Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Grilled Trout/Grilled Pork Chops in Sweet Bell Pepper Marinade

Every once in a while I borrow an idea for a recipe from a friend...and make it better.

Just saying.

A couple of months back, I had gone hiking with my friends Josh Pugliese, David Nigro, and company. When we returned from the wilds of Staten Island, Josh hosted an awesome BBQ with his husband, NY State Assemblyman Matt Titone (D-Staten Island). When we returned to Josh and Matt's home, Mr. Titone was madly at work in the kitchen whipping up something tasty. Josh is the grill master, but Matt was making a marinade that, frankly, was delicious (though a bit too creamy for my tastes).

I asked him what he put in his magic blender, and he shared with me his secret. I took what I liked from it and made a sauce, similar, but my own.

It's simple, it's fresh, it's delicious, and it's cheap...which makes it a prime recipe for The Fairy Chef.

Now, as I was cooking for David (pescatarian), myself, and his family....I used the marinade on fresh center cut pork chops as well as a rainbow trout and a brown trout caught my David's cousin in Maine. It was beautiful.

Grilled Trout and Grilled Pork Chops with Sweet Bell Pepper Marinade

2 trout fillets or whole trout or 4 center cut pork chops
1 large red bell pepper sliced
1 large orange bell pepper sliced
1 jalapeno chopped
4 cloves garlic
1/2 large red onion chopped
1 cup Light Italian Dressing
1/2 cup fresh basil minced or 1 tbsp dried basil flakes
2 tsp salt

First of all you will need a blender or food processor. Turn on the food processor on medium speed. Next, add the ingredients a bunch at a time starting with the bell peppers, then add the Italian dressing, followed by the rest of the ingredients. Once all of the ingredients are in the processor, turn the speed to high and allow to blend for one minute. This makes a richly flavored marinade that is light enough for summer with a bit of a zip from the jalapeno.

Place your pork chops or fish (whichever you choose to make) in a large zip lock bag. Fill the bag until the meat is covered. You will have sauce left over. Set this aside as you will use the sauce for basting the meat on the grill as well as for a condiment at the dinner table.

Shake the meat in the zip lock until it is thoroughly covered (if you have whole trout, make sure the sauce gets inside of the trout). Set the meat aside for at least an hour to let it marinate.

Next prepare your grill. If you are using a gas grill, then you can heat up the grill 10 minutes prior to the time you wish to start cooking. If you are using a charcoal grill, get the coals nice and hot without too much flame before you are ready to put the meat on the grill.

Next take some of the sauce leftover and pour it into a bowl. If you have a basting brush, set the brush and the extra sauce aside. Next put your meat on the grill. Turn the meat every couple of minutes. Each time you turn the meat, baste it with extra sauce. Make sure to cover the meat on the grill between each rotation.

Depending on the thickness of the pork chops and the size of the fish, it should take roughly 10 to 12 minutes to cook the meat thoroughly. For extra security if you cook pork....check the meat before removing it from grill.

Set a small bowl of the marinade on the table to use as a condiment. Enjoy with freshly steamed vegetables (we ate ours with fresh green beans from the garden), and enjoy!

The total cost of the marinade is roughly $4 and the total cost with the fish or the pork chops, depending on seasonal prices, will run you $12-$15 to feed a family of four...with leftovers.

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