Hello there! I am back after two whole weeks without any blog entries. I spent the beginning of June visiting with my fiance’s family in Albuquerque. His dad is in a band called Evangeline Stranded (a new website is currently underway for them), and they played a show at a hotel called The Tamaya just outside of Albuquerque. It was an awesome vacation, and I was so happy to get away from the humidity of San Antonio for a while. It is so dry there so we were able to spend some much-needed time outdoors. We did a couple of hikes that nearly killed me because I am so out of shape, but I am so motivated to get in shape now because I will not live in San Antonio forever!
I did do a little bit of baking over the vacation (apple pie and chocolate chip cookies) so I am not completely out of practice in the kitchen, but I am very happy to be cooking and blogging once more. I have no idea why I picked out this recipe from Food Network because it seems like it is made up of a bunch of ingredients that just shouldn’t go well together. I actually think I decided to make it because I was intrigued by all of the rave reviews when it didn’t seem like a good combination of foods. Kevin was pretty skeptical about it too, but he took one bite and declared this to be “his favourite salad ever”. It is genuinely the most delicious thing.
I don’t care for arugula very much so I used a combination of baby arugula and baby spinach. It ended up being fantastic with this dressing and all of the other ingredients. I was supposed to use thicker pork chops, but I still haven’t learned my lesson about using cheaper substitutes so I bought the thin-cut pork chops. I left it up to Kevin to cook them, and he managed to get it just right. It only takes a couple of minutes to cook the thin pork chops through so be aware of that if you decide to go the cheaper route.
Grilled Pork with Arugula and Grape Salad
1 medium shallot, finely chopped
2 Tbsps. balsamic vinegar
2 tsps. chopped fresh thyme (I used about 1 tsp. dried thyme)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
4 5-oz. boneless pork chops (see my note about using the thinner pork chops above)
3/4 cup red seedless grapes, halved
4 heaping cups baby arugula (I used a mixture of arugula and spinach)
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
Combine the shallot, vinegar, 1 teaspoon thyme (or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme), 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a medium bowl. Gradually whisk in the oil, starting witha few drops and adding the rest in a steady stream.
Put the pork chops in a shallow dish and season all over with salt. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon thyme and 3 tablespoons of the dressing. Coat the pork and set aside to marinate for 5 minutes.
Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Grill the pork until cooked through but still moist, 4 to 5 minutes per side (less if using thin pork chops).
Add the grapes and arugula to the remaining dressing and toss to coat. Transfer the pork chops to a serving platter or individual plates; top with the salad and sprinkle with the blue cheese.