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Grilled Pork Chops Adobo – Orange juice, chipotle in adobo, onions, cilantro, and herbs provide a sweet and spicy marinade for pork chops which are then grilled over a low flame to give the perfect sear, but retain their succulent texture.Pork is one of my favorite meats. I can’t decide if I like it or beef more, but I guess there is no real reason to ever have to make such a final proclamation.
Recently, I have been feeling nostalgic for Sunday dinners at my late grandparent’s house. After my grandfather passed in 2006, dinners ended because my grandma moved in with my Dad and Mom2. And to be perfectly honestly, I hadn’t been to a dinner in years prior to his passing because I had moved 700+ miles away. My returning home for dinner wasn’t practical.
There was always an end of summer BBQ, usually around Labor Day because in SoCal, school went back AFTER Labor Day, not in August like it does in Utah. My dad, Uncle Ant, and my grandfather would “man” the black bubble grill that contained burgers, hot dogs, and another meat. Sometimes pork, sometimes chicken, and sometimes beef. It probably depended what was on sale at the market when my grandma went. When I entertain at home, occasionally I like to make the dishes that remind me of my childhood and of my family. Sometimes it confuses my guests when I get too sentimental because they aren’t sure what to make Mexican marinated meats like carne asada or this pork adobo but yet be served a big bowl of macaroni. But to me, there is no other way. My grandma was Italian, dinner wasn’t dinner if there wasn’t macaroni. But my grandfather was Mexican and loved his meats (as do I.) So you can see why my guests get slightly confused at my ethnic diversity in culinary offerings.
My cravings as of late have been for chipotle in adobo, to me, adobo is Mexico’s spicy answer to barbecue sauce. It gives an authentic Latino flavor to your food. I have been using it in several dishes and for my end of summer barbecue, I knew I was going to use it again. But how to use it was the bigger question. I happened to be looking at the weekly ads and Walmart had pork on sale. I didn’t even need to look elsewhere, immediately, I knew what I was going to make. Off to Walmart I went to pick up some chops and a new can of La Morena Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce, which is found on the Hispanic foods aisle.
These pork chops are marinated in really easy mojo of chipotle in adobo with orange juice, onions, cilantro, and dried herbs and then grilled. First, marinade is put together rather quickly, then tossed back in the fridge to marinate, the longer the better (4 hours minimum to overnight) and then grilled, which takes about 10 minutes. Easy.
Then, once it comes off the grill, I promise the fiesta will move from your backyard right into your mouth. The sweetness of the orange juice hits you first, but not too sweet because the onions and cilantro balance it. But then the chipotle and adobo hit you. If you have a piece of the pepper on it, it’s going to hit you harder, otherwise, it’s a subtle heat. My 5 year old can handle it…until she got a bite of pepper that I neglected to remove…Then her eyes filled with tears and she looked at me like “why, why do you hate me?” I felt bad, but she overcame with a big glass of milk.
Grilled Pork Chops Adobo
- 4-6 thick cut pork chops
- 3/4 cup orange juice
- 1/4 cup chopped onions
- 2 tbsp chopped cilantro
- 1/4 tsp dried Mexican oregano
- 1/4 tsp dried thyme
- 1 chipotle; diced (from chilies in adobo can)
- 1/2 T adobo sauce; +/- to heat taste
Chop the cilantro and the onions; add to a bowl.
Add the orange juice, dried herbs, chopped chipotle and adobo sauce and whisk together until blended.
Place pork in a zip-seal bag or large container.
Pour the marinade over the meat, and work it in well, making sure the meat is fully coated in the liquid and herbs.
Flip the meat or disturb the container frequently to help the less covered sections to recovered.
Heat the grill and once it is hot, reduce heat to low.
Add the pork chops, cook for about 5 minutes and then flip and cook an additional 5 minutes. Watch for doneness by checking the internal temperature with a thermometer. Depending on the thickness of the chop, it could take as little as 3 minutes per side and as long as 10 minutes per side. The internal temperature needs to be 145°
Serve and Enjoy
How might you use La Morena Chipotle Peppers in Adobo or their Jalapeños in your next dish?