Summer has finally arrived it’s time to get out there to your local farmer’s markets and roadside produce stands. There is nothing more satisfying than perusing an abundance of gorgeous locally grown fresh fruits and produce for some cooking inspiration.
Admittedly, my local farm markets here in Thailand offer up fruits and produce mostly native to the tropics. Fresh green peppercorns are in abundance and pack a wonderful earthy zing that you will find in many Thai dishes, but pair equally well with western dishes too.
Here is a simple menu for a casual summer supper that is easy to prepare and serve, even for a crowd, with a little help from an amiable kindred spirit!
Grilled Pork Chops with Fresh Green Peppercorn Sauce
Summer Greens Salad with Fresh Pineapple and Raspberry Vinaigrette
The combined flavours of spicy, savoury, sweet, sour, and earthy are as enticing as they are healthy, nourishing, and colorful. Adapt as needed utilizing fruits and produce in your own area. If fresh green peppercorns re not available, simply substitute bottled in brine, well rinsed.
Grilled Pork Chops with Fresh Green Peppercorn Sauce serve 4
Pork Chops (grilled or seared)
Brine the pork chops the day before. This tenderizes the chops and insures moist chops when grilled or seared.
- 4 1 ¼ inch boneless pork chops
- 1/4 cup sea salt
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 4 cups water
- 4 bay leaves
Combine the salt and sugar in a large bowl and add the water. Stir until the salt and sugar are dissolved. Add the pork chops and bay leaves and stir. Cover the bowl with cling film and refrigerate for 24 hours.
Remove the chops from the brine and pat dry on both sides before grilling or pan searing. Discard the brine liquid.
Grilling or Pan Searing the Chops:
- 4 brined pork chops, patted dry
- ¼ cup olive oil
Preheat the oven to 400F/205C
To grill the chops fire up the grill well in advance so the heat is very intense. Brush the chops with olive oil on both sides and place them over the hottest part of the grill. Grill 1 ½ minutes until the chop is well seared and marked. Give the chop a quarter turn, to cross mark the chop, and grill another 1 ½ minutes. Transfer to a baking tray, marked side up, and place in the preheated oven for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside while you finish the green peppercorn sauce.
To pan sear the chops place a large skillet over medium high flame. When the pan is hot add the olive oil. When the oil is nearly smoking and slides easily in the pan, add the chops and sear for 2 to 3 minutes. The chops should be nicely browned and caramelized. Transfer the chops to a baking tray, seared side up, and place in the preheated oven for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to rest for a couple of minutes, while you finish the green peppercorn pan sauce.
Green Peppercorn Sauce:
The sauce can be prepared while the chops are finishing in the oven.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 large shallots, peeled and minced
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon flour
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 cups stock, heated
- ¼ cup fresh green peppercorns (or bottled in brine, rinsed well)
- 1 cup thick full fat yoghurt (Greek)
- ½ teaspoon sea salt + more to taste
Heat the olive oil in a sauce pan or in the skillet the chops were seared in. Ad the shallots and saute 1 minute until soft. Add the flour and stir until a paste forms, scraping up the bits and pieces in the skillet if using. Add the Dijon mustard and stir in. Begin adding the hot stock while stirring continuously. The mixture will seize up at first but thin out once all the stock is added. Once the sauce returns to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 3 minutes. Add the peppercorns, yoghurt, and salt and stir to combine.
Continue stirring until the sauce returns to a boil. Taste the sauce and add more salt to taste. Turn off the flame until you are ready to sauce the chops, reheating over a low flame if needed.
Place the chops on individual serving plates and nap the sauce over the chops.
As suggested serve with black Quinoa (see here), and a summer greens salad with fresh pineapple, or a seasonal fruit in your area, tossed with a raspberry vinaigrette.