Thursday, August 12, 2010

Summer Grillin' - Peaches and Pork

Its summer time. That means HOT & MUGGY weather here in the DC Metro area. And for many people summer time means meals made on the grill. However, for us grilling is a year round thing! We were grilling food during Snow-pocalypse & Snow-maggedon this past winter. BTW, I was not one of the masses wishing for summer during all that cold and snow - since winter is my favorite season! Ahhh, winter how I long for you - but I digress, back to grilling!

Right now Peaches are in season and they are cheap! So, I threw an idea to John when we were meal planning on Sunday. I told him I wanted to modify our usual pork and orange marmalade recipe, and use peaches and peach preserves and cook it all on the grill. All I can say is that was a DAMN GOOD MEAL!

Sorry - I don't have any pictures - didn't think to take any, as I was too busy trying to eat, and ensure the girl ate before she fell asleep in her high chair, while John was occupying the boy, who also was hungry & wanted his momma!

Here's the recipe I whipped up, that will become a permanent fixture in our summer time meals from now on.

Pork chops (preferably  1-2" thick)
Fresh peaches
Peach Preserves
Apple Cider vinegar
Olive oil
agave nectar

Now, I'll be honest I'm not the measuring cup/spoon type of cook. That probably explains why I've only recently started to learn how to bake, as that requires precision measurements to pull off good baked goods!

So, here's what I did: In a cereal bowl I combined the peach preserves, the apple cider vinegar and olive oil & agave nectar. Initially I just had the preservers, vinegar and olive oil in the bowl - but I had put in too much vinegar and I needed to cut the tartness of the vinegar, but I didn't want to add more preserves so I added the agave a little bit at a time until the sauce wasn't over powered by the vinegar - but still tart.  I'm a taster, if you can't tell. We separated some of the marinade to baste the pork with while it on the grill, leaving the rest for topping the pork after it comes off the grill. Next John cut up the peaches, then he put the pork and peaches on the grill.  He basted the pork with the marinade.

Meanwhile, I worked on a quinoa side dish. If you haven't had quinoa, you need to go out buy some and begin adding this grain to your whole grain repertoire! This is considered to be an ancient grain and was cultivated by the Incas. Its high in fiber, it tastes amazing - it has a nutty flavor and amazing texture, but the most compelling reason to eat it, is it has the highest protein you can get in a non-meat food. It's a complete protein - meaning it has all 9 amino acids.  It's also gluten-free!  WHOOHOO!!! 

Quinoa 3/4c
Garbanzo beans (chickpeas)  1 can
dried cranberries
chopped raw almonds
salt, garlic powder, paprika, old bay & olive oil

Cooking quinoa is just like cooking rice 1:2 ratio. So how ever much quinoa you're making double the water.  I toasted the quinoa before cooking it over an open flame - this brings out a nuttier flavor.  Bring the quinoa and water to a boil, then cover the pot and turn down to simmer. The quinoa will take about 30 minutes or so, about the same time as brown rice, depending on how much you're cooking. Once the quinoa was done, I moved it into a Pyrex bowl and added the garbanzo beans that I drained and rinsed. I then added the dried cranberries and chopped up almonds, enough to thoroughly mix throughout the quinoa and the garbanzo beans. Then I stirred in the olive oil, and began to add the seasonings to taste.

By the time I'd finished making the quinoa, John pulled the pork and peaches off the grill. We served the pork over top of the quinoa and drizzled the peach marinade, that we reserved, on top of the grilled pork and peaches.

As you can tell, we love to cook. Before the girl and the boy came along, one of our favorite things to do together is to make a 5-star gourmet meal! We'd finally gotten back in the habit right before the boy was born and last night was one of the first nights in a long while that we've had a chance to make a meal together, since the boy came home. I love cooking with John, its so much fun. And I'm bettin' that we could throw down a meal as good as any the Neely's could whip up, and we've got a smaller kitchen than they do!

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