CEiMB: Lemon Garlic Marinated Pork Chops

Since starting this blog, I have really challenged myself to try new foods. I have overcome my fear of mustard, mayonnaise, and mushrooms. (Why do they all start with the same letter?? Must be a weird personal quirk I have for hating foods that start with “m”.) I have tried feta and goat cheeses. I haven’t learned to love fresh tomatoes, but I am now happy to substitute canned tomatoes in their place in recipes instead of avoiding the dish completely. I’ve even learned to love curry. Where I used to stick to broccoli and green beans, I now regularly eat bell peppers, spinach, kale, bok choy, zucchini, and other vegetables I never even realized existed. I have tried different types of fish, a variety of spice combinations I never would have thought of, and even ate a dessert made from tofu. I have pushed myself to try things that would have previously made my face squish up. I’m not saying I’ve tried *every* new thing I’ve come across or that I did so without hesitation, but I’ve tried.

There are a few things I just haven’t been able to muster up the courage to make though, and lamb is one of those ingredients. I’m not sure why I am so apprehensive about trying new proteins, but it is definitely my biggest foodie hurdle. To be honest, I’m not that comfortable eating meat at all and was a vegetarian for most of my adolescence and early 20s. Even now, handling meat kind of grosses me out, and I do not pick cuts that contain bone or skin or anything like that. I think I’m most comfortable with the standard three – chicken, pork, beef – because I grew up eating those. Maybe one day I’ll be brave enough to venture out, but in the meantime, I adapted this CEiMB recipe, which originally called for lamb, to be “less scary” for me by using pork.

I loved this marinade! Citrus is one of my favorite flavor components, especially lemon, so there wasn’t much of a chance that I wouldn’t love it, but combined with the garlic and oregano, it was just that much better. Like I said, I used pork, but I think this would work really well on chicken or seafood too. Any time a marinade can inject a big punch of flavor in only an hour, I am a happy camper. I cooked these chops on the stove in my cast iron grill pan for about 4 minutes per side, but given how thin they were, I should have cooked them less. Oops. Luckily I prefer all my meat very well done :)

Lemon Garlic Marinade

2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. This will be enough marinade for about 2 pounds of meat. Pour the marinade over the meat in a large re-sealable container or ziplock bag. Be sure the marinade coats the meat well, and let sit for one hour.

Source: Ellie Krieger’s “The Food You Crave: Luscious Recipes for a Healthy Life,” p. 190


May 6, 2010. recipes.


  1. Fat Girl Eats replied:

    I just plain ol’ don’t like lamb.

    This marinade sounds good, though. I love lemon and oregano! I’ll have to give it a try!

  2. Amy replied:

    That looks really yum! I will have to try it out.

  3. Kayte replied:

    I haven’t made this yet, I thought I would come visiting to see just how you handled it all…am in a quandry whether to try it with lamb (I cooked lamb for the first time last week for a Cooking Italy blog post and we liked it very much, but all the time I was thinking Mary Had a Little Lamb…not a good thing to be thinking), or to try it with something else. Joanne did chicken, you did pork…I’m still up in the air. Not sure if this will get made today or if it will wait until I decide. Your pork looks wonderful. Maybe I should try it with all three since you loved the marinade so much! Now there’s an idea! Lovely photos.

  4. applec replied:

    Good substitute. The marinade works beautifully with chicken or “fake chicken”. I’d use the flavor combos. again in a blink.

  5. teaandscones replied:

    VERY glad to know it works well with pork. Should have done it the other night when we had pork chops, but didnt’ think it would taste good. Glad to know I was wrong.

    Looks delicious.

  6. Bri replied:

    I completely understand where you’re coming from with being scared of lamb. There’s lots of things I’ve been brave enough to try since starting my blog, too. However, I don’t know if I’m ready for this recipe yet. It’s good to know that other proteins can be easily substituted; it makes me want to try this now, maybe with chicken! Your pork looks great.

  7. Elina replied:

    I ran out of time to make this recipe last week but I plan on making it with chicken this week (tomorrow or Sat). I’ve had lamb a few times but only recently enjoyed bites from my husband’s dishes out. It often tastes so gamy and I’m afraid that I’ll overcook it to death and ruin it… so for now, I’m avoiding it as well. Good to know this was great (it sounds it!) and I’ll definitely be trying it soon. :)

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