Caribbean Entreegrilled jerk pork chop

Grilled Jerk Pork Chops
(Serves 6)

Try these wonderful Caribbean-style pork chops, rubbed with jerk seasoning and marinated in a zesty lemon-lime blend. (Plan head, though: the potk chops need 8 hours to marinate.)

Jerk Seasoning
3/4 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. allspice
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. cayenne

2/3 C water
1/3 C fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. grated lemon zest
1/4 C onion (chopped)
1 T scallion (diced)
1 T dark brown sugar
1 T vegetable oil

6 pork chops (1/2" thick)

Marinate: combine all ingredients for jerk seasoning in a jar and shake to mix. In a food processor, combine jerk with marinade ingredients and blend till smooth. Pour marinade over pork chops in a shallow container, cover, and chill for 8 hours.

Grill: Preheat grill to medium, placing grate 4" to 5" inches above flame. Drain pork chops and reserve marinade. Grill chops, basting with marinade for 5 minutes, turn and grill 5 more minutes (or till done).

Serve with our Tomato Mango Salsa, Black Bean and Rice Salad, Pineapple slaw, Sweet Potato Pudding, or Roti flatbread.

| See more Caribbean recipes |

Tips & Glossary

Caribbean cuisine is an exquisite blend of African, Asian, European, and Carib Indian (the area's original inhabitants) foods. Dishes are highly seasoned, either with a dry rub or marinade —or both. Below are some typical ingredients found in Caribbean food.

Callaloo: young leaves of either the taro root plant or amaranth used widely in Caribbean cooking. Spinach can be used as a substitute.

Spices: Allspice, bay leaves, black pepper, chives, chili peppers, cilantro, cinnamon, coconut, curry powder, escallion, garlic, ginger, lime, mace, nutmeg, onion, oregano, sugar, thyme, orange, tomato paste, vanilla, cayenne (red) pepper.

Jerk: Jamaican cooking method in which meat is rubbed, prior to grilling, with a blend of seasonings, often firey hot.

Jerk is also the name of the seasoning (from Spanish charqui, or dried meat). You can buy jerk in most grocery stores (even McCormick makes it), or can make and store your own.

• 1 T each—onion powder, garlic powder, dried chives, brown sugar; 2 tsp. each— (ground) allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon; 1 tsp. each—sage. thyme, salt, black pepper, cayenne (or more to taste). Mix thoroughly and store in a tightly covered jar.

There are thousands of versions; figure out what flavors you like most and add or subtract accordingly.

Typical meats: goat, pork, chicken, and some beef (though beef has tended to be expensive).

Fish: varieties that abound in surrounding waters, some familiar to us—grouper, cod, tilapia, blue marlin; others not so—200 species of jack, chip-chips (tiny clams), casadura (primitive armored catfish).

Native plant foods:
• ackee—peach-looking fruit with pulp like scrambled eggs
• annatto (achiote) seed
red coloring or flavoring agent w/ slightly sweet peppery taste.
• cassava root (taro root)
• malanaga root
• scotch bonnet peppers
• breadfruit—fruit used like a potato in salads, stews, even whipped.
• passion fruit

More familiar foods:
bananas and plantains, okra, yams, papaya, mangoes, coconut, yams, sweet potatoes, rice, beans, corn and cornmeal.


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