Please welcome my contributor Sara as she shares her recipe for Pork Chops with Strawberry Peach Salsa!
I’m Sara from Dinner at the Zoo and I’m thrilled to be sharing my recipes with you. Raise your hand if you’ve been grilling this summer! I certainly have, we light up the grill almost every weekend – nothing beats that smoky flavor and as a bonus it doesn’t heat up the house. Today I’m sharing my all time favorite pork chop recipe. My secret is a brine which makes the meat ultra tender and flavorful! These grilled pork chops with strawberry peach salsa are easy to make and a great way to use all of that amazing fruit that’s in the markets right now.
This recipe starts with a brine. If you’ve never made a brine before, don’t be afraid to try it – think of it as a salty marinade. The pork takes on the flavors of the spices in the brine and absorbs just the right amount of salt to properly season the meat.
I have made these brined pork chops dozens of times, they’re great on the grill but they can also be cooked on the stove if you don’t have a barbecue. I often serve them plain but today I’ve jazzed things up with a strawberry peach salsa. The salsa takes less than 10 minutes to put together – diced peaches and strawberries are mixed with fresh herbs, lime juice and a little seasoning. If you like things spicy you can easily add some minced fresh jalapeno.
The nice thing about this recipe is that all of the prep work can be done in advance – the pork comes out of the brine ready to go on the grill and the salsa can be made earlier in the day. This recipe for grilled pork chops with strawberry mango salsa is a quick and easy meal for a busy weeknight but also looks fancy enough to serve to company. The sweet and tangy salsa is a perfect complement to the savory pork. If you’re new to brining, you’ll be amazed at how it transforms meat without a ton of effort.
If you’re hungry for more great recipes, check out my blog Dinner at the Zoo where I share healthy, easy and family friendly meals. You can also find me on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter and Google +.
- For the brine:
- 8 cups water (divided use)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 2 teaspoon ground fennel or whole fennel seeds that have been lightly crushed
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons whole peppercorns
- 1 dried bay leaf
- 2 sprigs of fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 4 bone-in pork chops, approximately 1.5 inches thick
- For the salsa:
- 1 cup diced peaches
- 1’2 cup diced strawberries
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
- the juice from 1 lime
- 1 tablespoon thinly sliced green onion
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh jalapeno (optional)
- salt to taste
- lime wedges and cilantro sprigs for garnish, if desired
- For the brine:
- Pour 1 cup of boiling water into a very large bowl (make sure the bowl will fit in your fridge!). Add the salt and sugar to the water and stir until dissolved. Add the allspice, fennel seeds, peppercorns, bay leaf and thyme; stir to combine. Add 7 cups of very cold water. Place pork chops in the bowl and make sure they are completely submerged in the brine – you can add more water if necessary to cover the meat. Cover the bowl and place in the refrigerator for at least 10 hours but no more than 24 hours.
- For the salsa:
- Combine all ingredients in a bowl; cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, up to 4 hours.
- Heat a grill to medium high. Remove the pork chops from the brine and pat dry with paper towels. Grill for 6-8 minutes per side or until pork is cooked through – the cook time will depend on the thickness of your meat.
- Remove the pork chops from the grill and place them on a platter. Spoon the salsa over the pork and serve with lime wedges and cilantro sprigs for garnish if desired.