Friday at Five: June 1, 2012

What to Watch

Here’s your obligatory mention of the NBA Playoffs. Even if you aren’t interested in the games, it might be worth watching Bill Simmons’ Twitter page to see if he live-tweets his own homicidal rampage after the refs miss a crucial call Sunday during game four in Boston.

The big addition to your local theater this weekend will be Snow White and the Huntsman. I’ll admit to being intrigued for a couple of reasons. (1) I’m a sucker for grittier takes on classic stories (which is one reason Alice in Wonderland did nothing for me) and (2) Charlize Theron looks incredibly creepy as the Evil Queen. On the other hand, if you’re not a big fantasy/sci-fi person (or you have doubts about Chris Hemsworth’s and Kristen Stewart’s abilities to conjure an actual emotion), then this one might not be for you.

Honestly though, it’s the first weekend of June, so you should probably be outside. Unless you live in Phoenix, where it’s supposed to be 115° on Saturday.

What to Do

Play some golf. Who cares if you’re terrible? Get three friends and play a scramble format for 18 holes. The game is a whole lot more fun when everyone’s score looks awful. If you don’t have time for a full 18, go to the range and try to plunk the guy driving the little ball retrieval cart. A tip for the range: after you warm up, don’t just start knocking balls out onto the range as quickly as you can. Instead, treat the range like its own course, and practice hitting the same shots that you would have to hit on the course. This gives you more of an objective criteria for how you’re swinging, and makes the driving range experience more challenging and enjoyable.

If you don’t have any clubs, then just go with a proven formula. Reclining lawn chair + book you’ve been putting off reading + cold beverage = a day well spent.

What to Drink (and Eat)

This week’s drink selection is as simple as I can manage. My father-in-law just returned from Ireland, where he said he had a Guinness with basically every meal. If you’ve ever had Guinness in Ireland, you know its taste is considerably fuller and more nuanced on the Emerald Isle. When he got back, he got a six-pack of Guinness Extra Stout, which had a much richer taste than its standard counterpart. If you like stouts, I recommend it. Oh, and in case you were wondering, there IS a specific way to pour a Guinness.

As for food, grilling time is upon us, and I’ve got a simple recipe for grilled pork chops that will allow you to impress with a delicious, affordable main dish, even for a large gathering.

1. The Chops

Your most affordable option is to buy a big pork loin from Sam’s Club or a butcher’s shop. The last one we got at Sam’s was $15, and I got 21 inch-thick chops out of it. It only takes ten minutes to cut yourself, and you can freeze whatever you don’t use. If you can’t cut your own, get as many pre-cut chops as you need from your supermarket’s meat department.

The chops and some simple seasonings.

2. The Seasoning

Again, simplicity is the name of the game. Brush the chops with olive oil, then add a light coating of Lawry’s Seasoned Salt, a dash of garlic powder, and a pinch of cracked black pepper to each side.

A nice coating of Lawry’s seasoned salt is the key.

3. The Grilling

Always grill pork chops on low-medium heat. It’ll take longer, but it keeps the meat tender. In fact, if your grill has a rack, keep them high off the flame until the last two minutes.

Grill inch-thick chops for 7 to 9 minutes on each side on low-medium heat. Recommended internal temperature is 160°.

The finished product.

Happy weekend. Slainte Mhath.

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Categories: Friday At Five

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