Last Night for Dinner…Grilled Pork Chops & Nectarines

For some reason I feel like pork chops are just too boring to write about. Perhaps if the chops were marinated for 47 days in secret Asian spices. Or grilling the chops involved some kind of unusual wood chips that you had to scavenge under the cloak of darkness on the third Thursday of the month. But no. These are just your run of the mill, basic pork chops. Tasty indeed, but still a simple pork chop. Perhaps I shouldn’t malign the simple meats. They have their place too. Especially when it’s summer and you really don’t feel like going to a whole lot of effort.

What caught my eye in this recipe was that the nectarines are grilled, chopped up into wedges and then topped with marscapone. Now that makes it a little more exotic don’t you think? Indulge me.

Also the fact that it was a recipe from Cooking Light made me somehow feel especially virtuous and healthy. I’m sure the two dirty martinis I had while making this meal wouldn’t be considered particularly healthy. Bygones. Hopefully you’re not bored and will actually make this tonight.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided $
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 4 (6-ounce) bone-in center-cut pork chops (about 1/2 inch thick) $
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 ripe nectarines
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 4 teaspoons mascarpone cheese

Prep

For the record I was terribly lazy and didn’t feel like buying fresh thyme, so I covered the chops in Montreal Steak Seasoning. Should I have admitted that? Do you think less of me? Oh well. That’s what I did. You can choose to be all Martha and make the chop rub. Have at it.

I did on the other hand make the sugar mixture for the nectarines. I used brown sugar because I was out of white sugar and didn’t want to be that neighbor who borrows a cup of sugar. We did borrow a bottle of vodka last week when entertaining. But that’s a story for another time.

  1. 1. Preheat grill to medium-high heat.
  2. 2. Combine thyme, 1 tablespoon oil, and garlic in a small bowl. Rub oil mixture evenly over pork chops; sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Place pork on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 3 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Let stand 10 minutes.
  3. 3. While pork stands, cut nectarines in half; discard pits. Combine sugar, remaining 1/2 teaspoon oil, cumin, and red pepper in a small bowl. Sprinkle sugar mixture evenly over cut sides of nectarines. Place nectarines on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 5 minutes on each side or until tender. Cut nectarines into wedges; top evenly with mascarpone cheese. Serve with pork.

Recipe and image courtesy of Cooking Light. You too will feel terribly virtuous and healthy when you make this recipe. Unless of course you’re have a couple of martinis.

P.S. I actually didn’t have this last night for dinner. Last night for dinner I had PopChips. Sour Cream and Onion. I’m addicted. Don’t judge.
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