Pickled peaches spice up fried pork chops
Peaches have started to make their summer arrival, and who can blame you if you turn them into some sort of sweet dessert like a pie or cobbler?
Yet the fruit also lends itself to a variety of tangy preparations, including pickles. (Yes, pickles!)
Soaked in a piquant brine of vinegar, sugar and spices, peaches go from sweet and juicy to an addictive marriage of sour and spicy. Spoon them onto a cheese plate, swirl with toasted nuts into yogurt or enjoy them as a side to fried chicken or sliced ham. In this recipe, the pickles are served alongside fried pork chops in a tangy swap for applesauce.
I use white peppercorn, which has a bit more heat than black peppercorns, and go heavy on mustard seeds. You also can add whole cloves or sticks of cinnamon.
The peaches are ready to serve in about a half-hour, but if you process the pickles in a water bath, you’ll be able to enjoy them through fall and winter.
Fried Pork Chops With Pickled Peaches
2 cups white wine vinegar
1 1 / 2 cups water
1 / 4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons yellow mustard seeds
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon whole white peppercorns
2 tablespoons kosher salt
6 large ripe but firm peaches, pitted and diced small
For pork chops
1/3 cup all-purpose flour, for dredging
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs
1 cup regular or panko breadcrumbs
1 / 2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 / 2 teaspoon dried basil
1 / 2 teaspoon crumbled dried sage
4 boneless pork loin center cut chops
1 / 4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
For peaches: In a large saucepan, combine the white wine vinegar with the water, sugar, mustard seeds, bay leaf, peppercorns and salt. Bring to a boil to dissolve the sugar. Put the diced peaches in a large, heatproof bowl and pour the hot brine over them. Let the peaches stand for 1 hour. Then refrigerate them for about 30 minutes until chilled.
For pork chops: Place flour in large shallow bowl and season with salt and pepper. Place eggs in a second shallow bowl and whisk with spoon. Place breadcrumbs in a third shallow bowl and whisk in herbs.
Dredge a pork chop in the flour and shake off the excess. Dip it into the whisked eggs and then coat evenly with the breadcrumbs. Set aside on a plate or baking sheet. Repeat the steps with the remaining pork chops.
In a large cast-iron or nonstick skillet, heat olive oil and butter until shimmering. Add the chops to the skillet and cook over moderately high heat until golden brown and crispy, 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Drain on paper towels briefly.
Serve pork chops with pickled peaches on top.
– Gretchen McKay