Autumn is technically still weeks away, but I can tell summer is coming to an end. My calendar is starting to fill up and my Facebook feed is flooded with back to school pictures. I’m ready for life to return to a more normal routine, but the change from laid-back summer to punctual fall requires a bit of adjustment. To ease the pain, I’ve been keeping things simple in the kitchen.
These grilled pork chops are a great example. I’m a purist when it comes to meat on the grill believing that a generous sprinkling of salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper are all you need for a delicious final product. Yet sometimes you want to fancy things up without a lot of effort.
Which is reason number one for why I need to introduce you to this gremolata butter. I stir orange zest, chopped parsley and minced garlic into softened butter for a lively combination that is perfect for grilled meats. The flavored butter can be made ahead of time leaving the grill master with the sole task of scooping a generous spoonful atop each pork chop right before it comes off the grill. The heat from the pork chops causes the butter to melt and form a light sauce that is packed with flavor. This recipe just might be easy end-of-summer grilling at its best. Happy cooking!
Grilled Pork Chops with Gremolata Butter – Printer Friendly Recipe
Entertaining? Keep things stress-free by making the gremolata butter up to one day in advance.
4 (6 to 8-ounce) pork chops, about 1-inch thick
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup minced fresh flat leaf parsley
3 garlic cloves, minced
Zest from one orange
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
16 fresh sage leaves, optional
Preheat a grill over medium-high heat. Remove the pork chops from the refrigerator thirty minutes before you plan to grill them. Allow the pork chops to come to room temperature.
In a small bowl, stir together the softened butter, parsley, garlic and orange zest. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Set aside. Note: Make the gremolata butter up to one day in advance and refrigerate.
Pat the pork chops dry with paper towels and season generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper. If desired, press two sage leaves onto each side of the pork chops. The sage not only adds a decorative touch, but will infuse the pork with its distinct aroma as you grill it.
Grill the pork chops for about 4 to 5 minutes on each side until desired doneness (USDA recommends cooking to at least 145 degrees F). When you are almost ready to remove the pork chops from the grill, place a spoonful of the gremolata butter atop each one allowing it to just start to melt.
Remove the pork chops from the grill (be careful not to spill the butter!) and serve immediately. Enjoy!