Recipes

Chili-spiced chops with guacamole: Day 4

I am a huge guacamole fan so the title of this recipe had me sold from the get-go. Plus, I had five ripe avocados just waiting to be pulverized and added to some lovely pork chops. I have to warn you though, the recipe boasts that this dish is delicious with grilled corn on the cob. But considering that corn on the cob is not in season in January I opted to serve it with rice and other vegetables that were darkening in the back of the fridge like the winter sky out my kitchen window. Oh, and I did not head outside to fire up the barbecue but rather pulled out my trusty old boxer-branded counter-top grilling machine.

I am a huge guacamole fan so the title of this recipe from Chatelaine’s cookbook had me sold from the get-go. Plus, I had five ripe avocados just waiting to be pulverized onto some pork chops. I have to warn you though, the recipe boasts that this dish is delicious with grilled corn on the cob. Considering that corn on the cob is not in season in January, I opted to serve it with rice and other vegetables that were darkening in the back of the fridge like the winter sky outside my kitchen window. Oh, and I did not head outside to fire up the barbecue, but rather pulled out my trusty old counter-top grilling machine.

I have to tell you that I do not profess to be a master in the kitchen. I do not watch the Food Network nor do I know which knives in my knife block are best for which task. But I do my best with what limited skills I have. So please do not judge me when I tell you that I have never made or applied a ‘rub’ for chops before; I did not take the direction ‘rub over both sides of the chops’ to mean using my bare fingers. So when I ‘rubbed’ the chops unsuccessfully with a silicone brush and then tried to apply the crumbly paste via the back of a spoon, I realized that ‘rub’ actually meant ‘rub’.

Whatever, I’m pregnant and wary of touching raw meat. So my solution was to do one side of each of the chops awkwardly with my spoon and silicone brush combination, and then stack the chops so that the slathered top side of one chop would inadvertently slather the bottom side of the next chop placed on top of it. And it seemed to work! If you do attempt this tasty dish, however, I would highly recommend rubbing the spice mixture with your bare fingers onto the raw meat. It will save you preparation time and your forehead will furrow less than mine.

At least when I got to the guacamole preparation steps, I felt like a bit of a pro (if I do say so myself). My husband and I are huge fans of Mexican food (and are blessed with living close to a couple of excellent Mexican grocers) and make guacamole quite often. A friend once showed me the easiest way to prep an avocado for guacamole: once you’ve sliced it in half and discarded the pit, cradle one half in the palm of your hand, take a fork and mash it up–still in its skin–to your liking. Once that’s done, just scoop out your entire, freshly mashed avocado into a bowl, repeat with the other half-o-cado and then you’re ready to add the other ingredients.

I love my food processor but I loathe washing, so I opted for chopping the cilantro on a cutting board and mixed all the guacamole ingredients in a bowl. The few extra minutes I may have taken doing it this way were easily worth the many more minutes it would have taken me to assemble, operate, disassemble, wash and dry the food processor.

We all really enjoyed these chops, but satisfying everyone’s spice preferences was not an easy task. I had opted for ½ tsp (versus 1 tsp) of Tabasco thinking of our toddler (and of pregnant me) so my husband took one bite of his pork chop, told me it was excellent and then headed to the fridge to pull out his favourite hot sauce. Next time I serve this up I will make it mildly spicy again but make sure to set out our array of hot sauces.

For more information on Chatelaine Modern Classics, including how to purchase, go here.

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