Monday, June 6, 2011

Peach Salsa with Grilled Pork Chops

I was in dreary mood when I started putting together this salsa.  The day was gray (which is a rarity in southern California) and I thought it was going to rain on me while I was standing by the grill.  By the time I finished chopping and stirring and tasting the finished product, however, I was dancing around the kitchen to my favorite Pandora mix.  Thank goodness no one else was home to see me!  Something about the way the flavors came together and balanced each other out made me feel like the sun was out and I was on a tropical beach. I challenge anyone not to break into a smile just looking at the beautiful colors of this salsa.

I have always been a bit suspicious of salsas featuring anything other than tomatoes.  Sweet fruit?  Cilantro?  Hot chilis?  Onions?  It seems odd to put all those tastes together.  But honestly, if you have the right balance, a fruit salsa can be just as good, if not better than the pico de gallo you get in your favorite Mexican restaurant.   And they are a great accompaniment to any grilled meats.  I put this salsa with grilled pork chops and I think it was a great pairing.  My family agreed.
Peach Salsa with Grilled Pork Chops
3 ripe peaches (or nectarines, which I actually used in combination with peaches), diced
1 small chile (fresno, jalapeno, or serrano), seeds and ribs removed and finely diced
1/4 cup red onion, diced
1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
juice of 1 lime
1/2 tsp salt

4 1-inch thick pork chops (preferably bone-in)
olive oil
1 tbs cumin
salt and pepper to taste

For the salsa:
In a medium bowl, mix all the ingredients together.  Taste and adjust salt as necessary.  You can add more heat to this by adding another chile pepper.  I love heat and would actually put more in if I was making this just for myself, but my family isn't into spicy foods, so I left it at one chile and was perfectly happy.  Let the salsa sit for at least a half hour to allow the flavors to come together.

For the pork chops:
Drizzle olive oil on both sides of the chops.  Sprinkle the cumin, salt and pepper over the chops and rub onto both sides.  Grill over medium heat about 6 minutes per side.  Allow the chops to rest for 10 minutes then serve with the salsa.

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