Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Grilled BBQ Pork Chops and Steak Fries with a Citrus-Thyme Aoli

I've been doing a lot of grilling lately and really enjoying it. Grilling just says "summer" to me and it always gives the food such a nice flavor. We had seen this aoli recipe some time ago and Aaron thought it sounded good, so I decided to finally give it a try. It was easy, easy, easy. I served the chops and fries with a side of cooked spinach {drizzled with olive oil and seasoned with salt & pepper} for a perfectly seasoned, summertime meal.

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Grilled BBQ Pork Chops
I used 6 thin-sliced chops, but you could use however many you wanted. Sprinkle both sides with onion powder, paprika, and sugar. Place all chops in a gallon Ziploc bag with your favorite BBQ sauce {I used Wegmans' "Kansas City"} and marinate for at least 3 hours.

Steak Fries with Citrus-Thyme Aoli
Adapted from: Bobby Flay

1 cup mayonnaise
2 cloves garlic, smashed to a paste
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
1/2 teaspoon finely grated fresh lemon zest
1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon honey
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 russet potatoes, scrubbed
1/4 cup canola or olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme leaves

In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, garlic, zests, thyme, paprika, honey and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Put the potatoes in a pot of cold water, add 2 tablespoons of salt and cook over medium heat until the potatoes are tender, but still firm. Drain, let cool and cut each potato in half, then into strips lengthwise so you have 3-4 "fries".

Heat the grill to medium. Drizzle the potatoes with the oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Grill until golden brown and cooked through. Transfer to a serving platter or bowl and serve with the mayonnaise.

My Modifications:
I am famous for thinking I have an ingredient I need and I'm in the middle of cooking the dish, realize I don't have it and needing to improvise. This is what happened with the thyme. I was going to use dried thyme anyway, but regardless, I ended up not having any. Instead, I used about 1 tsp. of dried Italian seasoning. I also used regular paprika instead of smoked and only 4 potatoes. I also squeezed in some fresh lemon juice, to taste. Just add a little at a time so you don't get a runny aoli.

If you've never made a paste out of the garlic cloves, all you do is smash each clove with the flat side of your knife (use a wide blade) and continue to press and drag {the flat side}the knife across the garlic. Eventually, you will see it start to get pasty. You can add a pinch of salt to help with this process. The original recipe said to grill the fries about 3-4 minutes on each side, but I threw them on the grill with the pork chops and did each the same amount of time, probably about 10 minutes each side.

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