Pork Chops with Cilantro Tzatziki: Greek Food with a Latin Touch

By Liliana Moyano for Shine Latina

Pork chops and cilantro tzatziki Pork chops and cilantro tzatziki

Hoping to avoid the summer crowds, I traveled to Europe this past September; the weather was fabulous and the tourist madness had dissipated. I started in Madrid, where I stayed for a few days enjoying some excellent tapas and wine; then, I moved on to Prague and Paris. I found my favorite spot in Greece, though. In its quaint island of Santorini, famous for its sunsets, charisma and exquisite local food, I took in the sights and cuisine.

During my tour of Imerovigli, I discovered a restaurant overlooking a volcano called "La Maison". cucumber and cilantro chopped cucumber and cilantro chopped And what a place it was! The attention was unimaginable, the sunset view arresting, and the food was absolutely exquisite. I ordered lamb chops with tzatziki sauce, which is Greek yogurt blended with cucumber, lime and dill. The lamb chops were juicy and tender, cooked to perfection- a true culinary experience!

Cucumber and Greek yogurtCucumber and Greek yogurt

A few days ago, I was craving that very meal and headed to the supermarket to find similar ingredients. They didn't have any lamb chops or dill, so I made substituted them with pork chops and cilantro. I also made a cilantro tzatziki and realized that I will only use cilantro when I make this sauce from now on; it's aroma adds to the whole meal. It is an easy dish to make, and I'm sure it will delight your guests. No doubt this Latin version of the Greek classic will make you look like a kitchen goddess!

Rubbed pork chops ready to cook Rubbed pork chops ready to cook

Tzatziki

Ingredients
½ cucumber, peeled
½ bunch cilantro, chopped
1 cup Greek yogurt, strained
1 lime, juiced
½ teaspoon sea-salt

Directions

Cut the cucumber in half vertically, and remove the middle seeds (or get an seedless, English cucumber). Give the cucumber halves a fine chop. Place the chopped cucumber, cilantro and yogurt in a bowl, and mix well. Slowly pour in the lime juice, mixing well and finally adding salt. Serve immediately, or keep cool in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Try this dish with my easy-to-make shrimp as an appetizer

Pork chops

Ingredients

1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. all-purpose seasoning
1 tbsp. brown sugar
½ tsp. salt
5 small pork chops, 1 inch thick

Pork Chops cooking on the stovePork Chops cooking on the stove

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Drizzle olive oil all over the pork chops. Mix the seasoning, brown sugar and salt, and rub onto each side of the chops. Let them sit at room temperature for 20 minutes allowing the rub to season the meat well.

Place the pork chops in a pan at medium-high heat without any oil, and brown them for 3 minutes on each side.

Remove the pan from the heat, and place it directly in the oven. Finish cooking for another 15-20 minutes. Serve with the cilantro tzatziki sauce on the side.

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