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Rajilicious Always

Piping hot stories from her latest holiday in the US and steaming recipe of delicious Pork Chops, Maria serves it straight from her kitchen.

india Updated: Jun 18, 2011 16:42 IST
Maria Goretti

Every time i hear the name 'RAJ' ..Four people always come to mind

1.Raj Albuquerque-My brother-in-law who is just the nicest guy i know..

2.Raj Jathar- the maddest guy with an appetite for food and life that's insatiable..

3.Raj Kaushal...a director and very dear friend who I'm extremely fond of but do not meet as often ....

AND

4.Raj.. As in Shah Rukh Khan form DDLJ....

Still cannot get over that scene in the film where Kajol has returned home from her Euro holiday and she is collecting her bags from outside her house and she imagines she is seeing "her Raj" there....
That was the moment I completely forgot Aamir Khan and was smitten by this guy in a red and white striped t-shirt , with floppy hair, that glint in his eyes , waving out bye....sighhhhhh...

But now enough of the drooling...

Because today is about RAJ NO.1...My bro-in-law...

Well what can I say ..he made the most amazing and smartest decision in life by marrying my sister , and to top it all he gets me as his fun sis-in -law , i can see him laughing right now and shaking his head saying ...YA RIGHT!!! PAIN....

Juicy pork chops with a pasta salad

But seriously Raj is the coolest , he is happy , chilled and has his fundas of life right ...He is just the most amazing husband, a great fun dad and a wonderful friend...


When he laughs he gets dimples on his cheeks that my sis adores and she says that he is always making her laugh...



Well i just spent my holidays with them...


Poor guy..had to hang with 2 sagittarian chicks and 4 kids ..all nuts and running in different directions and must say that ...he was just awesome....


He never looses his cool. always has a smile and has the patience of the Pope...



Every year on the memorial day weekend...He plans a trip and takes the family off somewhere far for a holiday, two years ago we were all at Virginia Beach which is on the east coast this year , we all took a 13 hour car trip to Destin beach Florida from Frisco, TX...


I flew in from another friends place straight into the arms of this beautiful aqua green coastline with powder like sand....heaven and bliss...


Raj and Juggie had their friends also coming in...


It was fantastic...I got to know a bunch of new people who were so warm and welcoming and had a great time..


Raj just ensured that both my ZZ'S and me had the holiday of our life..


We used to go to the beach late morning and hang there till late evening ...Thank you Raj for making me a beach bum... the kids and me were the colour of Scooby-doo, by the end of this trip and so freakin happy...

Raj loves good food and every evening , while at home he would say ,"c'mon what would you like to eat", and then he would proceed to take out a whole lota stuff and we would whip up something together and the three of us would laugh, cook and listen to some great music over a glass of wine or champagne....
And the cherry on the cake would be that he would read a story to our collective kids every night and they would drop off to sleep...

He works ...frankly all i know is that he does stuff with computers that i do not understand...I'm just not tech-savvy and that's that...
And he cooks , he also helps with the cleaning and looks after kids (while my sis and me went out shopping)
And Zene just loves her 'Uncle Raj"...

I made this while in Destin for Raj, Juggie and all their friends...and am dying to share it with you because it turned out really yummy..
well so they all said

Pork Chops ala RAJ...

1 kg pork chops
Horseradish paste
Cajun blend dry
Mustard
Salt
Olive oil
Lime

I put all the pork chops in a dish and really did not use any measurements..
I sprinkled the dry Cajun blend over all the chops...
then squeezed the mustard over them but not too much...
also added 2 tbsp of the horseradish paste..
added minced garlic and chili flakes
3 squeezed limes and a luscious pour of the extra virgin olive oil ....
blended it all in with my fingers and then took a fork and poked it so that the marinade gets into the meat and then let it stay in the marinade for 24 hours

Along with this I made a pasta salad with the most amazing vegetables i could find at the super market

Maria's little angels have fun on the beach

Tri-coloured penne
Snow peas
Asparagus
Bell peppers
Broccoli
roquette leaves
crispy baby lettuce leaves
Tons of fresh basil
pine nuts
extra virgin olive oil

So after a long day spent getting sun-kissed on the Destin beach, while everybody jumped from the sea into the pool, i took a dip to get rid of the saltiness and went up to make this dinner ...

I heated the oven to 170 degrees and when it was heated put the pork chops in for 45 minutes....
i then took them out and put them in a pan to brown and reduce the liquid...And at the lag-end, put in a dollop of sour cream...this just gets it together...
the chops were ready in about 25 minutes...

And then i went for the pasta salad which i had pre-cooked a night before ...because as I was officially a beach-bum ..I was not going to get all this ready on time IF I STARTED NOW...
So cut all the vegetables and power boil them separately..

In a large bowl mixed all the vegetables and the pasta together and drizzled it with olive oil and salt..

Pulled all the basil leaves apart, added the pine nuts that had been roasted , olive oil , 2 pods of garlic and 3 cherry tomatoes...and as I'm an extremely, unbelievably lucky girl...the mixer just did NOT work...

So there went my pesto ...

But frankly all was not lost because I added some olive into the pan,fried the garlic, added the tomatoes , the pine-nuts and then just slightly sauteed the basil...the entire condo was filled with this amazing aroma...i just needed to be serenaded by a hunky ,tawny Italian with a husky voice...singing to me the Andrea Botticelli song that I'm in love with .......
But no such luck...

Well dinner was ready and thankfully , Juggie and Raj's friends all really liked it..
This was our last meal at Destin beach and needed to be a celebration ..
so to all the wonderful new friends I made, who treated me like family...

Sonia and Dax and your lovely boy Yohan...big God Bless
Michelle and her two lovely angels ..Allie and Zach...enjoyed all the health food we tried having...
Bud...you are an amazing guy and wish you happiness

AND NOW TO JUGGIE, KYLE, CRUZ and the non-filmy RAJ in my life...
Thank-you for always welcoming me with open arms , giving me the most comfortable, warm , fuzzy , mad , adventurous , crazy holidays ever..

This dish that i conjured up in Destin, will always have your name on it..
Here's presenting lovely juicy pork chops with a pasta salad ...''RAJILICIOUS ALWAYS"...

This dish will always bring back memories of a holiday like no other...till we meet again...
Love and happiness

P.S. will now nail bheja masala ....so can make it like its supposed o be made , the next time around ... ha ha ha ..