Marinating peach quarters before grilling creates an unexpected accompaniment plus a sweet-and-sour dipping sauce for grilled pork chops (or for steak, chicken or shrimp). Serve the grilled peaches and meat on a platter of lettuce leaves with sprigs of mint and cilantro so each person can fashion bundles of peach, pork and herbs for dipping. —Rural Eating
firm-ripe peaches (about 1 1/4 pounds)
freshly squeezed lime juice
freshly ground black pepper
grated fresh ginger
serrano or jalapeño chile, very thinly sliced crosswise
1 1/2-2 pounds
bone-in or boneless pork loin chops about 1 inch thick
Whole lettuce leaves, such as Little Gem, for serving
Bring a medium pan of water to a boil. Place a bowl of ice water next to the stove. Slip the peaches into the boiling water for 15 seconds. Transfer the peaches into the ice water bath with a slotted spoon. When cool enough to handle, slip the skins from the peaches. (If the skins do not remove easily, dip them back into the boiling water for 10 seconds more and then back into the ice water bath.)
Cut each peach into quarters, discarding the pit. Transfer them to a bowl and add the sugar, fish sauce, lime juice, black pepper, garlic, ginger and chile; stir gently to combine.
Preheat a charcoal or gas grill to medium-high. Season the pork chops with salt and grill for 4 to 4 1/2 minutes; turn and cook for 4 to 4 1/2 minutes more or until firm to the touch. Transfer to a cutting board to rest.
Use a slotted spoon to lift the peaches from the marinade, leaving as much of the marinade as possible in the bowl. (Reserve the marinade for serving.) Place peaches on grill over medium heat and grill until the moment you smell sugar beginning to burn, 3 to 3 1/2 minutes. Turn them using a thin-bladed metal spatula and grill for 3 to 3 1/2 minutes more. Put the peaches back in the bowl with the marinade and set aside until the juice turns caramel colored, about 5 minutes.
Slice the pork into 1/4-inch-thick strips. Spoon the peaches over the pork and serve with a platter of lettuce, mint and cilantro, along with the extra marinade as a dipping sauce. Let guests make their own bundles of peach, pork and herbs to dip into the sauce.