Monday, June 2, 2008
Improvisation is the spice of life.
Last weekend, I went to the market with a craving for pork chops and fresh fruit, and left with a pound of bone-in chops and a bag of nectarines. I didn't foresee eating them together, but sometimes things just work out that way.
Eager to find a use for the ramps I'd pickled a couple of days before, I decided to top the pan-cooked pork chop with a nectarine and ramp relish. The result was delicious - sweet, spicy, soft and crunchy, made fresh with a sprinkling of chopped Greenmarket parsley. One of the easiest dinners I've made in recent weeks, and also one of the tastiest.
This recipe would be equally good (or, really, probably ten times better) with in-season peaches. Something to keep in mind as summer approaches...
Pork Chop with Nectarines and Pickled Ramps
1 bone-in pork chop (about 1/2 pound)
Salt and pepper
1 tbs. neutral oil, such as vegetable or canola
1 small nectarine, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
3-4 pickled ramps, thinly sliced cross-wise
2 tsps. finely-chopped parsley
Pat the pork chop dry and dress with salt and pepper on both sides. Add the oil to a small skillet set over medium-high heat. Once the oil is heated through, add the pork chop and sear for two to three minutes on each side to form a crust. (You'll know the chop is ready to turn when you pull it gently with your tongs and it comes easily away from the skillet.)
Turn the heat down to medium and cook the chop another three to four minutes on both sides, or until it is just cooked through. Remove from the skillet to a plate and tent with aluminum foil while you make the relish.
Turn the heat back up to medium high, and add a bit more oil if the pan is dry. Add the ramps and sautee for a minute or so, then add the nectarine to the pan. Sautee for a minute, or until the nectarine is slightly softened and heated through. Add the parsley to the skillet, toss to combine, and remove from heat.
Top the pork chop with the relish, season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.