Monday, April 11, 2011


In an earlier post, I told you about my search eight years ago for Puerto Rican cookbooks.  Happily, they're not that hard to find now, but then they were the proverbial needle in a haystack.  On our honeymoon in Pigeon Forge, TN, we stopped at one of the many outlet malls in the area.  Yes, we went to outlet malls on our honeymoon.  No comments, please.  : )  Anyway, there was a book outlet in the mall.  Now, if you know me, you know that the moment I spotted the bookstore, my entire body started leaning that direction.  I can't help it; my mother worked at the library when she was pregnant.  I was infected with the reading bug in utero.  Now, when I find a bookstore, especially an outlet store, I either head to the mystery section or the cookbook section.  The other one will come second, and from there I will canvass the entire store.  That fateful day, I saw a display of cookbooks and raced over.  To my surprise, the first thing I saw was a Puerto Rican cookbook.  I grabbed onto that book like a drowning man grabbing a lifeline.  I have always wondered how many other copies they sold there in Sevier County, TN.  For the first few years of our marriage, that was the only cookbook I had, so I used it, and used it, and used it....And today, it is easy to find our favorite recipes by counting the food stains on the pages.   Yesterday, I decided it was time to make one of our old favorites, Garlic Fried Pork Chops.  I have made a couple of slight changes.  The main change is this; after cooking this a couple of times, we realized that what we really liked was the fried garlic cloves, so I use A LOT of garlic.  I use 8-10 cloves in the sauce, but when the oil is nice and hot, I start throwing garlic cloves like there's no tomorrow.  Actually, I could eat the garlic and forget the pork chops, but there's something weird about saying you had fried garlic for dinner.  I did not take pictures because I don't care how good it tastes, there's just no such thing as a pretty picture of a pork chop.  It's really not a visual thing, you know?  So, here is one of our favorite recipes, with thanks, kudos, and a great big shout out to Yvonne Ortiz, author of "A Taste of Puerto Rico:  Traditional and New Dishes from the Puerto Rican Community". 

Adapted from "A Taste of Puerto Rico:  Traditional and New Dishes from the Puerto Rican Community"
8-10 garlic cloves, peeled
1 Tbsp GOYA® Adobo con Pimiento (with Pepper) 
1/2 c olive oil
white vinegar to taste
4-6 pork chops
2-3 c vegetable oil

In a mortar, crush the garlic.  Yes, in a mortar.  It just won't be the same if you use a food processor.  Add the adobo, olive oil, and vinegar; mix well. Pour mixture over pork chops; marinate in refrigerator from 30 minues to overnight. Heat the vegetable oil in a skillet.  Fry chops with garlic until golden brown.  Add as many additional garlic cloves as you like.  I add at least 8 more. 

You can serve this with anything you like, but I serve it with Arroz Amarillo (Yellow Rice) and Tostones con Mojito de Ajo (Twice-Fried Plantains with Garlic Sauce).  Dee-lish!  

Until next time, Happy Cooking!  : )

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit.  - Aristotle


Very Good Recipes - Kingdom of Puerto Rican Recipes



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