Thursday, June 27, 2013

Mango Glazed Pork Chops with Avocado Salad and Roasted Yuca

Mango Glazed Pork Chops with Avocado Salad and Roasted Yuca
(for two)

Sweet and juicy mango glazed pork, tender yuca and buttery avocado salad, invite you to experience a delicious summery bite!


Mango Glazed Pork Chops:

- 2 thick pork chops
- 1 mango (use a champagne mango if possible)
- Juice of ½ lime
- 1 tablespoon sriracha
- ½ teaspoon agave nectar (or honey)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Ground black pepper to taste

Roasted Yuca:

- 1 medium-large yuca root (about 8 ½ in long & 2 ½ in wide)
- ¾ teaspoon ground cumin
- ¾ teaspoon chili powder
- 1 small garlic clove (minced or pressed)
- 1 shallot
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt to taste

Avocado Salad:

- 1 large ripe Hass Avocado
- 1 small red bell pepper (diced)
- ¼ cup diced red/purple cabbage
- Juice of 1 lime
- Generous handful fresh cilantro (chopped)
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- ¼ teaspoon curry powder
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste

Mangos have a thick, fibrous pit that runs down the center of each piece of fruit. In order to separate the fruit from the inedible pit, first peel the mango, then stand it up on a cutting board (vertically, with the small end facing up and the flat sides facing to the left and right. Slice down each flat side from top to bottom, leaving behind the core (which is about a ¼ inch thick). Cut off what little fruit you can, from the other two sides of the mango.

In the lower left hand corner of this photo you can see that I am holding the core. The two halves of the mango and the ancillary pieces are above my hand. 

Cube the mango halves and put them into a food processor. Add the lime juice, sriracha, agave (or honey), salt and pepper. Puree until smooth (about 5-10 seconds).

Pour the mango glaze into a measuring cup; you should have just under ½ a cup of glaze.

Generously, sprinkle the pork chops with salt on both sides and place them into a small zip-top bag. Pour about half of the marinade into the bag, reserving 2-3 tablespoons (or just under 1/4 cup) for later use. Refrigerate the reserved glaze. Close the top of the bag and gently massage the marinade into the meat. Refrigerate until ready to use (I recommend a minimum of 1 hour, but several hours or overnight would be ideal). 

Fill a large saucepan with salted water and bring to a boil. As the water is heating, peel the yuca.

Cut the yuca crosswise into sections about 3 inches long. Then cut these sections in half, lengthwise. You will notice a “thread-like” core in the center of each piece which will be removed after boiling. 

Place the pieces into the boiling salted water, cover and lower the heat, allowing the yuca to gently boil for 10 minutes or until fork tender. Be careful not to over-boil the yuca because then it will fall apart.

Remove the pieces from the water and set aside to cool.

As the yuca is cooling, squeeze the juice of 1 lime into a mixing bowl. Thinly slice the shallot and place into the lime juice. Set aside.

When the yuca is cool enough to handle, gently remove the “thread-like” core from each piece using a sharp knife.

Cut the yuca pieces into smaller, 1-2 inch chunks.

Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the olive oil onto a large piece of aluminum foil and sprinkle generously with salt. Add the yuca pieces, then drizzle the other tablespoon of olive oil over the top of them. Sprinkle with more salt and the cumin, chili powder and minced garlic, and toss with your fingers to evenly coat the pieces. Top with the “pickled” shallots, removed from the lime juice. 

Fold up the sides of the foil, to make a sealed packet.

To the lime juice in the mixing bowl, add the diced bell pepper, diced red/purple cabbage, chopped cilantro, ground coriander, curry powder, salt and ground black pepper to taste. Stir to combine.

Remove the pork chops from the refrigerator along with the reserved mango glaze. Spoon about a tablespoon of the glaze into a small ramekin.

Preheat your grill - high heat. Add the pork chops and sear for 1-2 minutes each side on the high heat (you should see nice char marks on the meat).

Next, reduce the grill heat to low, place your packet of yuca onto the grill and brush the top side of the chops with some of the glaze. 

Close the lid of the grill and cook for approx. 6 minutes. Repeat the same process for the other side of the chops, discarding any of the remaining glaze used in this process.

When the meat has finished cooking (it should be firm to your touch), remove it from the grill, place it on a plate and cover with aluminum foil. Allow the meat to rest for at least 5 minutes. Leave the yuca on the grill, to continue cooking while the meat is resting (about 5 minutes).

With a small sharp knife, cut the avocado in half lengthwise. Pull the sides away from each other and carefully remove the pit from the one side. 

Slice the avocado flesh lengthwise and then crosswise to create cubes.

With a spoon, scoop out the cubes into the mixing bowl with the other salad ingredients.

Stir to coat evenly with the lime juice and spices.

To serve: Brush both sides of the pork chops with the last of the mango glaze. Place a small mound of the roasted yuca and avocado salad on each plate and lean a pork chop against the side. Enjoy!

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