Oh, Peter Brady. Thanks to my deeply embedded (or “annoying”, if you’re talking to my husband) love of pop culture references and all things “sitcom”, I can’t think of pork chops and applesauce without thinking of you.
I agree with Peter. I think pork chops and applesauce are, indeed, “swell” in the crisp and cool days of fall. Right now, though, it’s July, and things are far from cool and crisp. I’m in Georgia, it’s 100+ degrees outside and I’m surrounded by peaches instead of apples. The heat is a little extreme, but being surrounded by peaches isn’t a bad thing.
I like to change things up, so why not change up the pork chop and applesauce routine? Using a simple recipe I found from Fine Cooking, I was able to “summer” it up a bit.
First things first, I needed to peel my peaches for the quick and easy stove top chutney. Peaches are pretty delicate little creatures, so taking a peeler to them may leave you with a drippy orb of mush. Nobody wants that. Whenever I want to peel peaches, or tomatoes for that matter, I use this simple trick.
Bring a small pot of water to a boil on the stove. Score an “x” into the bottom of each peach (or tomato). Drop the fruit into the boiling water and let it cook for about 30 seconds. Remove the fruit from the water, and the skin will peel right off.
It works every time! No mush, no mess!
After I’d peeled my peaches, I chopped them up. I diced up a large shallot, and cut four thick slices of fresh ginger root. I also grabbed a sprig or two of fresh thyme.
These simple ingredients, along with just a little bit of sugar and water, are all you need to whip up this delicious chutney.
I put everything in a small saucepan, brought the mixture to a simmer and let it cook down for about twenty minutes.
When my timer went off, I removed the pan from the heat, took off the lid and found that everything had cooked up beautifully.
The chutney smelled sweet, and savory, all at once. I removed the ginger slices and the thyme sprigs and set the mixture aside.
Then, it was time to get moving on my pork chops. I cooked the chops on the stove top according to the recipe, and they were delicious, but next time I think I’ll grill them. You could really use this chutney with any cut of pork. It would be wonderful drizzled over a roast or some pork tenderloin. Why stop at chops? It would even be great over grilled chicken…but I digress.
I quickly dredged the chops in some flour, salt and pepper.
Then, I cooked them in a skillet on the stove in just a bit of olive oil. When the chops were golden brown and cooked through, about twelve minutes later, I removed them from the heat and let them sit for just a couple of minutes. Letting the meat sit before serving helps keep all of those juices inside the chops. If you cut into it right off the stove, the juices would run out, and you’d be left with a drier chop. Let your meat rest, no matter what type of meat you’re cooking.
A few minutes later, I served up my summery twist to a hungry, happy family. The pork chops were nice and juicy, but it was the chutney that was really special. It was summery sweet and savory, with a slight hint of ginger. It was a delicious departure from pork chops and applesauce.
I think Peter Brady would be proud.
PORK CHOPS WITH PEACH-GINGER CHUTNEY
Adapted from Fine Cooking
- 2 medium peaches (about ¾ lb.) peeled (see tip above), pitted and chopped
- 1 3-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut into 4 thick coins
- 1 large shallot, chopped
- 2 tsp. sugar
- 1-2 sprigs fresh thyme
- kosher salt and pepper
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- 4 - ¾ inch thick pork loin chops (bone in, or boneless...whatever suits your fancy)
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- In a small saucepan, combine the chopped peaches, shallot, sugar, and thyme. Add a pinch of salt and pepper and 1 Tbsp. of water. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover the pan, reduce the heat to low, and simmer the mixture, stirring occasionally, until the peaches have broken down a bit and released their juices, about 20 minutes. Remove the mixture from the heat, remove the ginger and thyme sprigs (if the leaves have fallen off the sprig, that's OK...just get the stick part out). Cover the mixture and set aside.
- Combine the flour, 1 tsp. of salt and ¼ tsp. of pepper in a shallow dish. Dredge the pork chops in the flour mixture, coating evenly.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Arrange the pork chops in the pan and cook, turning once, until browned evenly on both sides and cooked through, about 12 minutes total.
- Mash the peach chutney slightly with a potato masher or fork, until slightly chunky. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- To serve, top the pork chops with the chutney.