the grill to trap the smoke.

THE GRILL
Gas: Direct heat, high (500°F)
Clean, oiled grate on lowest setting
Charcoal:
Direct heat, red hot
12-by-12-inch charcoal bed (about 3 dozen coals) with high- and low-heat areas
Clean, oiled grate on lowest setting
Wood:
Direct heat, red hot
12-by-12-inch bed with a 4-inch-deep area for high heat and a 2-inch-deep area for low heat
Clean, oiled grate set 2 inches above the fire.

INGREDIENTS (MAKES 4 SERVINGS)
2 cups Molasses Brine
4 bone-in pork rib chops, each 1 to 1½ inches thick (about 3 pounds total), trimmed of excess fat
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for oiling corn
1 tablespoon paprika, sweet, hot, or smoked
1 small tomato, seeded and finely chopped
1 jalapeño chile, seeded and finely chopped
1 small clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chopped red onion
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Juice of ½ lime
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
Oil for coating grill grate
3 ears fresh corn, husks removed.

DIRECTIONS
1. Put the brine in a large zipper-lock bag. Add the chops, press out the air, seal, and refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours.
2. Remove the chops from the brine and pat dry with paper towels. Rub the chops with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, then sprinkle them all over with the paprika. Cover loosely with foil and let the meat rest for about 1 hour at room temperature.
3. Heat the grill as directed.
4. Combine the tomato, jalapeño, garlic, onion, cilantro, lime juice, salt, and remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a bowl.
5. Brush the grill grate and coat it with oil. Coat the corn all over with additional oil or oil spray, then grill over medium to medium-high heat, turning often, until browned all over, about 10 minutes.
6. As the corn cooks, grill the chops over high heat until nicely grill-marked, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Reduce the heat under the chops to medium-low (on a gas grill) or move the chops to the low-heat area (on a charcoal or wood grill), cover, and grill for another 5 to 6 minutes per side for medium (about 145°F). Transfer to a platter, cover loosely with foil, and let rest for 5 minutes.
7. While the chops rest, cut the kernels from the corncobs and mix them into the salsa. Serve with the chops.

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Brining pork chops helps to keep them from drying out on the grill. But if you need to grill your chops without brining them, you can help keep them moist by searing them over high heat and then moving them over low heat to finish cooking. A spice rub adds flavor and a sauce adds moisture, all of which results in tender, juicy-tasting chops that require very little advance preparation before they go on the grill. Here’s a basic example, using barbecue sauce and bell peppers.

THE GRILL
Gas: Direct heat, high (500°F)
Clean, oiled grate on lowest setting
Charcoal:
Direct heat, red hot
12-by-12-inch charcoal bed (about 3 dozen coals) with high- and low-heat areas
Clean, oiled grate on lowest setting
Wood:
Direct heat, red hot
12-by-12-inch bed with a 4-inch-deep area for high heat and a 2-inch-deep area for low heat
Clean, oiled grate set 2 inches above the fire.

TIMING
Prep: 5 minutes (plus 25 minutes for peppers, rub, and sauce)
Rest before grilling: 1 to 6 hours
Grill: 14 to 20 minutes.

BBQ TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT
– Long-handled tongs
– Long-handled basting brush.

TIPS
– To save time, use jarred roasted peppers in place of the Marinated Fire-Roasted Peppers.
– If you make the barbecue sauce ahead of time, reheat it in the microwave or on the stovetop. Cold sauce would delay the cooking of the chops. Plus, the fire-roasted peppers should be mixed with warm rather than cold barbecue sauce.

GETTING CREATIVE
– If you prefer boneless meat, replace the rib chops with boneless rib chops or center-cut loin chops and reduce the cooking time slightly. See sidebar on page 133 for a description of the various types of pork chops sold in most markets.
– For smoky-tasting chops, soak 1 cup of hickory or oak wood chips in water for 20 to 30 minutes. Add the soaked chips to the high-heat area of the grill until they begin to smolder. Grill the chops as directed, covering the grill to trap the smoke.

INGREDIENTS (MAKES 4 SERVINGS)
2 cups Marinated Fire-Roasted Peppers
4 bone-in pork rib chops, each 1 to 1½ inches thick (about 3 pounds total)
½ cup Sage and Savory Rub
Oil for coating grill grate
¾ cup Sweet, Hot, and Sour BBQ Sauce, heated.

DIRECTIONS
1. Prepare the fire-roasted peppers up to 1 week ahead, cutting the peppers into narrow strips.
2. Trim any excess fat from the chops. Scatter the rub over the chops, patting it in with your fingers. Let the chops rest at room temperature for 1 hour, or refrigerate in a zipper-lock bag for up to 6 hours.
3. Heat the grill as directed. If you refrigerated the rubbed chops, let them come to room temperature before grilling, about 30 minutes.
4. Brush the grill grate and coat it with oil. Put the chops on the grill, cover, and cook over high heat until nicely grill-marked, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Reduce the heat under the chops to medium-low (on a gas grill) or move the chops to the low-heat area (on a charcoal or wood grill), cover, and grill for another 5 to 6 minutes per side for medium (about 145°F). Brush with about ½ cup of the barbecue sauce during the last 5 minutes of cooking. Transfer to a platter, cover loosely with foil, and let rest for 5 minutes.
5. Just before serving, mix the peppers with the remaining ¼ cup barbecue sauce. Serve with the chops.

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