Try Pickled Peach Relish with Pork Chops

Sweet fruit is always a perfect compliment to grilled or roasted pork. Most recipes incorporate compotes, fruit-based glazes, fruit salsas, or fruit stuffings. The Pickled Peach Relish in this inventive recipe nicely enhances the grilled Sage-Rubbed Pork Chops. The Pickled Peach Relish would also work very well with chicken, turkey, duck or a meaty fish like halibut. Ample Bites looks forward to trying the relish with each of these proteins in the months to come.

Sage-Rubbed Pork Chops with Pickled Peach Relish
(Adapted from recipe courtesy of Food & Wine Magazine, August 2012)

Serves 4

For the Pickled Peach Relish
2 cups white wine vinegar
1 ½ cups water
¼ cup sugar
2 Tbsp yellow mustard seeds
1 bay leaf
1 Tbsp whole black peppercorns
2 Tbsp Kosher salt
4 large ripe but firm peaches, pitted and cut into a ½” dice

For the Pork Chops
3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
4 Tbsp Kosher salt
1 ½ tsp honey
1 tsp anchovy paste
1 Tbsp coarsely ground black pepper
20 small sage leaves, plus 1 tablespoon chopped sage
4 1-inch-thick, bone-in pork rib chops (10-12ounces each)

To brine the pork chops; Dissolve the 3 tablespoon salt in cold water (and/or cold leftover coffee) in a large container. Submerge the chops in the brine and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

To prepare the relish: In a large saucepan, combine the vinegar, sugar, mustard seeds, bay leaf, black peppercorns, and 2 tablespoons of salt and bring to a boil to dissolve the sugar. Put the diced peaches in a large, heatproof bowl and pour the brine over them. Let the peaches stand for 1 hour, then refrigerate them for about 30 minutes, until the peaches are chilled. (The pickled peaches can be made up to a week ahead of time and refrigerated.)

In a small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon of the oil with the chopped sage, coarsely ground black pepper, 1 tablespoon salt, honey, and anchovy paste. Rinse and pat the pork chops dry. Rub the mixture over both sides of the pork chops and let them stand for 30 minutes before grilling.

Heat the grill to medium-high. Grill the pork chops for 4 minutes on one side and 2 minutes on the other side or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat nearest the bone registers 145F. Transfer the chops to a plate to rest for about 10 minutes before serving.

Meanwhile in a medium skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the sage leaves and cook over moderate heat until crisp, about 1 minute per side.

Put a pork chop on each plate. Using a slotted spoon, top each chop with about ½ cup of pickled peaches. Garnish with the fried sage leaves and serve.

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