Bring the Caribbean to Your Memorial Day Celebration

by | Updated: December 3rd, 2016 | Read time: 3 minutes

If you’re looking for something different to put on the grill for Memorial Day, try some Caribbean-style cooking.   The cooking technique that made Jamaica famous is the spicy jerk marinade that is used for both meats and vegetables.  The name is derived from the way the meat is poked or “jerked” with a sharp object to create the holes where spices are inserted.

Jerk marinades are a wonderful way to add spice and a touch of the Caribbean to your barbeque menu.   This recipe for jerk pork uses the traditional marinade recipe; however, other spices can be incorporated to create your own flavorful variation.

Caribbean Glazed Jerk Pork

Serves 4 to 6

Jerk marinades typically use Scotch Bonnet peppers, one of the hottest peppers in the world.   Remember always to wear gloves when  handling fresh peppers. Use your gloved fingers or paring knife to remove the peppers’ stems and seeds.  Removing the seeds doesn’t affect the flavor but greatly de ­creases the heat. Afterwards, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and cold water and clean any utensils or surfaces you have used.

1/3 cup canola oil

1/3 cup distilled white vinegar

4 green onions, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

2 to 5 Scotch Bonnet peppers, seeded and minced until a chili-like consistency

3 bay leaves

3 peppercorns

1 tablespoon dried ground cinnamon

3 to 4 whole allspice berries, lightly crushed or 1 teaspoon ground allspice

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

3 pounds pork chops, about 1 inch thick

Combine the oil and vinegar in a small bowl. Stir in the green onions, garlic, chili, bay leaves, peppercorns, cinnamon, allspice, pepper, and nutmeg.

Trim any excess fat from the pork chops. Place the pork chops in a re-sealable plastic bag.

Pour the spice mixture over them, coating each chop well. Place the bag of pork chops in a baking pan and place the chops in the refrigerator to marinate for up to 24 hours, turning once or twice every four hours.

Caribbean Glaze

This delicious glaze adds a sweet note to the spicy, jerk pork chops.

Brush the glaze on pineapples, peaches, ripe plantains or banana slices, grill the fruit and serve it with the pork chops for a picture-perfect holiday plate.

1/2 cup Vitacost 100% Pure Pomegranate Juice Concentrate — 16 fl oz

½ cup San-J Teriyaki Sauce  

¼ cup Steel’s Gourmet Agave Mango Curry Sauce  

½ cup organic honey

2 limes, juiced or ¼ cup Lakewood Organic Pure Lime

1 tablespoon Annie’s Naturals Organic Worcestershire

3 allspice berries, lightly crushed or 1 teaspoon allspice

While grill is heating make glaze by combining all the pomegranate juice concentrate, teriyaki sauce, agave mango curry sauce, honey, lime juice,   Worcestershire, and the allspice ingredients in a small bowl. Mix well.

Set aside.    Reserve ½ cup of glaze to serve as a sauce with the  grilled pork chops.

Allow the chops to come to room temperature before grilling. Heat the grill until the coals are somewhat white with ash; the flame should be low.

Place the chops on the grill and cover with the lid. Grill for 5 to 10 minutes per side, until the chops are no longer pink in the center.   During last 10 minutes of grilling brush pork chops with glaze.   Grill 4 minutes. Repeat glazing and grilling for other side. Remove from heat. Keep warm.

The Kitchen Diva is Angela Shelf Medearis, a regular guest chef on “The Dr. Oz Show” and “The Today Show.” She is the author of many cookbooks, including, “The Kitchen Diva’s Diabetic Cookbook.” She blogs for and  on a weekly basis.