The first sleepover camp I went to was in Rochester, VT. Skyhollow Farm was a mini-farm with chores–caring for chickens, turkeys, one calf, horses (hotly contested) and pigs as part of the daily schedule. The pigs (three, what else?) were cute and you could practically see them gain weight over the summer. We did not discuss their future which, I’m sure, was to end up as pork chops and bacon (but think of Wilbur in Charlotte’s Web who lived happily ever after.) We also did not discuss the source of dinner protein in my home where mentioning what the lamb chop had been before it arrived at the table was a sure way to be asked to leave the room.
Fast forward to Memorial Day which marks the start of our cooking out season in Vermont. For dinner guests on Friday, we served what we refer to as Pork a la Peche, although the New York Times, source of the recipe, called it more prosaically Grilled Pork Chops with Glazed Peaches.
The Times recipe called for a charcoal grill; mine is gas so the instructions are modified to make it work. Ideally, use fresh peaches (even hard ones because the heat cooks them) but, in a pinch, I’ve used canned. The only peaches I could find last weekend were on the small side and a challenge to pit–bigger ones are worth the hunt. Go piggy…
Pork a la Peche (Grilled Pork Chops with Glazed Peaches)
This amount serves 4. To increase, double or triple the number of chops and do the same with amounts of other ingredients.
2 T butter, melted
¼ cup molasses (buying this always makes me feel very Little House on the Prairie-ish)
Juice of one lime
4 peaches halved and pitted
1 T olive oil
4 1 ½ inches thick pork chops –rib or loin
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Mix butter and molasses together. Add lime juice and set aside.
Make a fire in your grill and get it hot. Oil the cut side of the peaches. Sprinkle chops and peaches generously with salt and pepper.
Put peaches on grill flat side down and cook for five minutes. Flip peaches and move them to a warm area on grill, preferably where they are not directly over the fire. Baste with sauce.
Put chops on the hot part of the grill and cook about ten minutes one side, eight on the other for medium. (To check degree of doneness, cut a tiny slit in the meaty part of one chop and take a peak. We like them with the tiniest glow of pink; you can always add another few minutes of cooking time.) Baste chops on top side when first put on grill and again once they are turned over.
Arrange cooked chops on platter and surround with peaches. Baste all once again. If you have extra sauce, put it in small dish and serve alongside.
I served the pork with steamed asparagus and orzo with butter and lots of freshly ground Parmesan mixed in. For dessert we had a Lemon Lulu from Manchester’s Mother Myrick bakery, (to my mind, one of the the ultimate lemon cakes), with vanilla ice cream laced with raspberry swirl, fresh blueberries and raspberries and homemade raspberry sauce.