From Grilled Salmon to Grilled Tequila-Lime Chicken to Tomato Bruschetta, you would think that we would be completely grilled-out by now. Luckily, that is not the case or else we wouldn’t be creating all these delicious and smoky recipes right now. And somehow, summer just won’t feel the same without the grill.
Not only is it perfect for summer because you can cook outdoors, but it’s also a good-for-you cooking method.
Grilling is healthy because it does not require a coating of batter or a ton of fat to cook. In fact, as meat is being grilled, the extra fats drip away and leave less fat in your food. We already mentioned the yummy smokiness of grilled foods, but grilling makes food very flavorful. By cooking at high temperatures, moisture gets sealed into the food, making it super tender and juicy – no need for extra butter or oils!
“I loved making this very seasonable meal…Everything was great, I’d definitely make this meal again.” -Sandra
But of course, there are those times that call for adding a different flavor to the protein of your choice. The best way to do that is to make your own sauce or dressing, which is a lot healthier than the store-bought kinds.
So for this week, we are grilling up a different protein – pork – and marinating it in a quick, simple, and super tasty homemade balsamic vinaigrette. Half of the vinaigrette is used to marinate the pork, and the rest is saved for drizzling over the meat at the end. If you wish to that is. If you’d rather eat it without the extra dressing, you can use it to toss with a salad!
“Five stars! It was all delicious and would be great to serve to company!” -Dara
To round out this ultimate summer meal, our recipe for green beans and corn is perfect for the season and quick to make. Just pop in the microwave and done! Tossed with sun-dried tomato compound butter, this is a wonderful accompaniment to the balsamic grilled pork chops. (Plus, it just sounds so fancy, even though it’s one of the easiest things to make.)
If all of this sounds like too much, keep in mind that only a little bit of butter and oil are used, so that you can eat healthy without compromising the flavor.
You can maximize flavor with any meat you plan to marinate with this technique:
Make the most of fresh corn this season by using corn right off of the cob. Here’s how to shave the kernels off of a corn cob:
A grill is a great way to cook healthy and get that nice smoky flavor.
A grill pan will also work if you don’t have an outdoor grill.
Microwave cooking is quick and easy. All you need is a microwave-safe bowl like one of these.
For more kitchen and equipment and tool smarts, visit our ‘Essential Kitchen Cookware and Tools’
- Grilled Balsamic Pork Chops
- Balsamic vinegar – 2 1/2 tbsp
- Dijon mustard – 2 tsp
- Jam or jelly – 2 tsp (Any fruit jam will work)
- Mild-flavored oil – 1/4 cup (Like grapeseed, avocado, vegetable)
- Pork chops – 1 lb.
- Green Beans and Corn with Sundried Tomato Butter
- Butter – 1 1/2 tbsp
- Sun-dried tomatoes in oil – 1 tbsp
- Green beans – 2/3 lb., trimmed
- Corn – 3 cobs, kernels of
- Make balsamic vinaigrette – Mix together balsamic, Dijon, and jam. Whisk in oil until you get a smooth sauce. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Marinate pork chops – Place pork chops in a container. Drizzle with 1/2 of the vinaigrette and then tenderize with a fork. Marinate for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 whole day. (Can be done up to 1 day ahead)
- Compound butter – Slice butter and set it out at room temperature for ~15 minutes. Chop sun-dried tomatoes into butter. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
- Green beans / Corn – Prep as directed. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
- For outdoor grill: Preheat grill to 500 degrees to get the grates nice and hot. Once grill hits 500, turn down the burners on one part of the grill, and add pork chops to the hottest part of the grill. Grill pork chops on each side for 3 minutes and then move them to the part of the grill with lower heat. Close cover and cook pork chops for another 3 to 8 minutes (depends on thickness), until they reach 145 degrees. Remove from grill.
- Stovetop: Heat a grill pan or skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork chops to the pan and sear on both sides for 3 minutes. Lower heat to medium, cover with foil and cook for another 3 to 6 minutes (depends on thickness), until they reach 145 degrees. Remove from pan.
- Place green beans and corn in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover with a wet paper towel and microwave for 1 ½ minutes for thinner beans and closer to 2 ½ minutes for thicker beans.
- Toss green beans and corn in compound butter and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Slice into pork chops after they’ve rested for ~5 minutes. Drizzle second 1/2 of balsamic vinaigrette over pork. Enjoy with green beans and corn.