photograph by Matt Hulsman

For the Pork Chops:
Yields: 4 servings.

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 garlic cloves, minced
1½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 cup zesty Italian dressing
2 tablespoons onion, finely chopped
1½ teaspoons hot sauce
Dash of cayenne pepper
4 boneless pork loin chops

Whisk together mustard, garlic, black pepper, Italian dressing, onion, hot sauce, and cayenne pepper for a marinade. Place pork chops in a plastic bag, and add about half of the marinade, reserving half for later. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to 24 hours, flipping the bag over occasionally. Remove pork chops from bag, and discard bag and marinade. Heat a charcoal grill to medium-hot heat. Grill pork chops, with the grill lid closed, for 10 to 12 minutes on each side or until a meat thermometer reads 160˚. Remove pork chops from grill; allow meat to rest about 4 minutes covered loosely with foil. To serve, place pork chops on a plate. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon reserved marinade. Garnish plate with parsley. 

For the Grilled Marinated Vegetables:
Yields: 4 servings.

4 zucchini squash, cut lengthwise
1 red or green bell pepper, seeded and quartered
1 large banana pepper, quartered
4 yellow squash, cut lengthwise
1 large, sweet onion, cut into ½-inch slices
⅓ cup olive oil
1 tablespoon lime juice
½ teaspoon dried marjoram
1 clove garlic, crushed
¼ teaspoon salt
¹⁄₈ teaspoon black pepper

Arrange vegetables in a 9-inch x 13-inch baking dish or plastic bag. Mix oil, lime juice, marjoram, and garlic. Pour over vegetables. Cover and let marinate for at least one hour, or longer if desired. If using plastic bag, flip bag several times while marinating. Remove vegetables from marinade; reserve marinade. Heat a charcoal grill to medium-hot heat. Grill vegetables on each side until lightly charred, brushing with marinade while cooking. Remove from heat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper as desired. Serves 4.

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For several years, Our State featured recipes from the pages of community and church cookbooks from around North Carolina. These dishes continue to be among some of our most popular and enjoyed.