Disclosure: This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of The National Pork Board and the #GrillPork campaign. As always, all opinions are mine alone.
You may or may not know that we are a football family. My husband played football all the way from elementary school through college and may have gone further had he not gotten an injury that prevented him from continuing. Our oldest two sons played football since they were small and now lil G is a junior in high school and already getting scouted and looking at colleges. For years, many of our weekends have been devoted to travelling throughout Northern California attending football games and super bowls of our own, and now that our youngest boys are getting a little older we are getting them ready to start playing as well. Needless to say when it’s football season for the big leagues, we are either tuning in at home or attending those games in person.
I’m sure it goes without saying that my guys are super excited that football season has begun. Sure it’s just preseason now, but every weekend we buy a bunch of food, throw it on the grill, welcome whichever of our friends or family want to come by and watch, and we just have fun and enjoy ourselves eating and watching our favorite sport. This even includes Monday nights as well! After everyone gets off work, we make it a grillin’ night and open up our blinds and watch the game through our large windows from the backyard.
We recently redid our backyard and got a patio set so we can dine outdoors with a gazebo to offer some shade from the bright sun. We purchased a nice, big barbecue that we’ve been using all summer and even got a smaller grilling gazebo to cover that. While we were at it, I got a lot of fun outdoor place settings as well as some nice outdoor dishes so we’re always ready to entertain. It just makes sense because it’s so warm in the summer and continues to stay warm throughout the Fall and into Winter so it’ll get a lot of use. Plus, there’s nothing better than enjoying good food with great people during a crisp evening.
This past weekend we had our usual cookout with our family and has some extended family and friends come by to eat and watch the games with us. We set up our backyard table with some place settings as well as some extras for indoors.
Instead of the typical grilling fare that you’d expect, we actually served up something a little different. Following suit with the latest grill movement, we crashed the grill with pork, pork and more pork! We had some Pork Shoulder Blade Steak with the bone in, as well as some Porterhouse Pork Chops and boneless Pork Country-Style Ribs. I seasoned all the meat the same way and served it all with some fresh pico de gallo and even added a fun twist to it. Watermelon! My kids just love watermelon, and so do I. It’s such a perfect fruit for summertime and looks so pretty served up on a nice platter. The watermelon pico de gallo was perfect for the grilled meats, the fresh ingredients in the pico de gallo paired with the sweet watermelon was a delicious contrast to the savory grilled meats. YUM!
What I love about cookouts is the simplicity of it. I usually just cut up some fruit and offer some chips and dips, maybe even some fresh popped popcorn. I am so not one of those pinterest moms that creates a specially named appetizer for every event. I try to keep it simple for my family, that’s what they love. I don’t even know how they’d act if I did that to be honest! They like quick and easy. They’re happy with chips and fruit and I do what makes them happy!
I did make serve a big jug of pink lemonade though! Just added ice and some sliced up lemons. This was a favorite, especially for the little kids in attendance. They couldn’t get enough of that tangy sweet drink.
For the veggies we also kept that simple too. Some corn on the cob grilled in their husks served with melted butter mixed with chili powder and honey and some cut up brown mushrooms mixed with zucchini and cherry tomatoes. All I did was add some olive oil, salt and pepper and spray a bowl made especially for the grill with some non stick spray and add it to our grill. Easy, and so pretty!
The watermelon pico de gallo was made with the grilled meats in mind, but it was also delicious when we dipped those chips as well. For me, a good cookout is full of easy foods with lots of flavor but it’s all about simplicity. Colorful foods, easy recipes and delicious flavors so you can appreciate the real reason for gathering together. To enjoy the company of one another!
I was inspired by the Basil-Garlic Porterhouse Pork Chops for this recipe because there’s only a handful of ingredients and it allows the meat to really lend itself to the flavoring of the recipe, but I wanted to create a little bit more of a savory taste with chili powder and red pepper flakes. I also knew I wanted to make the watermelon pico de gallo, so I went a bit more Latin inspired on the seasonings – which included chili powder and lime juice as well as smoked paprika, red pepper flakes and cumin!
Not only do I love the simplicity of cookouts, I love the simplicity of pork too! It’s such a tasty meat naturally, that it just needs minimal seasoning and a few minutes over direct heat on the grill to get a lip-smacking meal. I now challenge you to crash the grill too with pork this summer (and Fall!). Crash a party or cookout with your own pork recipe or you can find plenty of recipes at porkbeinspired.com. You can also get in on the fun on your favorite form of social media by sharing your own selfie (or “grillfie”) of yourself with you own pork creations and include the hashtag #GrillPork. Be sure to tag @porkbeinspired on Instagram or @allaboutpork on Twitter and check those hashtags to see what others are creating too!
Ingredients for Chili Lime Grilled Pork:
- 4 thin cut bone-in Pork Shoulder Blade Steaks or 4 thin cut bone-in Porterhouse Pork Chops
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- juice of 2 limes
Ingredients for Watermelon Pico de Gallo
- 1/4 red onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/2 bunch of cilantro
- 1/2 large jalapeno, deseeded
- 2 Roma tomatoes, diced
- 2 limes, juiced
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- pinch of ground cumin
- 2 Watermelon wedges, diced
If you like your pork closer to a medium rare, bring the internal temperature to 145 degrees with a 3 minute rest time. If you like them more medium cooked, bring to an internal temperature of 165 with a 3 minute rest.
To prepare the watermelon pico de gallo, add the onion, garlic and cilantro to a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add jalapenos, tomatoes, lime juice, salt and cumin and pulse 2-3 times. Last add roughly chopped watermelon, and pulse once.
I prefer to serve the pico de gallo in a bowl, that way your guests can decide if they’d rather cut the pork and dip it in, or spoon it on top of their pork. They can also grab some chips and dip that in too!