Commenced new Bodum Fyrkat grill usage (I just like saying that. Fyrkat! Also, "gril de pique-nique" which is what it said on the box. Riiight?) with a recipe for Mojo Grilled Pork with Orange-Jicama Salad from an issue of America's Test Kitchen magazine from Cook's Illustrated called 30 Minute Suppers. Fun, because it used jicama, an ingredient I have never eaten before. The article described it as a cross between an apple and a potato. Good enough for me. I also added grilled asparagus as a side.
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves. minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 cup juice and peeled and segmented fruit from 2 oranges
1/4 cup juice from 2 limes
1 TB brown sugar
1/2 jicama, peeled and cut into 2 x 1/4 inch pieces
2 TB cilantro, minced
salt and pepper
8 thin bone-in pork chops, about 4 oz each, 1/2 inch thick (I used boneless chops)
Heat oil in small pan over medium heat. Add garlic and cumin and cook until fragrant but not browned, about 30 seconds. Transfer to bowl and whisk in orange juice, lime juice and brown sugar. Cool slightly, about 5 minutes.
Combine jicama, orange segments, cilantro and 1/4 cup dressing in a second bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Toss pork chops with 1/4 cup dressing and season with salt and pepper. Grill chops over hot fire until lightly charred and tops begin to turn opaque, about 2 minutes. Flip chops and grill until just cooked through, about 30 seconds. Transfer to platter, drizzle with remaining dressing, tent with foil and let rest 5 minutes. Serve with orange-jicama salad.
.................................Now I will say... this wasn't the best meal I've ever made. There was something lacking, some element that should have made the ingredients sing, that somehow just didn't. It was fine and I'm not saying you shouldn't make it. It was a perfectly appropriate summer meal. I just thought it funny that with such outstanding flavor personalities like citrus, garlic, cumin and cilantro, it seems that it should have had more... glory. It was fine though.
Speaking of glory. I got glory in the form of dessert.
Strawberries dipped in crème fraiche and brown sugar. Have you ever done that? It is mind blowingly delicious. You take these three things, these lovely things on their own, you put them together and suddenly they are so very, very much more. It would be inadequate for me to tell you that the tangy, almost lemony nature of the crème fraiche joins brilliantly with the crumbly darkness of the brown sugar and turns even a less than perfect strawberry into a symphony. You just have to try it.