Tuesday, July 14, 2009

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Truly. Tell me. How in the heck does one raise cilantro? I can't seem to get it right, but then my gardening skills are pretty limited by this lazy streak that I just can't seem to shake. If it involves more than plant it; water it; nourish it now and then with some Miracle Grow; weed a little, but not a lot because I mulch; and maybe...just maybe, if I am in the right mood...trim it now and then, it just doesn't happen. My garden needs to be hearty. My attention span is just too short for fussy plantings.

I am wondering if cilantro is one of those fussy plantings. I have tried starting from seed; I have tried purchasing starter plants; this year, I even allowed a large crop of volunteer plants (from seeds dropped last year) to take over a corner of the garden. Still, I only have foliage that is recognizable as sprigs of cilantro for a very short time. In the blink of an eye, the plants shoot up, the leaves become thinner, flowers appear, seeds develop, and I have no real cilantro to harvest.

I am befuddled. Does cilantro normally grow that quickly? Does it have to be constantly replanted in order to harvest perfect little shoots of leaves? Am I doomed to planning my fresh salsas, herb salads, and even the basting marinade for some great pork chops around the never-there-when-you-want-it availability of cilantro in the grocery store? I am clueless.

If you aren't as clueless as me, and know the secret to growing cilantro (or if you have access to a grocery that always stocks this herb), there should be no major planning involved in making some moist and perfectly seasoned pork chops with a cilantro-lime marinade for basting. All prep for the chops can be done while waiting for the grill to heat. The cut of the chop is up to you. I have used bone-in or boneless depending on what I had on hand, and this time, I divided some butterflied chops (that I had originally planned to stuff & bake on one of our rainy days). It is a simple recipe that pairs really well with baked sweet potatoes and a salad for a no stress meal any night of the week.


I maybe be clueless about growing cilantro, but I have no doubts about using it for Cilantro and Lime Pork Chops to land On My Plate.

Cilantro and Lime Pork Chops

4 boneless pork loin chops, 1-inch thick
1 1/4 teaspoons garlic pepper seasoning
3/4 teaspoon onion salt

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped

1 1/2 teaspoons lime zest

2 teaspoons fresh lime juice

Heat grill (I prefer charcoal.) to medium direct heat.
Sprinkle chops with garlic pepper seasoning and onion salt; rub to coat.Set aside.
Whisk remaining ingredients in a small bowl.
Place chops on grill.
Baste with oil and cilantro mixture.
Turn chops over and grill 3-5 minutes per side or until internal temperature is 160F.
Baste again and turn once. (Serves 4)

8 comments:

  1. Cilantro grows quickly and goes to seed just as fast. The only way to have a perfect crop on hand all the time is to sow new seeds every couple of weeks. This should keep a continuous crop cycle going.

    Plants which do go to seed should provide more than enough seeds for another planting.

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  2. I hate cilantro...........can't stand to have it in the house, but I'm sure I get it in foods in resturants and don;t even know it. I have the same problem trying to keep parsley alive. I don't know why my plants don't survive while I have an abundance of basil and oregano.
    Sandy In Winner

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  3. I've tried to grow cilantro for years and it never has the nice leaves that I want to use. Hope you get some feed back. JO

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  4. Anne Louise KleinJuly 15, 2009 at 3:41 PM

    Its called bolting. I have a terrible time with cilantro because of this. Here is some info.

    http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/herbs/msg0714105912614.html

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  5. I have such a hard time with cilantro. I, too, tried from seeds and then a starter plant. I got one good bunch and then it bloomed and that was it. I am determined somehow to get it right because I love it so much.

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  6. I forgot to mention, i saw you on foodgawker and I am going to follow along.

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  7. I'm a vegetarian so I, personally can't comment on the recipe, but ilt looked easy and like it had good flavors, so I made it for my hubby last night and he loved it. Thanks for sharing the recipe!!

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  8. Bummer! I take the easy route....I have an aero garden so no mess and very little work with lots of cilantro and waaaaaaaay to much basil.

    Your chops look great. I've made a cilantro lime marinade before and its d'bomb....smells so good I want to drink it up!
    ~ingrid

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