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Enjoy full flavor without all the fat

If you grill meat regularly, it's worth considering ways to cut the fat but keep the flavor.

Though the marbling of many meats can't be cut away (and to keep things flavorful, you wouldn't want to), trimming any visible fat from the exterior of the meat is an easy way to reduce your intake.

With poultry, the same effect is achieved by removing the skin.

Now that you've cut the fat, it's time to add flavor. Brines (saltwater with seasonings) not only boost flavor, they also help keep meat moist by drawing water into it.

A basic brine can be made by dissolving 1/3 cup kosher salt and 1/3 cup sugar (white or brown) in a quart of water.

Always be sure your brine is ice cold (below 37 degrees) before adding the meat, then refrigerate everything during the soak.

This process does make meats and poultry more salty, but not as much as you might think.

Tests done by Cook's Illustrated magazine have shown that meats and poultry brined for up to an hour absorb roughly 250 to 350 milligrams of sodium (about 1/8 teaspoon) per serving.

If you're watching your sodium intake, you can put less salt in the brine. And in all instances the meat should be rinsed and dried before grilling. And, of course, there's no need to season with additional salt.



1/4 cup kosher salt

1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

2 cups boiling water

3 cups ice cubes

1 pound boneless center cut pork loin chops, trimmed of fat (4 chops)

2 teaspoons chili powder

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1/2 cup peach preserves

2 tablespoons lime juice

1 large or 2 small jalapenos, minced but not seeded

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste

In a medium bowl, combine the salt and brown sugar. Add the boiling water and stir to dissolve. Add the ice cubes and stir to cool. Add the pork chops, cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to an hour.

Meanwhile, make the glaze. In a small saucepan over low, stir the chili powder and cumin until lightly toasted and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl.

Add the peach preserves, lime juice and jalapenos. Stir well, then set aside.

Heat a gas grill to medium or prepare a charcoal fire. Oil the grill grates.

Remove the pork chops from the brine, rinse well and blot dry with paper towels. Season both sides of the pork with ground black pepper.

Grill the pork chops, turning once, until an instant thermometer inserted at the center registers 145 degrees, 2 to 4 minutes per side. Brush both sides of the chops with the glaze and grill, turning once, for 90 seconds more. Serve with additional peach-jalapeno glaze on the side.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional information per serving: 298 calories (97 calories from fat), 11g fat (4g saturated, 0g trans fats), 58mg cholesterol, 30g carbohydrates, 21g protein, 0g fiber, 927mg sodium.

Enjoy full flavor without all the fat 06/04/10 [Last modified: Thursday, June 3, 2010 4:21pm]
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