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.