Peachy Pork and Peppers

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Recently, on the way home from an amazing North Georgia mountain vacation, I stopped to pick up some Georgia peaches. They’re amazing when you get them right from the source: juicy, full of flavor, sweet and tart simultaneously. It was a sad day for me when the last two peaches shriveled a bit and didn’t invite me to devour them. Not one to waste good food, though, I took my paring knife and trimmed back the skin, only to find some beautiful fruit just below the surface.

“This would be great for a recipe,” I ever-so-cleverly thought to myself. I was right!

After a quick peek in the fridge to see what ingredients could be had without a trip to the store, I found the following:

4 Pork chops, center-cut loin

1 of each color peppers: red, yellow-orange and green

1 large Onion (Vidalia is what I had on hand)

Hmmm, sounds possible. I sashayed over to the pantry for a look at our dry goods:

Rice (Success Boil-in-Bag Jasmine Rice, to be exact)

2 cans green beans

Raw almond slivers

Part of a bag of Fresh Gourmet Garlic Pepper Crispy Onions (No other will be the same!)

Brown sugar

 

Well, this seems interesting. After a quick internet search for peaches and pork chops, I realized I didn’t exactly have everything for any of the recipes. Determined to not have to run to the store, I improvised.

What resulted not only made me wild with delight, but my adult step-daughter (who has always loved her mother’s cooking, not mine) couldn’t help herself:

“I’ve just gotta say this, Joan, this is the best meal you’ve ever made. This might even be my favorite thing ever! Gimme some more!” She went on, but I’ll stop there. Must remain humble.

Now, how can I ever beat that?

Here’s how I ended up making a winner of a dinner on the improv (see complete list of ingredients at end of this post):

In a bowl, I combined 1 chopped, slightly-overripe, peeled Georgia peach, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/3 cup white wine vinegar, ½ cup brown sugar, juice of one-half lemon, 2 heaping tablespoons Dijon mustard, 1-2 tsp Iodized Sea Salt, 1 tsp ground black pepper, and a few shakes of spices like coriander, ginger and turmeric.

I placed the pork chops in a glass baking dish and poured about 2/3rds of the marinade over them, reserving the rest in the refrigerator for later. I turned the chops over to be sure both sides were covered in marinade, then covered the bowl and refrigerated for a couple of hours.

When it was time to cook dinner, I put some water on to boil for my so-easy Jasmine rice. Then I chopped the onions and peppers in large chunks (about 1”) and sautéed them in enough olive oil to cover the bottom of a fry pan. When softened and the onions turned gold, I added the other peach (peeled and chopped, remember, I had two left), then the reserve marinade from the refrigerator. I let this marinade cook down most of the way.

The water was boiling by now so I placed the rice bag in that pan. Too easy, right?

Next, I placed the onions and pepper mixture into a bowl, added more olive oil to the pan and heated it up. I removed the pork chops from their marinade (reserving the marinade) and placed them into the sizzling pan.

While they cooked I opened the two cans of green beans (fresh may have been better but this is what I had), drained them and put them in a ceramic baking dish. In a small sauté pan, I melted about 2 tablespoons of Irish butter and sautéed about a palm-full of slivered almonds just to heat, not burn. I folded this in to the green beans, along with a sprinkle of salt and pepper and a shake or two of dried onion flakes from the cupboard. Not finding any cream-of-anything soups in the pantry, I decided to skip a sauce, and just layered the fried onions (by the way, those Fresh Gourmet Garlic Pepper Crispy Onions are amazing and make all the difference) atop the beans. I put them in the oven turned to broil and set the timer for 5 minutes.

Returning to the pork chops, it was time to turn them. Depending on how thick they are, I estimated about 5 minutes a side, but check for temperature with a meat thermometer before deciding they’re ready. As they neared completion, I added the remaining marinade to simmer together heartily.

By now the rice was ready to drain. I laid the rice in a large shallow serving dish near the stove. The green bean casserole (checked regularly to be sure it wasn’t burning) got a stir and went on the table.

When the pork chops were ready, I added the onion, pepper and peach mixture back to the pan to heat them all back up together, then placed the pork chops on the rice and spooned the glorious sauce with the onions, peppers and peaches all over the pork chops and rice.

“Time to get your drinks, everyone!”

Served with pumpernickel bread and more of that Irish butter, well, you can imagine. Winner Dinner.

For a variation, try grilling the pork chops and cooking all the marinade with the onion, pepper and peach mixture.

INGREDIENTS:

Peachy Pork and Peppers

4 Pork chops, center-cut loin

1 of each color peppers: red, yellow-orange and green

1 large Onion (Vidalia, preferably)

2 chopped, slightly-overripe, peeled Georgia peaches, (separated)

1/4 cup olive oil

1/3 cup white wine vinegar

½ cup brown sugar

juice of one-half lemon

2 heaping tablespoons Dijon mustard

1-2 tsp Iodized sea salt

1 tsp ground black pepper

¼-1/2 tsp coriander, ginger and turmeric

1 family-size bag of rice (Success Boil-in-Bag Jasmine Rice, to be exact)

 

Almond Green Bean Casserole with Garlic-Pepper Crispy Onions:

¼-1/2 bag Fresh Gourmet Garlic Pepper Crispy Onions

2 cans green beans, drained

¼ cup raw almond slivers

2 T butter

1 tsp dried onion flakes

Salt and pepper to taste

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