Monday, June 23, 2008

Brandied-Peach Pork Chops

I found this recipe on Epicurious shortly after we got married. I thought it looked delicious, but I wanted to save it for a warm summer day when the fruit would be in season and it would be perfect to eat for dinner.

I liked this, but I didn't love it. I think this would taste even better off the grill. However, I loved the combination of pork with fresh peaches. They were so juicy and tasty on tbeir own--I probably could have made a whole meal out of just the peaches. :-)

I served this with rice, but I think a risotto would be a better choice. Plain rice just didn't do it for me tonight.

I definitely encourage you to try this out and make it your own. My Notes are plentiful tonight because I definitely plan on trying this again and making some changes.

Brandied-Peach Pork Chops

4 (1-inch-thick) loin pork chops
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots
1 teaspoon finely chopped thyme
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon brandy, divided
1 (10-ounce) bag frozen peaches, thawed
1/3 cup peach preserves

Pat pork chops dry, then sprinkle on both sides with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper(total).

Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium heat until it shimmers, then cook pork chops, turning once, until browned and just cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes total. Transfer to a platter and keep warm, loosely covered with foil.

Pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat from skillet. Heat butter in skillet over medium heat until foam subsides, then cook shallots with thyme, stirring occasionally, until tender and golden-brown, about 5 minutes.

Add 1/4 cup brandy to skillet and carefully ignite with a kitchen match (use caution; flames will shoot up), then cook over medium heat, scraping bottom of skillet to loosen brown bits.

When flames subside, add peaches, preserves, and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper and cook, covered, until peaches are tender and juicy, about 3 minutes. Stir in remaining tablespoon brandy, any meat juices from platter, and salt and pepper to taste, then spoon sauce over chops.

Notes:
  • I think that next time I'm going to try this on my grill pan and work on the sauce separately. The chops just weren't moist enough for me.
  • I didn't ignite the brandy because I didn't think it would work on my non-stick pans. I didn't want to burn off the non-stick coating. Someday I'll have my lovely stainless steel pots and pans and I can set fire to all the brandy I want.
  • I didn't have shallots and I couldn't find any in the stores. I had green onions, which were good enough to substitute. They smelled delicious with the thyme. YUM.
  • I also couldn't find frozen peaches. I don't think I've ever seen frozen fruit in the grocery store. I used three fresh peaches and added just a touch of sugar to the slices to help them keep their sweetness. DELICIOUS! I could live on fresh summer fruit and nothing else.

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