Friday, May 10, 2013

Meet Susan R!

When I think back to my earliest memories, they all seem to center around food and cooking. I now live in Pennsylvania, but I grew up in Maine. My grandfather was a Lobsterman in Cape Porpoise and my grandmother had the biggest vegetable garden I have ever seen. (Well, I was a little kid so it seemed big to me!) I learned at a very young age to respect the resources our land and sea provided. My grandmother canned fruits and vegetables, and she also made her own root beer. We loved to see the few bottles that fermented and pop the tops so they hit the ceiling. That didn’t win us any points! My mother was an amazing home cook. She loved to experiment and I learned to use my imagination in the kitchen after watching both my parents
and grandparents create flavorful and exciting food. Every family event is centered around food. My dad is an avid fisherman. He has travelled the world to fish and compete in many fishing tournaments. Not many people know this, but there was a United States Tuna Team, and in 1972, my dad was the Captain. That year he caught a 921-pound tuna! We were eating sashimi before most of America knew what it was. I visit him in Florida regularly to fish, and hopefully catch enough to bring some back home to Pennsylvania.

As I progressed in my quest to create unique and delicious dishes, I developed a passion for grilling. Most of my friends and family turn to me when they have grilling questions. I am very proud of my beautiful WeberQ. I grill year round, regardless of the weather. We don’t eat traditional Thanksgiving meals in our home. Each year, the menu is decided around a grilled protein and whatever side dishes we feel like having. I have created a number of exceptional rubs and marinades over the years. One of my daughter’s favorite grilled meats is my marinated and grilled pork chops. So that is the recipe I am choosing to share with you.

I am definitely not a baker. In fact, my oven is used to store pots and pans. It is a running joke with all of the great cooking friends I have! If I have to roast vegetables, I generally do it in my large cast iron skillet on the grill. If I have to use the oven, it is a daunting task to find places to put the hardware I store there. It is truly one of my goals to learn the art of baking. Some day. In the meantime, I will continue to embrace my love of creating great food. On the grill!

There is nothing complicated about this Marinated and Grilled Pork Chop recipe. Yet, it is one of the most requested grilled pork recipes of all time by my family. It happens to be my daughter's favorite and because of the simplicity, it is a regular on our holiday menus. I love grilling, and if you do too, I hope this recipe becomes a new favorite!

Marinated and Grilled Pork Chops

For the Marinade:
¾ cup soy sauce (I prefer lower sodium)
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoon ketchup (I prefer Heinz)
1-2 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (I prefer Lea & Perrins)
1 Tablespoon light brown sugar
1 teaspoon Sriracha or another hot sauce of your choosing
2 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
1 small yellow onion, peeled and roughly chopped
4 pork loin chops (T-Bone), cut to 1 ¾-inch thick
Hickory wood chips (I use 1 cup)
Warm water

Combine the first 8 ingredients in a gallon-size zipper bag. Squeeze to combine. Add the chops, seal and mix well. Place in a bowl to prevent any accidental leaking. Marinate for a minimum of 3 hours, or up to 6 hours in the refrigerator, turning about every hour. (Soak the hickory chips in warm water for about an hour prior to lighting the grill.) About 30 minutes before cooking, remove the marinated chops and let them come close to room temperature. Preheat the grill to medium-high. When the wood chips are smoking, it is time to cook the chops! Remove the chops from the marinade (you can reserve the marinade and reduce it) and sear the chops for 4 minutes on each side, rotating the chops 90 degrees at the 2-minute mark. Stand the chops up on the flat side of the “T-Bone” and reduce the heat to medium-low. Close the lid and roast the chops for 12-15 minutes until they are cooked to medium, which is our preference. Remove the chops from the grill to a plate and cover loosely with foil. Allow them to rest for 10 minutes.

If you choose to reserve the marinade, it is a delicious compliment to the chops. Strain the remaining marinade through a fine mesh strainer to remove all solids. Bring to a boil over high heat in a small saucepan, reduce the heat to medium and allow the liquid to reduce by half. It is a rich and flavorful dipping sauce to serve along with the perfectly cooked chops!

**Note: Cooking time will vary depending on the grill. My grill reaches 800°, so the chops cook quickly. Use an instant read thermometer to ensure the pork is cooked to your desired temperature.


  1. this sounds perfect. looks like i found another reason to fire up the grill.