Monday, October 18, 2010

Pork chops with tomato-peach compote, rice pilaf and spicy sauteed green beans

This is one of those simple late summer recipes I just live for. It was made all the more magical with local late-season tomatoes and glorious Texas peaches. Oh, Texas peaches. Texas does peaches right. Sad that I'm talking about this in October, right? It's gonna be a long winter.

The original recipe (from Gourmet) calls for pork tenderloin, and I have made it that way in the past and certainly would again for a crowd. Cooking for two, though, it's easier to just grab a couple of chops.

It sounds weird, I know, but tomatoes and peaches have a marvelous relationship - have you ever had peach salsa? [You should, if you haven't.] The thyme and shallots make the peaches so savory, and when you cook them with the tomatoes into a compote it all breaks down into a soft relish that absolutely sings when paired with the curry and ginger on the pork. It is divine. The picture below was taken at the beginning of the stewing, note how much they have broken down by the end picture.

2 cloves garlic, minced into a paste or microplaned
1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced into a paste or microplaned
1 tsp curry powder
2 pork chops

2 very ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 very ripe peach, peeled, pitted and chopped
1 shallot, diced finely
1 tsp dried thyme

 rice pilaf

 spicy sauteed green beans

Rinse and pat dry the pork chops, then moisten with a little bit of vegetable oil. Combine the garlic paste, ginger paste and curry powder with a good pinch of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper and rub it into your chops. Pop them back into the fridge for at least an hour, up to overnight.

Whip up your rice pilaf and let it cook while you get everything else together.

In a heavy bottomed pan (cast iron is good here), heat some vegetable oil and begin to sear your pork chops. Nice thick chops will probably take 5 or 6 minutes per side, you don't want to overcook and dry them out. When they're done, remove to a plate and cover them with foil. To the same pan, add your shallots and start to scrape up the fabulous little brown bits of flavor your pork chops deposited. When they've softened, add the peaches, tomatoes, and thyme with a good pinch of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Allow to break down, stirring often and mashing with a wooden spoon, 10-12 minutes (or until it looks right to you).

While that's happening, saute up your green beans.

Arrange your rice and green beans on the plate alongside a pork chop and top with a generous spoonful (or 5) of compote.

Serves 2, takes about half an hour.

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