Today, I’m going to share with you an entire menu that’s cooked on the grill. We’re talking from the protein (pork chops) to the potatoes and even the vegetables (mushrooms) meet the heat.
First off are the pork chops. These pork chops are 1/2 inch thick andÂ I left the fat around the outside. You buy the pork chops with fat on them, they are left there for a reason: flavour and to keep the otherwise dry meat moist.
One of the many flavours in Greek cooking is “glyko-xino” (sweet & sour). Documentation of the Ancients’ sweet & sour recipes exists in Athenaeaus’ Deipnosophists, one of the few books on gastronomy that has survived the ages.
But unlike Asian cuisine where the definition has more emphasis on the sweet, Greek tastes dictate that the meat be primarily savory in flavour with a hint of sweetness. Today, the pork chops get a light marinade of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, mustard, oregano and some honey for a sweet finish.
The next component of our all-grill menu are the potatoes – again done in a Greek style. One of my favourite grilling foods to throw on the grill are potatoes. I thinly slice some potatoes, toss them in olive, season to your tastes and wrap in foil. The packet goes into the grill on in-direct heat with the lid closed.
Today’s flavouring of the potatoes comes courtesy of the kind folks at Simply Greek Foods. Simply Greek sent me a sampler package of their five unique seasonings: souvlaki, lamb rub, fish & seafood, Greek salad and potato & veg.
The potatoes today got tossed using the potato & veg seasoning. From tasting this seasoning on it’s own, I can detect some dried onion & garlic, parsley and oregano and some dried lemon to give your potatoes that authentic Greek taste. All the seasoning blends are suited for their type of dish and salt is used sparingly ( a good thing). You get to choose the amount of salt in your dish.
The third and final component of today’s grilled feast are the mushrooms. You will need a vegetable basket for a grill or one of those grill baskets used for fish will work here too…just place the mushrooms on top (so the mushrooms don’t fall through the grill).
You can use any type of mushrooms you fancy. Here, I halved some Cremini mushrooms and tossed them with some Oyster mushrooms, olive oil, salt and pepper. Simply place some on your in your pre-heated vegetable tray and the mushrooms are ready in minutes.
While still warm, gently toss the cooked mushrooms in some roasted garlic, grilled red onions, a splash of Balsamic vinegar and and some baby spinach.
Be it in Greece or anywhere else during the summer. The kitchen can get very hot very quickly and the grill can be a saviour for those upcoming hot summer nights.
If you’re like me, you relish every moment of summer, spend as much time outdoors and you enjoy the company of family and friends. Summer’s upon us and you’ll find me more and more by the grill. See you soon!
Pork Chops With a Honey-Mustard Glaze
1/4 cup olive oil
1 Tbsp. Balsamic vinegar
3 Tbsp. fresh chopped oregano
3 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp. sea salt
2 tsp. black pepper
1 Tbsp. of honey
Simply Greek BBQ Potatoes
4 large potatoes
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp. of Simply Greek Potato-Veg Seasoning
salt and pepper to taste
Grill Basket Mushrooms
1/4 cup olive oil
2 pints of mixed mushrooms (I used Cremini & Oyster)
2 tsp. chopped fresh oregano
1 red onion, sliced
1/2 head of garlic, roasted
salt and pepper to taste
2 tsp. of Balsamic vinegar
couple of handfuls of baby spinach
- In a bowl, stir together all of your marinade ingredients for the pork chops. Taste and adjust seasoning (should be just a hint of sweetness from the honey). Place the pork chops on a shallow glass tray and spoon about half the marinade (reserve the remaining half for finishing the chops) and brush and coat both sides of the pork chops. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for a couple of hours. Return to temperature before grilling.
- Pre-heat just one side of your gas grill for “indirect” cooking. Prepare your potatoes by slicing them and adding to a bowl with the olive oil, Simply Greek potato & veg seasoning and salt and pepper to taste. Place your potato slices in the middle of a large piece of aluminum foil and seal tightly. Place the packet of potatoes on the side of your grill with no heat. Close the lid of your grill and your potato packet should be ready in about 35 minutes.
- At this time, you can also roast your garlic by slightly cutting off the top of the garlic head, place the garlic in some foil, drizzle with olive oil and envelope the garlic in the aluminum foil. Place your garlic right beside your potatoes (again, indirect heat). The garlic should be ready when your potatoes are (approx. 1/2 hr.).
- Prepare your mushrooms. Cremini or button mushrooms can be halved or quartered (nothing too small) and toss them in a bowl with your Oyster mushrooms, olive oil, oregano, salt and pepper. At this point you may also grill your red onions. Simply cut them into 1/2 inch rings, brush with oil, season with salt and pepper and grill under a watchful eye.
- At this point, your potatoes, roasted garlic and grilled onions should be ready. It’s time to grill your pork chops under a medium-high heat. Season your chops with a little salt and pepper and place on the side of the grill with direct heat. Grill for 4 minutes a side.
- Place your mushroom mixture in your vegetable grill basket and grill for about 5 minutes while occasionally shaking the grill basket to sear all sides of the mushrooms.
- When your pork chops are cooked on both sides, brush the reserved marinade on them and reserve and keep warm.
- Carefully open your packet of potatoes and serve on a platter. The cooked mushrooms are added to a bowl and tossed with the grilled onions, half a head of roasted garlic, the Balsamic vinegar and the baby spinach. Lay the mushrooms on your platter to act as a bed for your grilled pork chops. Garnish with fresh or dried Greek oregano and wedges of lemon.
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