A Peachy Revelation

If there's one thing about summer that I love, it is the bountiful fruit that cools us on hot days. Cold watermelon. Sweet berries. And juicy peaches. I have been coming home from the farmers market every Sunday loaded with these summer gems, so I am always seeking new ways to cook with them.

We were watching one of our favorite cooking/food shows, "Chuck Eats the Street" when we had a peachy revelation.

In this episode, Chuck was in Asheville, North Carolina and we were quite taken with what is happening culinarily in that town. (Maybe we should move to Asheville?) While all three places he visited along Biltmore Avenue were impressive, the one stop that lingered with us like a delectable dessert was Laurey's.

Laurey Masterton, the chef-owner, specializes in locally grown food, and you know how important that is to us. She is so dedicated to eating locally, she has become a beekeeper and uses her own honey to make this incredible honey glazed pork tenderloin. She topped it with peach salsa using North Carolina peaches, of course.

Since Fredericksburg peaches are in peak season right now (in fact, for the next two Sundays at the farmers market we are celebrating "Everything's Peachy" to honor the harvest of seven to eight varieties of premium peaches at Engel Farms in Fredericksburg), and knowing we had Loncito Cartwright's long-bone tomahawk pork chops (from Peaceful Pork) in the freezer that we have been aching to use, we did not even need to say anything to each other. We knew we were going to make this dish. Immediately.

And it sang. Beautifully. Please let it sing for you and your family and friends.

What's better on a summer night than lighting the grill, cooking some meat and generously spooning a refreshing salsa on top. Fill your glasses with homemade sangria and now you have the makings for a perfect summer night.

Buen provecho!
Honey Glazed Pork Chop with Peach Salsa
The Cowgirl Gourmet is forever indebted to Laurey Masterson of Laurey's for this brilliant flavor combination

Print recipe

Wow. That's all I have to say. This meal was spot-on superb. It's as spectacular in flavor as it is visually on the plate. Especially on a summer night when you have the lushest, juiciest peaches to toss with with crisp red onions and pungent cilantro. And a reason to fire up the grill. Drizzle a bit of honey on the meat so it caramelizes and then a touch in the salsa brings the dish together ever so sweetly. Honestly, I think you could also use fresh tomatoes in place of the peaches. And trade out basil for the cilantro. Add a bit of serrano with the peaches. Or not. We served ours with a fried ripe plantain, also known as a maduro which gave it a tropical spin.

Serves 2

For the salsa:
2 ripe freestone peaches, medium, washed and peeled (if possible)
2 heaping tablespoons red onion, diced
2 heaping tablespoons cilantro, diced
1 tablespoon honey (or more if peaches need a bit more sweetness)
1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Zest and juice of 1 lime
Pinch kosher or Maldon salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Chunk the peach up and place in a bowl. Add the red onion and cilantro, honey, olive oil, lime zest and juice, salt and pepper. Stir gently and allow to sit, covered, to meld.
For the pork:
2 thick cut pastured pork chops, about 1-1/2 pounds (we used a long bone pork chop from Peaceful Pork)
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for the meat
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons honey
2 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced

Remove the excess fat from the pork. Put the the chops in a dish large enough to accommodate it. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with the garlic, salt and pepper. Drizzle with the honey. Let sit 30 minutes.

When the grill is good and hot, put the marinated pork on the grill, cooking and turning as needed until internal temperature is at 145 degrees.
Remove from the grill and rest the meat for 5 minutes.

Place the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the sliced shallots and saute until crispy. Drain on a paper towel and sprinkle with salt.

To plate, place the perfectly grilled pork chop on the plate. Generously spoon the peach salsa over the top and then drop the fried shallots. Perhaps a final sprinkle of Maldon salt and a bit more freshly ground black pepper...and then taste how good it is.

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