17 August, 2014
Grilled Peaches & Pork Chops
I love fresh peaches and summertime. I was a “snowbird” as a child and my family would often stop at a roadside stand in The Peach State on our annual migration from Florida to our summer home in Michigan. It was not until settling in California that I would decide to expand my affinity for eating a juicy ripe peach by incorporating them into my cooking. Last week in a post I read I was reminded that, “grilling causes the sugars in the fruit to caramelize”. With my handpicked selection of peaches and nectarines from this week’s farmers market, I thought it best to put this to the test and serve alongside bone-in Niman Ranch pork chops.
Perhaps most well-known for their award-winning pork, Niman Ranch meats can be found nationwide; however, it is locally raised and available close to my home in San Francisco. Notably at Haight Street Market, it is featured as one of the quality companies by Sandy, their knowledgable and experienced butcher. In my experience, he is one of the best butcher’s I’ve ever had – along with Bob at Alward’s Market in Hale, Michigan (whose award-winning bacon is available online). Quality and knowledgable, friendly service are two things I will not compromise when it comes to meat and a butcher and it certainly doesn’t hurt when they come to know you by name.
With pork and peaches carefully tucked into my reusable sak, I headed home mid-afternoon to make a zesty marinade and prepare an early dinner. It was a pleasant day while I was preparing dinner – a lot like a crisp day during March from Florida or in early-June from Michigan. All this nostalgia surrounding summer and Michigan inspired me to play the song “Smile” by Uncle Kracker. Coincidentally, the music video was filmed where and when I summered in Michigan. That “BACON” sign in it? – Yes, it belongs to Alward’s. Though I love Michigan summers and all it has to offer, there is still no place like The City and the fruitful inspiration it provides for my endeavors.
2 ripe peaches, halved and pitted
olive oil, 1 tbs.
sea salt, pinch
Place all ingredients into a ziplock bag or sealed container to coat. Grill, skin-side-up, on medium high for about 15 minutes, turning once to create grill marks.
Pork Chops & Marinade
1/4 c. olive oil
1/4 c. canola oil
1 sprig anise hyssop
2 tbs. whole grain dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 c. champagne vinegar
fresh ground salt & pepper to taste
2 bone-in pork chops
Combine all ingredients in a glass bowl using a wire whisk. Transfer to a glass dish or a ziplock bag and add 2 bone-in pork chops for at least three hours in fridge. Grill on medium high until internal temperature reaches at least 145 degrees and discard remaining marinade.