Wish Upon A Dish: Key West Revisited and a Grilled Pork Dinner

May 30, 2011

Key West Revisited and a Grilled Pork Dinner

It will take me days to crop and edit all the 200 pictures I took in Key West.

This first batch is the outside pool and beach area of our resort along with the area just outside our front door.

This was the outside patio, an extension of the Strip House, and where the breakfast buffet was served.
I overexposed this pic so you can see The Nudge under the canopy which was dark compared to the bright outside.

Straight out between the 2 beaches was the gazebo where the weddings are staged. We heard from a wedding planner they wanted $4,000.00 to use it. There were 2 weddings the first Saturday & Sunday we were there.

To the right is were the Skidoos were parked for the jet ski tour they had 2x a day. It was fun watching the people try to get up onto them.

The beach to the left was where the chairs went and the best place to enter the ocean. The wharf to the left of that belonged to the sister resort Casa Marina. We went over there the first night but it was way too noisy and busy for us. A younger couple would love it though.

Those green market umbrellas belong to Louie's Backyard. A local restaurant and bar that Norman van Aiken was a chef at way way ago. It is still a good restaurant. We were there our last night. Pictures on that meal later.

The flags are the USA flag, the Conch Republic flag and the Waldorf Astoria flag.

These pictures are of the beach area of the sister hotel that is really only 1 block east of where we stayed. This place was the Casa Marina Resort. It was a little bigger, a little more expensive and a lot noisier. The beauty of this deal was we could use any of their water facilities, equipment and bars but leave when we wanted quiet.

The resorts were just left (east) of the southernmost point on the island, near this famous landmark.

These 2 pictures were taken facing east on the beach and the 3rd.........

....was taken facing the west, which is were our hotel was located in reference to where I was standing.

When we came out of our room, this view stretched out before us. This was the dock areas where the cruise ships were, which is located completely opposite us on the other side of the island.

Nice view, huh?

As soon as you walked out the door, there was a deli and.....

....stop #10 for the conch tour train and.......

...stop #10 for the trolley.
For $29.00 each you could ride this from 9:00-5:00, two consecutive days and get off and on from 12 stops around the island. Cheaper than a taxi and the drivers are very good guides. They constantly tell funny stories and the history of the island that you won't get from a tour book.
If you take your family, this is a great and economical way to get around.

This is the end of my picture tour of the area around our resort.
Tomorrow I will try to start the wharf area tour.

Tonight I made Grilled Pork Loin Chops with a Blueberry, Fig and Wine Sauce, roasted baby potatoes and the last of the Creamed Truffle Spinach.

I was watching NJN this morning when they were making this and I was looking for something new to try with pork.
I am brining 3 boneless loin chops and will flatten them to 1/2" before grilling.
I could not get a recipe for the sauce so I jotted down some key ingredients and will improvise on the rest.

I have a pint of blueberries, some California Calimyrna figs and the other ingredients on hand. I think even without a recipe I can make a good sauce. Anything with a base of red wine reduced to a glaze, can't be bad.

I butterflied 3 - 1" boneless pork loin chops and pounded them to little bit larger than 1/4". I mixed 1 tablespoon with Emeril's BAM with 1/4 cup EVOO in a large zip bag and placed the chops in there for about 3 hours to marinade.

Red Wine, Fig and Blueberry Sauce
makes about 1 cup sauce
* 3 dried figs, chopped (any kind will do)
* 2 cups red wine
* 1 cup chicken broth
* 1 large shallot, minced
* 1 tbls molasses
* 2 tbls white wine vinegar
* 1 tbls agave nectar
* 2 tbls butter
In a small saucepan, pour in wine, broth, shallot, figs, molasses, white wine vinegar and boil until reduced to 1 cup. Strain through fine sieve back into saucepan. Add blueberries, remaining tablespoon vinegar, agave nectar and butter.

Simmer until blueberries pop. Turn off heat.

When ready to serve, add additional tablespoon of butter & swirl until combined.
Serve over chops.

Grill on a very hot fire for only 2-3 minutes per side.

I turned mine 1 quarter turn after one minute to get those nice grill marks.

The chops remained moist and tender with the brine I did. Even if you only have 2 hours, brine your pork, it makes such a difference.

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