Recently I've gotten on bit of a binge of “Nuevo Latino” cooking. It's a blend of the elegant cuisine of Old World Spain, and the bright sunny flavors of the New World Hispanic countries. And it's a hot trend in the culinary world. You can hardly open any of the restaurant trade magazines without finding something about it.
A while back I had a dish resembling this pork dish in a little Latino restaurant in Louisville, KY. Pork is quite affordable, and takes to many different flavors. Most of my friends like it. So why not try it myself, I thought.
I made the marinade from scratch, but you can use bottled Goya Mojo Criollo (found in specialty markets and Latin groceries) with the addition of the juice and zest of one lime.
I did try packaged hollandaise sauce, which I found quite acceptable after tarting it up a bit. If you prefer, and have a recipe you like, feel free to make your own. The one thing I like about the packaged mix is that it won't break or separate if you have to hold it for a while.
I was going to use diced home-grown tomatoes, but I didn’t get to the farmers’ market, so I used a pint of those sweet little grape tomatoes from the supermarket, cut in half. I recommend them.
I accompanied it with a rice pilaf: I sautéed a little onion and simmered the rice in saffron-scented chicken stock. I added a handful of frozen peas, thawed, for color.
And I made the baked black beans that I mentioned a while back. They are, with no competition, the best black beans I've ever tasted. You can find that recipe here.
Give it a try; I'm sure your friends will enjoy it as much as mine did!
CUBAN MOJO PORK CHOPS
1/4 cup lime juice
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup lemon juice
The finely grated zest of one lime and one lemon (See note.)
1 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups hollandaise sauce
2 tablespoons canned chopped green chilies
1/2 pint grape tomatoes, cut into half
The zest and juice of one lime
8 pork chops, 1" thick
Cilantro sprigs, for garnish
Whisk together all the marinade ingredients. Place the chops in a large plastic Ziploc bag. Add the marinade and squeeze out as much of the air as you can. Put in a baking pan in the fridge for several hours or overnight (or a couple of hours at room temperature). Occasionally turn the bag over and give it a little massage to make sure all sides of the meat are bathed in the marinade.
Make the sauce: Combine all the ingredients and keep warm.
To finish, remove the meat from the marinade. Put the marinade in a small pan and bring to a boil.
Grill or broil the chops until just barely done, brushing frequently with the marinade. Remove to individual plates and drizzle on some of the hollandaise. Sprinkle with the cilantro. Pass the remaining sauce at the table. Serves 8.
NOTE: Grate the zest of the lemon and lime BEFORE squeezing the juice.