We went "Up North" over the 4th of July weekend, and altho' I had a kitchen (yes, a kitchen with a cook-top, an oven, and a sink with running water!), we still made most of our meals on the outdoor charcoal grill.
When I saw this recipe for Basil-Rubbed Pork Chops with Nectarine-Blue Cheese Salad and Toasted Pine Nuts via Serious Eats I thought, this is doable with a little bit of improvising. We always seem to have a stash of Iowa pork chops in our freezer and I also had ripe peaches, a perfect substitute for the nectarines. The one ingredients we lacked was fresh basil. My vegetable garden in St. Paul is planted with two packages of basil seeds every spring, but none of that made it along up north with us.
The only way my husband will grill a bone-in pork chop, is to sear it on both sides and then stand it up, on the bone, to finish. This technique will give you one juicy pork chop.
Under ideal conditions I would have grilled 4 or 5 peaches or nectarines and julienned a lot of fresh basil to finish. But even without those additional ingredients, these were really good pork chops. My daughter cleaned hers to the bone -- that says it all.
Basil-rubbed Pork Chops with Nectarine (Peach) - Blue Cheese Salad and
Serves 2 - adapted from Bobby Flay's Grill It!
• 2 thick, bone-in pork chops
• 8 basil leaves, thinly slice half of the leaves
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• Salt and black pepper
• 2 nectarines (of peaches), halved and pitted.
• 2 ounces blue cheese, crumbled (about 1 cup)
• 1 tablespoon honey
• 2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
1. Heat a charcoal or gas grill to medium. Take 4 whole basil leaves and rub the pork chops on both sides. Brush the chops with 1 tablespoon of the oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sear the pork chops on both sides, then stand the chops on the bone (see photo above). It usually takes approximately 20 minutes to cook, but that all depends on the amount of heat and the thickness of the chops. When done, set aside.
2. Coat the halved nectarines (or peaches) with the rest of the oil. Set cut side down on the grill and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until caramelized, but not blackened. Flip, and cook another minute or so, until slightly soft.
3. Plate the chops. Place 2 nectarine halves on each plate and top with a sprinkling of blue cheese, pine nuts, and thinly sliced basil. Drizzle with the honey; season with salt and pepper to taste.
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