Jerk Pork Cutlets and Has Anyone Seen Archie?

We had a sighting, a brief sighting, a few days ago.  He was his usual self, if you exclude looking hassled and rushed and stressed and frantic.

Archie is doing too much.

He’s doing eight subjects at uni all at once.  He has a job as a waiter on Sunday mornings.  He has a new dud job as a promoter of a nightclub come bowling alley come laser tag venue on Thursday nights.  Then he has an agent who is sending him scripts to learn for upcoming auditions, the latest being a role in a tele-movie set in France during WWI.  And there’s the gigs that were irregular but are becoming more frequent and rehearsal and performance time seems to be on the increase.

Jerk Pork Cutlets with Pineapple Salsa

He did his audition for the tele-movie on Monday.  He said he’d learned the script but the time he spent on it was squeezed by a duet he had to perform for uni, a group performance he had to perform for uni and a solo performance he had to prepare for uni.  So he walked out of the audition feeling disappointed in himself.  ‘I didn’t give it my best, mum, I wasn’t in the zone’.

‘Do you think perhaps you shouldn’t leave it to the last minute?  Learning a script is more than just learning the lines,’ I offered.

‘I know that mum.  But when could I have done it?  I’ve been rehearsing for uni stuff all weekend.  I did what I could do’.  And I know he did.  The day after the audition he had to perform that famous Frank Sinatra song, My Way.  He wasn’t at all confident as was sure he wouldn’t even remember the lines but by a stroke of good fortune he somehow pulled it off.

After the My Way performance he rushed home to collect his guitar and ask if there was anything to eat.  He said he’d need dinner for that night and breakfast, lunch and dinner for the next day.  I managed to give him some dinner, couldn’t help him with breakfast but gave him two containers of chicken and pesto pasta salad to have for lunch and dinner.

Pineapple and Mint Salsa

He then rushed out to a rehearsal for tonight’s gig, had a late night then went to uni this morning.  His final class finished at 6pm then he was to be dressed, refreshed and on stage at 7pm tonight in Potts Point.  He did ring me while in transit from uni to the gig and asked if I would be coming to watch and that’s when I had to break it to him that unfortunately we wouldn’t be there to support him.  He was very understanding and I wished him well.  I asked him if he had enough to eat and he said, ‘It’s all good mum.  I was hungry earlier so I got out my guitar and stood outside McDonalds and busked until I had enough for a few double cheeseburgers’.  He’s self-reliant if nothing else.

He won’t be coming home tonight because Neil’s offered him a place to stay and,  ‘It’s so much closer to uni so it just makes sense’, he told me.  He’ll go straight from uni to work tomorrow night and not be home until about 1am so we’ll see him in a few days.

In the meantime, if you see a starving uni student busking outside McDonald’s, his mother would be very grateful if you could throw him a few coins.

When he does come home, this delicious home cooked meal could be waiting for him.

Garnished with some micro herbs

Jerk Pork Cutlets with Pineapple and Mint Salsa

Serves:  6

Degree of Difficulty:  2/5

Cost:  I made this as a mid-week family meal and found it to be reasonably priced (for a meat dish).  The most ridiculously priced ingredient was the pineapple.  Somehow the humble pineapple is now a luxury item.

  • 1 long red chilli, seeds removed, chopped
  • 1/2 small red onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tbs chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 2cm piece ginger, chopped
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • pinch of ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tbs soy sauce
  • 1 tbs brown sugar
  • 2 tbs sunflower oil
  • 6 x 170g pork cutlets
  • Mixed salad leaves to serve

Pineapple and Mint Salsa

  • 1/2 pineapple, chopped
  • 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup mint leaves
  • 3 spring onions, finely shredded

Place chilli, onion, parsley, garlic, ginger, spices, lime juice, soy, sugar and 1 tbs of oil in a small food processor, season, then pulse until a thick paste.  Coat pork cutlets in the paste, then cover and marinate in the fridge for 3-4 hours.

Preheat the oven to 180C and line a baking tray with baking paper.  Heat remaining 1 tbs oil in a frypan over medium heat.  In 2 batches, cook the pork for 2-3 minutes each side until browned.  Transfer to the baking tray and bake for 8-10 mins until cooked through.  Rest, loosely covered with foil, for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, for the salsa, toss all the ingredients together and season.

Serve the pork with the pineapple salsa and mixed salad leaves.

Spicy pork with a tangy salsa

This recipe is from the August issue of Delicious Magazine.

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  1. Oh wow, he sounds awfully busy!! Don’t think I would cope with that schedule at all! That pork looks delicious and I hope he makes it home to try some 🙂

  2. And he certainly won’t eat as well at McDonald’s as he would at home. These dishes seem wonderful!

  3. gorgeous looking salsa! i often wonder what it was like for my poor mum in my uni days.. seriously impressed with Archie’s busking skills though!

  4. What an industrious kid you have Charlie! You must be so proud. I will give notes, not coins if I ever see a starving kid outside Mac.
    That pork looks gorgeous. I want to eat it now.

  5. That kid of yours is resourceful! I doubt I would have had the nerve to busk for money, but then again, I never played a musical instrument that well (maybe people would have paid me to stop?)
    That pork with the salsa looks amazing, pork and pineapple have always been a great combo. Hopefully Archie will get to enjoy it some day.

  6. Minnesota Prairie Roots says:

    I don’t know how those young people do it sometimes. He is blessed to have a supportive and caring mom like you who lives nearby.

  7. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says:

    Oh poor stressed Archie! I can’t imagine him stressed though, when we met him he seemed to relaxed and like the world was his oyster 🙂

  8. Sophies Foodie Files says:

    What a special & tasty salas, very unusual too! I would never guessed that it would be great with the pork cutlets! A must make dinner! 🙂 Yummm!

  9. The Squishy Monster says:

    Man oh man, that looks amazing! That pineapple salsa looks incredible!!

  10. justonecookbook says:

    Wow I thought I was busy but reading what Archie has been doing… I’m not busy at all! It’s amazing how much vitality you have when you are young. He will remember to come home for good meal when he’s hungry and miss home cooked meal. Especially you cook such a delicious meal like this. I didn’t appreciate my mom’s cooking until I left Japan…it was too easily accessible when I was living at home and took it for granted. Now I’m lucky if I could eat her meals several times a year. Hope Archie will enjoy mom’s meals as much as possible!

  11. Victoria at Flavors of the Sun says:

    Eight subjects at one time! OMG. Poor thing. How is that possible? I can’t imagine his schedule for classes alone, much less with his LIFE activities. I don’t know how the young do it, I really don’t.

    I love jerk flavors and this looks easy and yummy!

  12. Mandy - The Complete Cook Book says:

    WOW, Archie sure does have a seriously full plate! I commend him! If and or when you see him again, please do tell him I am impressed!
    Fantastic recipe Charlie!
    🙂 Mandy xo

  13. Oh yeah…look at that Pineapple Salsa! Delicious! 🙂

  14. A_Boleyn says:

    Archie is really stretching himself thin with all of these interests. I know he’s young and seems to have endless energy but still…. I guess all you can do is be there for him at as many performances as possible and have good meals like this one waiting for him at home when he stops by. 🙂

  15. Well, he’s certainly no slacker, Charlie! What a lot of initiative for a young man! I might just print this out and show it to Big Boy, who’s cruising along at uni.. 😉

  16. You have an awesome son, doing everythin so well 😀
    Must be proud! All tyou can do is support him while he is running off in every direction 🙂


    P.S Lovely pineapple salsa!

  17. You’re so sweet to feed him! I bet you’re a great mom. How’s his music going?

  18. yummychunklet says:

    Ha! I can only imagine him outside McDonald’s doing that!

  19. Oh no Charlie 🙁 Archie is doing too muchhhh he needs to slow down! He’s got too much on his plate, uni, work, gigs, auditions but thank gosh he has an amazing mother like you!
    I hope Archie doesn’t get sick and manages to get everything done ~

  20. says:

    Well at least he is highly motivated which is more than you can say for half the young adults I know. He is a dynamo and he is going to do well

  21. InTolerant Chef says:

    Poor old Archie! I hope he doesn’t wear himself out too much and come down with something. I do like that he’s working hard to make something of himself, you must have set a good example Charlie. Bring on the next Uni holidays! I went out with a guy a few times who’s idea of a date was to busk for dinner money. Just make sure when Archie wants to impress a girl he brings her home for tea instead!
    Lovely pork dish, pineapples are expensive at the moment aren’t they?

  22. Oh! Poor Archie. He does sound astronomically busy. Hopefully he gets a visit home soon so he can squeeze in a dinner like this one – so much better than McDonalds 😛

  23. J Cosmo Newbery says:

    Archies can come and Archies can go but, oh, Pork Cutlets with Pineapple Salsa must stay!

  24. Claire @ Claire K Creations says:

    I think ‘it’s all good mum’ is Archie’s catch cry. He is definitely resourceful although I wouldn’t be busking for Maccas if I could come home to this!

  25. lizzie - says:

    your a super mum. ps – love the song ‘my way’
    Love pork cutlets.

  26. I can see people all over Sydney scanning for buskers saying, “Archie??” Before long every busker will say, “Yes, I’m Archie, can you spare some change? My mother will be grateful.”

    I love jerk stuff. Ever since my first visit to Jamaica it’s been a fave. I’ve never tried the pineapple salsa but I’m dying to try!

  27. ChgoJohn says:

    Could it be that we all had that amount of energy at one time? I think some things are better left forgotten. As it is, I’m exhausted just reading his activities.

  28. Juliet Batten says:

    Whew! It makes me dizzy just reading about it.

  29. You had better keep feeding him – you don’t want him to come down with something or getting run down with all that running around. This spicy pork would have kept him satisfied I bet.

  30. You must be so proud to have such a hard working son who is so passionately going after his dreams. He’s lucky to have you so close to keep him well fed on real food and I bet he’ll really appreciate coming home to a feast like this!

  31. Barb Bamber says:

    Aren’t you just the ever-so-clever mom.. if he looks at this post.. he’ll be lured back home and away from the nastiness of McDonald’s! But.. my son has an affinity for that fast food as well and it does come in handy. Good luck to your Archie.. may he have time to fit it all in!! xx

  32. You create such wonderful meals, I think you’ve definitely convinced me that Archie is too busy! Otherwise there is no way he would miss out on your special creations! I think he has a very real dilemma in front of him…too many talents and how to fit them into one lifetime! 🙂

  33. Boy, he sure has a busy calendar 🙂

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