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Strawberry Balsamic Pork Chops ~ Herb and balsamic marinated grilled pork chops with fresh strawberries tossed in balsamic reduction and sprinkled with bleu cheese.There’s that moment on Sunday night, when filling out the detailed calendar for the week that you know you’re in trouble. That was me this past Sunday. I knew I was going to have a busy week, but until I put it all on my paper calendar (yes, I am old school that way), that I realized by the time Tuesday night was over, I’d have accomplished a full week of tasks, with 3 days to go still.
Last week I started two community-type courses at the local trade/tech school. I’m taking a photography course and a photoshop course. I’m a classroom learner, and it is time to finally learn how to properly use my camera and then edit those pictures. A YouTube video here, and few pages from a book there just wasn’t cutting it for me. But just like that, my Tuesday and Thursday nights filled up.
I knew I’d not make it to Friday if I didn’t carve out a bit of time for myself and Elizabeth. That’s when Darla and I decided we would take a midweek respite; fire up the grill, have a drink, relax, and enjoy a wonderful summer evening.And that’s exactly what we did.
I went to Smith’s to get the supplies for dinner, plus a few other odds and ends I needed around the house like half/half for my coffee and cereal for the kid. I remembered seeing that Heineken was on sale when I was looking at the weekly ad, so I popped on over the beer section and picked up a 12-pack.
Grilled pork chops, summer evening, cold beer, friends who are really family…I had a recipe for a perfect evening. We dined on our Strawberry Balsamic Pork Chops al fresco and kept the Heineken nearby and chilled by putting it in a bucket filled with ice. It was not only aesthetically pleasing with those pretty green bottles, but it meant we could just relax, chat, and enjoy the evening without having to go back inside to get another.
It truly was a perfect evening. The chops had been marinated in a balsamic vinegar based sauce. I love sweet and savory, as you all know, and the strawberries at the store were screaming red and luscious, so they were tossed with fresh basil picked right from Darla’s herb garden and my homemade balsamic reduction. Spooned over the pipping hot, fresh grilled chops and topped with a generous sprinkling of bleu cheese, dinner was delicious. Coupled with an ice cold Heineken, we took a boring ole weeknight, and made it feel like a weekend, with very little effort.
Strawberry Balsamic Pork Chops
- 4 pork chops; thick cut/ center cut
- 2 oz bleu cheese crumbles
- 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 3 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp honey (decrease by 1 tbsp for less sweetness)
- 2 cloves garlic; minced/grated
- 1/2 tsp dried basil
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp pepper
- 8 oz fresh strawberries; cleaned and sliced
- 4 large fresh basil leaves; diced
- 1-11/2 tsp balsamic reduction
Remove the pork chops from the package and place in a zip seal bag.
Mix all the ingredients together.
Pour into the bag with the pork chops.
Remove as much air as possible and seal; move the meat and sauce around together, making sure the meat gets fully coated.
Place the meat on a plate or baking dish flat, in a single layer; chill.
Allow to marinate for 1-4 hours, flipping occasionally.
Clean and slice the strawberries and place in a bowl.
Dice the fresh basil, add to the bowl of strawberries.
Pour the balsamic reduction over the top and gently mix together.
Cover until ready to use.
Heat grill to medium high or similar and remove the chops from the refrigerator, allowing them to get to room temperature or close before grilling (at least 20 minutes).
Remove from marinade; toss marinade in the trash.
Grease grill if necessary.
Place chops on the grill and cook for 4-5 minutes for thin, 5-6 minutes for medium, and 6-7 minutes for thick cut.
Flip, cook, reducing the cook time by 2 minutes, depending on the thickness of your chops. Take care not to over cook or the chops will be tough and dry; perfect for using as a puck in street hockey.
Remove from grill and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
Plate the chops.
Scoop the balsamic strawberries and arrange over the pork chops.
Sprinkle a modest amount of bleu cheese crumbles over the chops and strawberries.
Serve and enjoy.
Active Prep: 30 minutes
Passive Prep 1-4 hours
Overall, it was a wonderfully relaxing night, but a simple one of friends, beer, and food; the perfect trio in my opinion. And luckily for us, Heineken had its own perfect trio of 3 simple ingredients; barley, hops, and water-the only ingredients needed for a refreshing beer.
It’s now back to work and all the busyness that goes along with life, but I know there will be another weeknight backyard barbecuing evening friends and an ice cold Heineken in my near future. What are you grilling while sipping on your own ice cold Heineken? If you’re reading this on a mobile device, click here to get your Heineken coupon.