Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Tropical Tastes

It's officially summer and all I can think of is frozen tropical drinks.  When it comes to liquor I'm a girly-girl.  I don't like beer.  I don't do liquor straight up.  I drink wine and I drink froufy, fruity cocktails that have more calories than is considered healthy for your average troll woman.  I think the beer and liquor snobs have it wrong anyway.  A fruity cocktail is easy to get down, so you drink more and get drunk faster.

Now Muffins, I swear I'm not an alcoholic.  I think part of the lure of alcoholic beverages for me mentally is just that I tend to consume in places where I'm totally relaxed and having fun.  I associate wine with enjoying a nice meal in a restaurant or with dinner parties.  Fruity cocktails make me think of lying on a deck chair poolside, or at the very least hanging out at a bar with friends.

Today's recipe pays homage to that venerable summer cocktail, the Pina Colada.  Think of all of the sensations and experiences associated with a pina colada: Tropical breezes! Exotic islands! Getting caught in the rain! Making love at midnight in the dunes of the cape!

I had some gorgeous pastured pork chops from the farmer's market.  I could have had the ribs on sale, or paid more for the center cuts.  The vendor said if I wanted those bone-in loins, I had better be prepared for some big chops.  I said, "Bring it."

I used coconut milk and fresh pineapple chunks.  I didn't want things too sweet, so I added lime juice and lime zest and some scallions for a little flavor contrast.  I've been so obsessed lately pairing sweet flavors with heavily contrasting flavors (like jalapeno and pomegranate or peaches and onions).

It didn't taste like a pina colada at the end (even though I'm naming the recipe that), but the flavors all worked so well together.  The lime and the rum played off against the richness of the pork and the coconut milk and offset the sweetness of the pineapple.  This is a keeper.

Pina Colada Pork Chops

  • 2 pounds thick pork chops
  • Olive oil for frying
  • 2 scallions, green and white parts divided
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • Juice and zest of 1 lime
  • 2 Tbl rum
  • 2 cups pineapple chunks

Sprinkle chops with salt on both sides.  Gently heat a little olive oil in a large frying pan and brown the chops well on both sides, about 5 minutes each side.  Remove from pan.

Add the white part of the scallions to the pan and cook until fragrant.  Add the coconut milk, lime juice, zest, and rum and scrape up the brown bits.  Stir in the pineapple chunks.

Put the chops back in the pan and gently simmer another 10 minutes or until cooked through and pineapple chunks are soft and releasing their juices.  Garnish with green parts of the scallions.


Blond Duck said...

Ole! :)

Blond Duck said...

Happy 4th!

Blond Duck said...

Did I have a really bad Texan accent in your dream?

Blond Duck said...

How's the new job going?