Sometimes it ain’t easy being me. Just the other day I caught a peripheral glimpse of rather rotund chap as I passed what I thought was a glass door. Unfortunately, the glass door turned out to be a mirror and the corpulent image turned out to be ME.
So here is my dilemma: While I try to exercise restraint at the table and exercise more at the gym, I am still obligated to cook, eat, drink and evaluate so I can enlighten you hungry and thirsty rascals about a world full of exceptional food and wine combinations.
Okay. So I will try and moderate the intake a bit, but as Curtis Mayfield so righteously sang in his tune of the same name, I’ll just have to “Keep on Keepin’ on.” And today that means letting you in on a food and wine combination that is a staple in my home, particularly during grilling season.
When I cook for friends and family, I try to use fresh ingredients I can purchase locally and then accompany the meal with inexpensive, no-nonsense wines that taste good and help de-clog the arteries. But with the dish below, you may want to pop a Statin, too.
I love to one-stop shop and our excellent Capitol Market in Charleston has just about any consumable ingredient needed to put together a great meal. In this case, the good folks at Johnnies Fresh Meats provided the protein for the dish while the liquid inspiration came from the Wine Shop at Capitol Market.
The pork chop is the centerpiece of this recipe and features a Korean marinade. Have your butcher cut thin (one-half inch thick) pork blade chops which are a bit fattier than other cuts. You can also use the leaner pork center loin chops that have a T-shaped bone, but I find that these do not absorb the marinade as well as the blade chops.
These grilled chops are great when paired with a medium-bodied red wine. In this case, I am suggesting a northern Italian red along with a pinot noir from California. Check out my recommendations below.
What you will need:
Eight one-half inch thick pork blade chops
One cup of light soy sauce
One-fourth cup each of white sugar, and Mirin (a sweet rice wine)
Two tablespoons of rice wine vinegar and sesame oil
Six cloves of garlic finely chopped
One small chopped onion
Three chopped scallions
One tablespoon of grated fresh ginger
One teaspoon of red pepper flakes
One-gallon plastic baggie
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and stir marinade
Reserve one quarter of marinade and use to baste the pork chops later
Place pork chops into gallon baggie
Pour marinade into baggie, seal and place in the refrigerator for at least four hours
Prepare a charcoal fire or gas grill
Grill chops directly over heat source turning regularly to prevent flare-ups
Baste the grilling chops with the reserved marinade until cooked – approximately five minutes
Serve and accompany with roasted red skin potatoes or wild rice
2012 Tenuta Sant’Antonio Scaia Corvina ($12) I first tasted this wine last year in Verona on a trip through the Alto Adige region of northern Italy. Made from 100 percent corvina – the primary grape used to make Valpolicella and Amarone – this is a delicious mouthful of medium bodied red wine that has flavors of tea, cola and ripe dark cherries. While it flourishes as an accompaniment to the dish above, it goes equally well with other grilled dishes such as chicken, salmon and Italian sausage.
2012 Adler Fels “The Archivist” Pinot Noir ($20) This is a juicy, spicy, and earthy Monterey County Pinot Noir. With just a touch of new oak, this well balanced wine has flavors of ripe plums and makes a great partner to the Seoul Chops.