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Peachy keen pork

Adding fresh fruit to meat dishes provides a kick of flavor

POSTED: August 24, 2011 12:30 a.m.
Bill Hogan/Chicago Tribune

Fruit pairs well with pork, such as in this peaches and pork chops dish with a little argula as well.

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If the bounty of summer's harvest has left your sweet tooth overwhelmed with fruit pies, cobblers and smoothies, consider using that produce in a more savory way.

When it comes to complements for meat dishes, most cooks turn to herbs and vegetables, but fruit can also give your meat an extra kick of flavor.

Apples and pork are one of the more popular meat and fruit combinations. They're a classic savory-sweet complementary team.

If you want to take a step outside of the norm, consider replacing the apples with one of the many stone fruits of summer: peaches, nectarines, plums and apricots.

There are many a fall or winter recipes that call for such fruits in their dried state to pair with a pork loin roast, but not so many that toss fresh chopped peaches or their kin into a skillet with, say, a pork chop.

This dinner does that, with juicy results. A touch of bacon deepens the savoriness, while a hint of basil is a welcome surprise. It can be served with a side of orzo pasta or steamed rice and sauteed red bell peppers.

Although this dish can be prepared with a bone-in pork chop, you may find it easier to complete the recipe with a boneless chop. If you use a thick-cut pork chop, after browning it on top of the stove in a pan, you will need to finish cooking it all the way through in the oven.

This recipe isn't limited to just peaches. You can also use it with any of the other stone fruit. If you happen to use a tart plum, you may want to adjust the flavors with a bit of honey or brown sugar.

Now is just the time to give this meat and stone fruit combination a try.

According to the Publix "At Season's Peak" alert, plums and "pluots," a hybrid fruit that's 75 percent plum and 25 percent apricot, are currently at their peak.

Jaemor Farms in Alto also has in-season peaches available for purchase. The family farm grows and sells 30 different varieties of the fruit.

McClatchy-Tribune Information Services contributed to this article.



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