By Todd Barron @ FoodieCuisine.com
One of the magazines I subscribe to is Cooking Light and it has a good looking recipe for Greek-Style Pork Chops in it’s July 2010 issue. I thought I’d give it a try and made it over the weekend. The family loved it!
The recipe is rather simple and makes 4 servings. 4 servings means the recipe feeds four people by the way. When reading food labels make sure you check to see how big each serving is. This can make a huge difference in the number of calories you are consuming. See below for nutritional information on this dish.
I did modify the recipe a little by adding the kalamata olives to the vegetable mixture. The olives added some much needed flavor in my opinion.
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, divided
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 (4-ounce) boneless center-cut loin pork chops
- 3/4 cup plain fat-free Greek-style yogurt
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1 1/2 cups diced plum tomatoes (about 2 medium)
- 1 cup diced seeded cucumber
- 1/2 cup diced red onion
- 1/2 cup diced kalamata olives (seedless!)
- Cooking spray (or a teaspoon of olive oil)
Marinate the pork
The first thing you need to do is marinate the pork. Take a large zip-lock bag and put the pork into it along with 1 tablespoon of vinegar, the oregano, one teaspoon of olive oil, and the garlic. Let this sit on the counter for 20-45 minutes depending on how cold it is. If the pork is frozen you need to thaw it in the refrigerator before you do this step. Do not thaw it on the counter as this will promote bacteria growth and can lead to illness or worse.
Prepare the dill topping
The topping is made from yogurt which keeps the calories down. Luckily, it’s very easy to make! Mix the yogurt and the dill in a small bowl. Mix it well enough to where the dill is blended throughout. Set aside or in the refrigerator if you are waiting to cook the pork.
Prepare the vegetable mixture
This is the easiest part of the meal to make. Take the tomatoes, cucumber, onion, and seedless kalamata olives and dice them all into small cubes. Put the diced vegetables in a bowl and mix in the remaining tablespoon of vinegar. Add 1/4 teaspoon of salt and one teaspoon of olive oil to the bowl and toss the mixture well. Set the mixture aside on the counter. It does not need to be refrigerated while you finish everything else.
Cook the pork
Heat a non-stick skillet on medium-high and once it’s hot, coat the cooking surface with cooking spray or a teaspoon of olive oil. Once the cooking spray starts to bead, or the olive oil is runny (this tells you it’s hot,) add the pork to the skillet. Sprinkle the top of the pork with the remaining salt (1/4 teaspoon.)
Do not over-crowd the skillet with the pork as this will keep it from browning properly. This is actually a “rookie” mistake to make as the meat will cool off the skillet if over-crowded. At most, you should cover 2/3 of the cooking area with meat. If you need to, cook the pork in batches. Just be sure to wipe the cooking area down in-between batches or you will be cooking with burnt left-over pieces.
Cook the pork for about 4 minutes, until its golden brown on the one side, and then flip it. Cook it on the flipped side for another 4 minutes until golden brown and remove it to a plate. The meat should rest for about 5 minutes. The resting period gives the meat time to soak the juices back up that it released during the cooking process. If you do not rest the meat it will end up dry. This applies to steak as well, so always let your meat rest after cooking.
To be sure your pork is cooked, make sure it reaches an internal temperature of 150 degrees. It needs to be hotter than this to meet FDA requirements, but it will continue to heat up while it rests. This is important to remember as meat continues to cook after you remove it from the grill or stove. It doesn’t magically stop cooking unless you put it in a blast freezer.
Toast the bread or tortilla
I served the meal with warmed up corn tortillas. The recipe calls for pita bread but I didn’t have any handy. Pita also has more calories which I think are unnecessary. For the dinner I heated up four corn tortillas and put one teaspoon of the dill/yogurt mixture on each one for serving.
Fold the corn tortillas in half, with the dill mixture in between the folds. Put about a cup of the vegetable mixture on each plate and set one pork chop to the side. Top the pork with a tablespoon (or more) of the dill topping and you are ready to go!
Nutritional Information per Serving (not including the tortilla)
- Fat:9.3g (sat 2.8g,mono 4.8g,poly 0.8g)