We’d wanted to get away to someplace peaceful and quiet; Rich had been through a stressful implementation that had him flying to and from Washington D.C. more often than he’d have liked to, and he just wanted some rest and mebbe some pretty scenery, so, we booked a week at our favorite cabin in Door County, Wisconsin.
Wisconsin? In February? Yeah, youbetcha! It isn’t as busy as during the summer, but tons of fine restaurants and shops are still open, and the cabin…
Well, the cabin is one of four sited on 30 acres just North of Sturgeon Bay, and, while a bit rustic, it is fully equipped with a couple of gas fireplaces, a grill, full kitchen with dishwasher and ice maker – most of the modern conveniences.
We try to visit at least a couple of times; a year, and love having the freedom to just have breakfast or dinner in, rather than always heading out to a restaurant; so since I had the toasted and glazed doughnuts well and truly settled for breakfast, it was time to think about something for dinner one night.
Rich was feeling like pork chops, and the local market had some very nice, thick, center cut bone-in chops that I thought would work a treat.
Now, what to do with ’em?
The kitchen is pretty well furnished, but I had left my spices and sauces and condiments at home, so I needed to come up with something simple that would still make for tasty chops.
We had milk in the fridge for coffee, so I added a small bottle of vinegar to the shopping cart with the chops to make buttermilk for a marinade. I’d forgotten to pick up cooking oil, so some packaged onion dip went in to add some fat and some flavoring to the marinade.
I kicked myself a bit because I have all these terrific blends at home, and they’re all made with only real herbs and seasonings, no corn sweeteners or flavoring additives. Fortunately, a careful review of the spice aisle gave us this Chipotle and Roasted Garlic spice rub that actually is just spices – with a dab o’ oil and annatto added at the end, unlike a lot of the other seasoning blends on the shelf.
So, groceries gathered, it was time to put it all together…
•2 thick cut, bone in pork chops
•2 cups buttermilk*
•3 tbsp Purchased onion dip**
•1/8 tsp salt
•1/4 tsp black pepper
•Chipotle & Roasted Garlic Grill Mates
*No buttermilk? No problem! Simply add two tablespoons of white vinegar or fresh lemon juice into a two cup measure and add milk to make two cups. Stir and set aside to rest for five or ten minutes; violà, buttermilk!
**I had Heluva Good Beer Batter Onion Ring dip.
Whisk the onion dip into the buttermilk until well combined, then pour over the chops in a gallon-sized zipper bag (I brought some of these with us on our trip).
Place on a rimmed plate or platter (to catch any drippage), then stash in the fridge for several hours or – always more better – overnight, giving the bag a flip and a little squeeze when you think to.
Remove from the fridge about an hour before you plan on grilling and allow the chops to come to room temperature.
Remove from and discard the marinade, shaking any excess off the chops, then season both sides with the Chipotle & Roasted Garlic seasoning.
Cook on the grill, one minute per side, then two minutes per side, until cooked to your liking, for about another eight to ten minutes.
Remove from pan and let rest loosely covered on a plate for ten minutes before serving.
Nice chops! And not too, too fussy to make when you’re far away from your regular kitchen and stuff. Add a bagged salad mix (we went with Caesar) and a bottle of champagne, and I call it a good meal, very well met.