Last week I told you about the “Good and Good for You” Challenge that I’m participating in, where I’m trying out different cuts of pork each week in different tasty and healthy dishes that are easy to prepare. Last week we tried pork tenderloin and made pork sliders. They were a HUGE hit; we were all disappointed when all the leftovers were gone!
This week we were challenged to try a recipe that might be good for “game day” (I hear that there’s a football game on this weekend that is sort of a big deal…). Thanks to Porkbeinspired.com (an AWESOME resource for great pork recipes) I found the perfect dish! P.F. Chang’s look out, because we made our own pork lettuce wraps this week!
Here’s the recipe!
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Marinating Time: 1 hour
Vegetable oil cooking sprayMarinade: 1/2 cup hoisin sauce
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon fresh ginger root, minced
1 tablespoon garlic , minced
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepperWraps:
3 large heads butter lettuce, leaves separated
2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch matchsticks
1 English cucumber, cut into 2-inch matchsticks
2 ounces bean thread (Asian cellophane noodles), soaked for 15 minutes in hot water, and then drained
16 sprigs fresh cilantro
1/4 cup corn syrup
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, minced
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup prepared Thai sweet chili sauce
1/4 cup prepared Thai peanut sauce
Place chops in large self-sealing plastic bag; combine marinade ingredients in small bowl and pour over chops. Seal bag and refrigerate 1 to 4 hours. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes prior to grilling. Prepare medium-hot fire in charcoal grill or preheat gas grill to medium high. Arrange coals or burners so there is medium-low zone for finishing chops.
When ready to grill, remove chops from marinade (discarding marinade). Spray grill grate with vegetable oil spray. Grill pork directly over medium-high fire until seared, 3-4 minutes per side. Slide chops to cooler part of grill, cover, and continue to grill until pork registers 145 degrees F. when checked with an instant-read thermometer, about 5 minutes longer. Transfer to cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
While pork is marinating, arrange stack of large lettuce leaves attractively on large serving platter. Place carrots, cucumber, bean thread, and cilantro leaves in small dishes and arrange on serving platter.
In small serving bowl or ramekin, mix together corn syrup, minced cilantro, lime juice, and salt. Place sweet chili sauce and peanut sauce in small serving bowls or ramekins.
Cut pork into thin slices. Lay 3 medium-sized leaves of lettuce on serving platter and arrange pork on lettuce.
To assemble, let each guest place a lettuce leaf on an appetizer plate. Arrange 2 slices of pork on top of the lettuce. Mound a bit of carrot, cucumber, and bean thread over top. Add a couple cilantro leaves and drizzle one of the sauces over top. Fold over the lettuce to form a roll and enjoy!
Serves 8 as an appetizer.
While there are several elements to the dish, they do come together very easily. We further simplified things by using our George Foreman grill to cook the chops. Easy!
So what makes this a great game day alternative to hot dogs, nachos, or even ribs (which, incidentally, are on sale this week at Publix through the 8th if you want to go that route!)? This is a much leaner cut of meat, which cuts back on your calorie intake. The other ingredients in the dish are also, corn syrup aside, healthy, too. But the fun factor if 100% there. These are so much fun to make and so satisfying to eat. They will fill you just like something heavier would, but without the stomachache that would follow a big plate of chili cheese fries! They are also 100% full of flavor, which will definitely make them a crowd favorite.
I will tell you that I honestly never realized you could to anything with pork chops besides just make pork chops. So I never bought them. I was so wrong, though! There are TONS of creative recipes out there (Pinterest, anyone?!) and now that we’ve tried this cut of meat, it is on my radar to pick up in the future. It is a healthy choice for my family with endless possibilities for preparation.
Disclosure: I am participation in this campaign in conjunction with The Motherhood, and am being compensated for my time. All thoughts and opinions expressed here are strictly my own.