SCORE SOME SERIOUS SUMMER SIZZLE WITH THIS FIRECRACKER PORK CHOP RECIPE, PLUS A CHEF’S TIP ON WHERE TO NAB THE NJ-BASED MASERATI OF GRILLS
BY CHEF DAVID BURKE PHOTO COURTESY OF DAVID BURKE HOSPITALITY MANAGEMENT
I’ve fallen in love with my Atlantic Highlands home and cooking on my new outdoor grilling kitchen. For years I lived in a high-rise penthouse apartment in Fort Lee on the 49th floor – not much grilling there. Plus, as a busy chef and restaurateur I am always on the run and rarely have time to cook at home. But the Jersey Shore called me back to the Bayshore area where I grew up. In 2019 I moved to Atlantic Highlands with its cozy downtown area, drivable distance to my eight NJ restaurants, and Sea Streak Ferry to get to my NYC restaurants. It was ideal.
My spacious home offered me everything I wanted, and something I didn’t even know I missed – a grill! Shortly after I moved the pandemic struck and restrictions forced me to close my restaurants. Like everyone else I was forced into seclusion. But I don’t do “nothing” well. So, during my “off ” time I got this beautiful, custom-designed outdoor XO grilling kitchen. For me it was like a finely tuned musical instrument is to a musician. I started playing around. It was fun and exciting, and the rewards were delicious. XO is like the Maserati of grills. It’s got everything: a grill, burners, even a wood-burning oven and refrigeration. The company is locally based in New Jersey, too. I love supporting local businesses and producers whenever I can.
BTU stands for British thermal units, which measure the heat and power of the unit, and the heat generated by XO is comparable to my professional kitchens. Its design is smart and the stainless steel is super durable and sleek looking. It is built for success. The burners are set down lower than most grills so the wind doesn’t cool down or blow out the flames. I started grilling, roasting, baking, and even deep frying outside. I abso-lutely love it, and so do my friends and family. Be careful, though, as this is a hot grill and you will need long tongs and oven mitts or kitchen towels to prevent burns. Here’s a dish I cooked up on my grill recently.
MARINATED GRILLED PORK CHOPS AND FIRECRACKER APPLE SAUCE
½ cup olive oil
1 bunch fresh ﬂat-leaf parsley, leaves only, chopped
1 bunch fresh thyme, chopped
3 cloves garlic, cut into slivers
Zest of 1 lemon
4 ten-ounce pork chops, excess fat removed, frenched Pomegranate seeds/chopped Serrano chili, if desired for garnish