Pork can spice up most any tailgate party.

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Win big with grilled pork at your next tailgate

Published 4:28pm Saturday, October 6, 2012

Park the truck and let the tailgate down. It’s football season and time to cheer for your favorite team.

Whether you are grilling on your backyard patio or at the stadium parking lot, tailgating brings big appetites. Grilled pork is an easy way to satisfy a crowd of hungry fans.

New cooking guidelines from the U.S. Department of Agriculture help make pork a winner at your next tailgate. The recommended safe end-point for cooking pork is now 145 degrees. Until recently it was 160 degrees.

Today’s pork is extremely lean, and is very easy to overcook making it dry and less flavorful. Cooking to just 145 degrees results in a juicier, more flavorful meat. The meat will be a little pink in color and is perfectly safe to eat. Those used to only eating “white” pork will be surprised at the juiciness and good flavor of these more gently cooked chops.

The only way to make sure you are cooking foods to their proper temperatures is by using a meat thermometer. An instant-read thermometer is a low-cost, must-have for every kitchen and tailgate.

Simply insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat (without touching any bone), the temperature should register within a few seconds. To check grilled pork chops, hold the pork chop with tongs and insert the meat thermometer a few inches into the side of the chop.

To keep it lean with pork

•Choose lean cuts of pork with the word “loin” in the name, such as pork tenderloin and loin chop.

•Use pre-cut fruits and veggies for easy stir-fries with pork.

•Use spice rubs or low-fat marinades (such as juice or light vinaigrettes) to add extra flavor without all the extra fat.

• Try low-fat cooking methods like broiling, grilling and roasting.

Game Day Pork and Chile Wraps

All you need

1 tablespoon olive oil

12 oz. boneless center cut pork loin chops, ¾ inch thick, lean

Salt and black pepper, to taste

4 (8-inch) tortillas

¼ avocado, pitted, peeled and thinly sliced, divided

1/3 cup thinly sliced red onion, divided

1 (4 oz.) can diced green chiles, divided

4 cups mixed salad greens (about 2 oz.), divided

All you do

1.      In a skillet over medium-high heat, warm oil.  Sprinkle pork chops with salt and pepper to taste and cook 3 to 4 minutes per side or until browned and internal temperature reaches 145 degrees F.  Place chops on a plate and let rest 5 minutes.

2.       Cut chops into ¼-inch slices.  Microwave tortillas on HIGH until slightly warm and softened, 30 seconds.  Place one tortilla on workspace and top with one-fourth the pork, avocado, onion, chiles and salad greens, stopping 2 inches from edge.  Fold one side of tortilla up and over fillings.  Tuck fillings in tightly, then fold in the 2-inch edge.  Continue rolling tortilla toward the other side, securing with toothpick if necessary.  Repeat with remaining tortillas.

Recipe source: www.porkbeinspired.com

Serves 4.

Nutrition information per serving:  290 calories, 23 grams protein, 10 grams fat, 310 mg sodium, 60 mg cholesterol, saturated fat  1 gram, 26 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams fiber.



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