I never seem to have just a couple of in-season peaches in my kitchen. I have either a pile of them, begging to be eaten immediately, or I have none. That’s probably because I can’t resist overbuying the ripe fruit in peak season. Early in the season, I get them by the dozen, treating myself to a direct shipment from Georgia, and later, when the fruit is ripening further north, I cart home as much as I can carry from my local farmers market.

I wind up with so many peaches, because of the get-it-while-the-gettin’s-good nature of the relatively short peach season, when the aroma of the fruit hits you from a foot away and they are so plump and juicy, you’re compelled to eat them over the sink. Peaches like that last less than a week in the refrigerator, so once my family has devoured what we want out of hand, I get down to thinking about how to use the rest quickly.

Sure, I could always freeze them, but that would deprive me of the pleasure and creative challenge of deciding what to do with them – cook them up into pies, crisps and compotes, puree them into sauces, grill them for salads and sundaes, and more.

This recipe takes a different tack, marrying sliced peaches in a skillet with pork chops and savory seasonings for a weeknight dinner. It might seem like an unusual combo at first glance, but it’s one that tastes of familiar comfort, with the sweet-savory-tangy flavors usually found in barbecue sauce reinvented as a light, fresh pan version.

To make it, you first peel the fresh peaches – their skins slip off easily once the fruit is scored and dipped briefly into boiling water – then pit and slice them. (Frozen peaches work well here as well, allowing you to skip this step and make this dish year-round.)

They get paired with lean, boneless pork chops that are rubbed with a savory mix of paprika, onion and garlic powders, salt and pepper. (You can swap in boneless, skinless chicken breast if you’d like.) Broth, a splash of vinegar, and a touch of honey tie the fruit and protein together in a tangy-sweet sauce.

Showered with a floral burst of fresh basil leaves right before serving, this fast, mouthwatering dish is yet another reason to dive headfirst into peach season.

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Pork Chops and Peaches Skillet

30 minutes

4 servings

This one-pan recipe marries sliced peaches with lean pork chops and savory seasonings for a flavorful weeknight dinner. Though it’s meant to make the most of peak-season peaches, it can also be made any time of year using frozen fruit. And though it might seem like an unusual combo at first glance, you may find that it tastes of a familiar comfort. The sweet-savory-tangy elements usually found in barbecue sauce appear here but in lighter, fresher format. If you prefer, you can substitute boneless, skinless chicken breast for the pork.

Storage Notes: Leftovers can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

INGREDIENTS

1 pound ripe fresh peaches or one (16-ounce) bag unsweetened frozen sliced peaches (see NOTES)

1 1/2 teaspoons sweet paprika

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

4 boneless pork loin chops (about 3/4-inch thick, 1 1/4 pounds total, see NOTES)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth or water

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

1 tablespoon honey

Fresh basil leaves, for garnish

DIRECTIONS

If using fresh peaches, bring a 4-quart pot of water to a boil and fill a large bowl with ice water. Using a paring knife, score the skin of each peach from end to end, without cutting into the flesh. Place the peaches in the boiling water for 30 seconds, then use a slotted spoon to transfer to the ice water for 30 seconds. Remove and discard the skins from the peaches, then halve the peaches, discard the pits and slice each peach into 8 slices.

In a small bowl, stir together the paprika, onion powder, granulated garlic, salt and pepper until combined. Sprinkle the spice mixture onto both sides of the pork, rubbing it in slightly so it adheres.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the pork and reduce the heat to medium. Cook without moving the pork, until it is nicely browned, 2 to 3 minutes, then flip each piece to brown the other side, another 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the pork to a plate.

Add the broth or water, vinegar and honey to the skillet and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve any browned bits in the pan. Add the peaches and cook, stirring occasionally, until warmed through and slightly softened, about 2 minutes (if using frozen peaches, it will take a few minutes longer). Return the pork to the pan with any accumulated juices and cook, flipping the chops once, until the peaches have softened but still retain their shape, and the pork is cooked until slightly pink in the center and reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees, 1 to 2 minutes. Tear the basil leaves and scatter them on top right before serving.

NOTES: If fresh peaches aren’t in season, seek out the frozen ones; out-of-season peaches are difficult to peel even after blanching.

If your pork chops are thicker or thinner than 3/4-inch, you’ll need to adjust the cooking time accordingly.

Nutrition per serving (1 pork chop and about 1/2 cup sauce and peaches) | Calories: 304; Total Fat: 12 g; Saturated Fat: 3 g; Cholesterol: 94 mg; Sodium: 141 mg; Carbohydrates: 16 g; Dietary Fiber: 2 g; Sugar: 14 g; Protein: 22 g

This analysis is an estimate based on available ingredients and this preparation. It should not substitute for a dietitian’s or nutritionist’s advice.

From cookbook author and registered nutritionist Ellie Krieger.


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