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What's for Dinner? | LOW-FAT COOKING

Punch Up the Pork

April 14, 1999|DONNA DEANE

Shopping for the leanest cuts of meat and trimming off excess fat is the best way to incorporate meat into a low-fat diet. The problem, of course, is that leaner cuts have less flavor than fattier meat.

One way I get around this problem with lean pork chops is to marinate the meat in garlic oil. It takes only a small amount of oil to do the job, along with a Mexican spice blend of oregano, cumin and cilantro. Then I grill the meat on a stove-top grill pan or on an outside barbecue. Grilling adds flavor without adding fat.

Don't overcook the chops; they are best when light pink in the center. Serve the chops with steamed yellow and orange bell pepper quarters.

*

Grilled Lemon and Garlic Pork Chops

Active Work Time: 5 minutes * Total Preparation Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Garlic oil is sold in most supermarkets, but it can be made at home by letting whole, peeled cloves of garlic steep several hours in olive oil. Note that homemade oil can go rancid quickly; keep it refrigerated and use it within one week.

4 (1/4-pound) center-cut pork loin chops, about 1/2 inch thick

2 teaspoons garlic oil

1/2 teaspoon dried Mexican spice blend

Salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Nonstick cooking spray

4 lemon wedges

1/4 cup cilantro leaves

* Trim fat from pork chops. Rub both sides of each chop with garlic oil, then rub Mexican spice blend on each side. Cover and marinate in refrigerator 1 hour. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

* Grill pork chops on stove-top grill pan sprayed with nonstick cooking spray over high heat until centers of chops are light pink, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Squeeze juice from lemon wedges over tops of chops during last minute of grilling.

* Garnish with cilantro leaves before serving.

4 servings. Each serving: 208 calories; 115 mg sodium; 48 mg cholesterol; 17 grams fat; 0 carbohydrates; 13 grams protein; 0.08 gram fiber.

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