I went back to Ohio… but my pineapple ginger marinade was gone.

This week I am going on “vacation”. Well, it is more of just a trip but ‘vacation’ sounds way more impressive, don’t you think? We are traveling (by car) north to what several of my friends – and a large percentage of the population living on Hilton Head Island call the “motherland”… Ohio.

I lived on Hilton Head Island for a long time and it is a beautiful, wonderful place indeed with many (can you believe over 200!) very good and interesting restaurants. While the Island still retains some of it’s southern roots, it is a real melting pot of people – one of the best aspects of living there I think. On the one hand it can be enlightening to be around people from all over, but on the other hand, it can be difficult to ‘get ’r done’, i.e. squabbling, lack of compromise, so many transplants wanting everything to be just like it was in “insert town name here, Ohio”.

It’s curious to live in a place where so many people move to mostly because they loved it so much on vacation. I used to joke that it’s as if the Island magically set adrift from the Buckeye state and then took hold of the South Carolina coast or perhaps Charles Fraser (he developed Hilton Head for the most part) threw out a line as it was passing by and then anchored it good and taut in Calibogue Sound.

But I do like Ohio folks – in my opinion they should just slow down a bit, allow the southern way of life to percolate awhile and enjoy Lowcountry living. And I do like visiting my father-in-law Mike and his wife, Kay up in O-h-i-o. Their latest weather report of 70’s during the day and high 50’s (50’s!) at night is right on time for this southern girl. I’m also looking forward to trying some local Walleye and an exploratory trip to the West Side Market as well.

So as I am preparing for said vacation – finishing real (i.e. paying) work and packing a sweater (yes a sweater in August), I came across this marinade that uses fresh pineapple and ginger and realized I had not posted it yet. I love fresh pineapple but unless we have company or a party, I end up with that last cup or so uneaten. I hate to waste delicious fresh pineapple, so I made this marinade, and slathered it on some thick bone-in pork chops that then seared off in my hand-dandy grill pan. Easy peasy for the day before vacation, ya’ll.

The few ingredients are combined in the food processor and ground up to a chunky puree.

Slather the chops in the marinade, cover and allow to marinate several hours.

About 30 minutes before serving sear the chops. Here I used my grill pan because it was a rainy evening, but you could use your outdoor grill.

Turning the chops over you can see I got some good grill marks with my pan.

Baste the chops with the reserved marinade. Sorry this pic is blurry!

Once the chops are seared on both sides cover the grill pan (or remove to a covered roaster) and allow to cook until you reach your desired doneness. I like my pork slightly pink in the center. And keep in mind that meats continue to cook even after you remove fro direct heat.

Finished chop – still juicy and delicious. Fresh fruit salsa, scalloped potatoes or coconut jasmine rice would go great with this entree!

Pineapple Ginger Marinade for Pork Chops

  • 2 thick bone-in pork chops
  • 1 cup fresh pineapple chunks (and juice)
  • 2 tbl fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 tbl agave nectar
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • salt and pepper

In a food processor or blender mix all above ingredients except the salt and pepper. It will be thick and mostly smooth – some small chunks are okay. Reserve ¼ cup of this mixture for basting. Slather the balance of the marinade on the chops, cover and allow to chill in the refrigerator 4 hours, turning at least once.

Prepare your grill. If using a grill pan, brush on grape oil, or other oil with a high burn temperature threshold. When the grill pan or grill is hot (but not smoking) sprinkle the chops with salt and pepper to your taste and sear on each side. Baste with reserved marinade. Cover grill pan and cook to your desired doneness. If using a grill you may remove the chops to a roasting pan and roast in a preheated 350 degree oven. You can double this recipe.

This marinade is also very good on chicken – 2 large bone-in breasts or 2 thighs and 2 drumsticks or a combination of pieces.

6 thoughts on “I went back to Ohio… but my pineapple ginger marinade was gone.

    • Yes! It’s the number one market for visitors to Hilton Head, even after all these years…it’s still only a 1 (long) day’s drive from most places in Ohio to the Island. Love the Salty Dog – reminds me of my single days. They make some good cocktails there too, kiwi colada, with local kiwi. Good times!

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