I’ve told all of you this before, but it’s a fact that keeps coming up in my life, especially when it comes to this blog: I was an extremely picky eater as a kid, and all my childhood food angst plays a big part in how I approach meals as an adult. And by “big part” I mean I’ve made it my personal crusade to seek out all the foods the five-year-old me wouldn’t dare touch and finally give them the good ol’ college try.
All things considered, I’ve made decent progress in the past twenty years or so. I’ve forgiven steak for being “too chewy” (once I tried it cooked medium rare) and I’ve apologized to onions for being “too crunchy” (now that I’ve added them to sautés and salsas) and I’ve begged green beans for forgiveness for being “too green” because, well, I have no idea how I decided that the color green was the enemy. That’s five-year-old logic for you.
I’m always trying to chisel more away from my list of once-forbidden food, and that journey brings me to this post: my heartfelt apology to pork chops, because, oh, dear pork chops, how wrong I was to think that you were “too bland” and tasted of “charred bacon.” If only I had known there was another way, a proper way, to bring out your tenderness and delicious taste, we could have been friends for all these years. Just think of all the inside jokes and secrets we could have shared.
Oh, who am I kidding. I can’t keep secrets. That’s kind of the whole premise behind this website, isn’t it? I can’t keep anything to myself, especially when it comes to talking about good food. And in that fashion, I’m going to go ahead and tell you what bridged the gap between me and pork chops: a grill and some flavorful BBQ sauce. It was that simple. Sometimes I think all my childhood angst about food could have been avoided if only my Easy Bake Oven had a side grill attachment.
Seriously, grilling has opened my eyes to all sort of new foods, and since we’re smack dab in the middle of the sacred season of grilling it seemed like the only suitable way to reintroduce me to pork chops. And as for the choice to use BBQ sauce? Well, I don’t know about you, but BBQ sauce always seems to taste better when it’s warmer than 80 degrees outside. If BBQ sauce was a creature that could roam free, it would totally nest in a sizzling climate.
When I had finally nailed down my battle plan for pork chop salvation, I headed down to our local Walmart Marketplace and scoped out the options. I tend to like my BBQ sauce on the sweeter side, so while browsing Kraft’s 8 (!!) tempting BBQ sauce flavors, their “Sweet Brown Sugar” sauce practically jumped off the shelf right into my cart. Maybe it was feeling sprightly because it it’s a brand new formula that includes no high fructose corn syrup (so much better for you, by the way). You can find all of Kraft’s options in the same isle with the salad dressings, located about half way down.
Before I left, I also swung by the Produce section and picked up some Caesar salad lettuce mix, fresh chopped pineapple, and pico de gallo salsa. See, onions, I meant what I said – we’re cool now.
I took about 1/4 cup of the BBQ sauce (and a 1 teaspoon of water, because Kraft’s new BBQ recipe is deliciously thick), mixed it in a bag, and popped the pork chops in to marinate in the fridge for about 8 hours. By the time I got home that evening, the pork chops were ready to be grilled!
Since it’s just The Boyfreind and I at our house, we don’t own a real-deal, sit-out-side-the-house charcoal grill – all we have is a small grilling top that sits on the cooking units we own, but it certainly got the job done. Just look at those BBQ-infused char lines!
Keeping with the summer theme, I mixed the pico de gallo and pineapple chunks together to top off the BBQ pork chops. the pineapple salsa was the perfect Hawaiian touch to the sweetness of Kraft’s Sweet Brown Sugar BBQ.
And remember that Marketplace bag of Caesar salad mix? It makes an amazing salad, with huge garlic croutons and thick Caesar dressing. I also added a few baby heirloom tomatoes to get it some color.
All in all this was an extremely easy dinner, not to mention nutritious, giving you a balanced mix of your daily lean protein, fruits, and vegetables. It’s the perfect type of meal to whip up after a busy day!
Looking for more great BBQ ideas for your summer grilling needs? Check out Kraft’s FREE digital cookbook!