7-31: Lime Cayenne Pork Chops

In these trying times (are you tired of hearing that yet?), it’s important to make the food you have go as far as you can, and to reduce the amount of food being wasted. Even before “the Rona“, I’ve been spending many a Saturday (or Sunday) meal-prepping for the upcoming week, which has brought down our grocery bills (and our waistlines, but apparently not as quickly).

7-31: Lime Cayenne Pork Chops was part of a “pork chop” meal-prep week, prepared in tandem with 7-53: Cider-Braised Pork Chops and served with some mixed roasted potatoes courtesy of the CSA box. It’s “meat and potatoes”, but maybe with a healthier twist?

My mom apparently made this back in November 1993, and it was “good” and “easy”. I’m not sure who ranked it as such (since she doesn’t eat pork), but we’ll go with that recommendation.

They advise a similar method of cooking these chops as the ones in 7-53: Cider-Braised Pork Chops (low and slow on the stovetop), but I think this recipe (with its citrusy, summery flavors) lends itself better to grilling. Grilling may cut some of the calories/fat down as well.

Ingredients. These are homemade seitan “porq chops“, same as what I used for 7-53: Cider-Braised Pork Chops. It took me much longer than you would think to get those fruits to balance and stay stacked long enough to take the picture.

Zesting the lime.

Mixing in the cayenne pepper.

Marinating the “porq”–tossing them around in a sealed plastic bag seems to do a better job coating them than using a bowl, but it’s slightly more wasteful. If you are using real meat, being able to throw the bag away once done (and cut down on potential contamination) may be an added bonus. It’s a lot harder (but not impossible) to get sick from the “fake” meat–the bigger risk in that case is the produce.

The lines my chops already have came from resting them on baking racks while they were being made. Now they can get some additional flavor from being grilled on my grill pan. Note the green lime “specks” on each chop.

There’s a fine line between “nicely grilled” and “my smoke detectors are going off” when using a grill pan indoors.

After grilling. They got some color/char, which will definitely lend additional flavor to these chops.

Pre-slicing them for the meal-prep containers. It’s hard to cut it at work.

Working on my “garnish”. Here’s an old restaurant skill I haven’t gotten to use for a while–supreming an orange. I used to do half a dozen a day, but it took me a while to get good at it.

First step: cut off the ends.

After cutting off your ends, use a paring knife to slice off the peel in sections, leaving as much of the fruit (but as little of the pith) as possible.

Once you’ve removed all the peel and pith, slice into each section and cut out as much of the fruit wedge as possible. I could have cut mine a little wider, but it’s been a while and I’m rusty.

Slice the fruit wedges in half (if desired–we did it for the ones we used in the restaurant since they were for salads)–now you have a a supremed piece of citrus! Squeeze the juice out of the fruit itself (the one you cut all the wedges out of) over your slices before tossing to keep them fresh/juicy.

Chopping the green onions.

Diced my tomato–it’s very orange, but it IS a tomato.

Threw all the “garnish” ingredients into a bowl.

This looks a lot more like a salsa or a relish than a garnish.

Roasting my mixed potatoes–cut them up, blanch them for 8-10 minutes, toss them with oil/herbs/spices, and roast at 425-450ish (depending on your oven) until crispy. Blanching them first gives you the soft inside while roasting them after gives them the crunchy outside.

Who needs takeout when you can do this yourself?

Here’s the lunches after being “meal-prepped”. Held up pretty well over the course of the week, it just needs to be kept upright so it doesn’t all mash together.

Here’s a view I haven’t seen in a while–my desk at work. I still eat meal-prepped dishes, I just eat them at my home desk now. The potatoes didn’t stay AS crunchy as when I first made them, but overall it held up well.

Grade: A