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Author Notes: I'm a huge proponent of cooking without borders, or trying to cook and mix foods from the different cultures around the world. In this pork recipe, I've attempted to combine the influences of Vietnamese and Greek/Mediterannean cuisines. I've grown up eating Vietnamese-style lemongrass-marinated pork. My grandmother's recipe remains near and dear to my heart. Not only is it delicious, it's also very versatile as it can be served with noodles, rice, sandwiches, spring rolls, etc...My family always has these backyard "barbecues" where we fry up this delicious pork recipe and serve with fresh vietnamese herbs inside of tapioca-paper spring rolls. I took inspiration from this combination of pork with minty freshness and created a minted cherry salsa (not quite, but it sure has a ring to it :) ) to top it off. I'm always searching for a zing of surprising flavor in savory meat dishes, so I hope this recipe delivers. The combination of sweet cherry, cool mint, and sharp feta create a refreshing contrast to the savory and caramelized richness of the pork. I always believe that we should cook with the ingredients we have on hand, so I'm sure other fresh herbs such as basil and cilantro would work wonderfully as well. Enjoy! —jennho
- 4 pieces pork chops
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- 4 garlic cloves
- 2 tablespoons lemongrass paste
- 2 tablespoons MSG-free soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
Minted Cherry Salsa
- 1 cup sweet red cherries
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 pinch pepper
- 1 handful fresh mint
- 2 sprigs parsley
- 1/4 cup feta cheese
- If pork chops are more than ½ inch thick, use a butcher knife to flatten by pounding. This will allow pork to cook faster. Salt and pepper the pork chops. Then mince garlic into a fine paste. Add garlic, lemongrass paste, soy sauce, and sugar to pork chops and marinade for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, pit and cut cherries in half. Add vinegar, salt, and pepper. Finely chop mint and parsley then add to cherries and let marinade for 5 minutes.
- Pan fry pork chops in olive oil on medium heat until a caramelized crust forms on the outside and the meat is cooked but juicy on the inside (approximately 3-5 minutes each side).
- Top pork chops with minted cherry salsa, sprinkle on a bit of feta cheese, and enjoy.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe for Cherries