Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Brined Pork Chops with Grilled Nectarines and Citrus Honey Vinaigrette

Two things.
1. Pork loves fruit.
2. Grilled pork loves grilled fruit.
See where I am going with this?
If you are going to the trouble (what trouble? You are outside grilling in great weather with a drink in your hand!) of firing up the grill, of getting those beautiful caramelized grill marks on your pork chops, you should definitely be grilling up your accompanying fruit. In this case, nectarines.
Grilling fruit is easy, you just want to make sure it is somewhat firm and that your grill is well oiled. The fruit pairs wonderfully with pork and poultry and some fish, and is awesome on vanilla bean ice cream!
In this recipe, adapted from Michael Symon, the grilled fruit is tossed in a floral and fragrant vinaigrette and served on top of the tender chops. Yum!

Brined Pork Chops with Grilled Nectarines and Citrus Honey Vinaigrette
adapted liberally from Michael Symon, Live to Cook
for Michael Symon Sundays with Ashlee Wetherington
Serves 8

8 pork chops, trimmed
Kosher salt

1 tbsp minced garlic
3 tbsp minced shallot
2 tbsp honey
1/3 cup balsamic honey
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp coriander seeds, toasted and crushed
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
Grated zest and juice of 1 orange

6 firm nectarines, quartered (pit removed)


One hour before grilling: fill a large shallow bowl with cold water. Stir in a handful of kosher salt and half a handful of sugar. Place chops in the bowl and cover. (Never brined a pork chop? You don't know what you are missing! Brining makes the chops perfectly tender and delicious. Cold water and a 2:1 ratio of kosher salt to sugar - anything more than an hour should be kept in the fridge)

Make the vinaigrette: in a small bowl, combine the garlic and shallot and toss them with 1 tsp kosher salt. Add the honey and vinegar, then whisk in 1/2 cup of the olive oil. Add the coriander, mint, and orange zest and juice.

Heat up that grill!

Grill the nectarines and then toss them into the vinaigrette.
Take the chops out of the brine, pat dry, and brush with the 2 tbsp olive oil and season with kosher salt and cracked black pepper. Grill to desired texture and doneness. Tent with foil on a plate for 5 minutes and serve, topped with the fruit and vinaigrette mixture.

Shown: 3 chops