(BPT) - Tired of the same old casseroles and pasta dishes? As the seasons transition, you're probably looking for fresh and flavorful ways to prepare satisfying foods for your family and friends.
An increasing number of home and professional chefs are using pork to produce mouth-watering, palate-pleasing recipes. Pork is a satisfying, excellent source of protein that's packed with flavor. What's more, it's budget-friendly and versatile, which allows you to customize pork with your preferred flavors and cooking methods.
Want to know the hottest cooking tips and trends for pork this year? Consider these insights from five-time James Beard Award nominee Chef Jose Mendin. For more meal inspiration, visit PorkTeInspira.com.
Savory main dish, fewer calories
To prepare delicious pork without adding extra calories, use cooking methods like grilling or roasting that don’t add fat. Pork loin and ribs are great options for grilling or roasting. Look for lean cuts such as the pork tenderloin in the meat case. Many of these cuts meet USDA’s guidelines for “lean,” which means they have less than 10 grams of fat per serving.
Customize with spice rubs
Spice rubs are an easy way to customize flavors and infuse them into pork. Herbs and spices with heat are trending, so don't be afraid to enhance your rubs and give them that extra kick.
Embrace Cuban influences
Many of today's hottest cooking trends have Cuban influences. For example, try marinating a pork tenderloin in citrus, garlic and onions — also known as “Cuban-style.” Serve on top of rice and beans or place between two pieces of bread and enjoy a sandwich bursting with flavor.
Experiment with the traditional
Pork offers a fantastic base for expanding on the flavors you already know and love. For example, spicy teriyaki is reinvented with a touch of spice for a special meal any day of the week. Try this recipe to see for yourself:
2 1-inch thick ham steaks
Spicy Teriyaki Glaze
7 ounces crushed pineapple
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon ginger, peeled and minced
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon red chili pepper, crushed
1/2 cup brown sugar
For Spicy Teriyaki glaze:
In a small pot, combine all ingredients and mix. Heat and bring to simmer to thicken. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
Heat grill to a medium high heat or 450 F. Place the ham steaks on grill and sear on both sides, approximately 3-4 minutes each side; basting with spicy teriyaki on both sides to achieve a caramel crust. Remove from heat and serve immediately with coconut rice or your favorite rice pilaf. Garnish with pineapple rings.
Go for the garlic
Garlic lovers rejoice! A variety of pork cuts are the perfect pairing to those cloves you adore so much. Add garlic to rubs, marinades, side dishes and more for a flavorful dish even the most discerning chef will enjoy. In fact, try this easy roast recipe to see just how well garlic and mustard mingle with moist pork loin:
3 to 4 pound boneless pork loin
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
1 tablespoon oregano leaves, crushed
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon coarse grind black pepper
Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine garlic, oregano, olive oil, mustard, salt and pepper. Mix until blended into a paste. Using a spatula or hands, rub garlic mixture all over pork loin, massaging into meat. Place pork roast on baking pan and roast uncovered in preheated oven. Roast one hour until internal temperature reaches between 145 F to 160 F using a digital thermometer. Remove from oven. Cover loosely with foil and let stand 10 minutes before slicing. Serve with oven roasted potato wedges.
There is no better time than now to enjoy some delicious and flavorful pork recipes. Visit PorkTeInspira.com for recipe ideas and visit your nearest retailer for many budget-friendly pork cuts.