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Tangy Maple-Marinated Pork Chops
with Stone Fruit Salsa

Tangy Maple-Marinated Pork Chops with Stone Fruit SalsaTopping chops with a mélange of grilled stone fruits is a fantastic way to incorporate some of the season’s best produce into an unexpected condiment perfect for pork. The sweetness of grilled cherries, plums, apricots, peaches and nectarines is offset by the fiery tang of balsamic vinegar and grilled jalapeño peppers.

Recipe Ingredients:

4 pork chops, 1 1/2-inch thick, bone-in or boneless

Marinade:
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, coarsely ground

Grilled Stone Fruit Salsa:
4 to 5 peaches, or plums (or any mixture of additional stone fruit to yield 2 cups total chopped fruit)
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 jalapeño chile, membranes and seeds removed, halved
Kosher or sea salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Cooking Directions:

  1. Place pork chops in resealable plastic bag. In a 1-cup glass measure, stir together maple syrup, vinegar and pepper. Pour over pork in bag; seal bag. Refrigerate for 2 hours.
  2. When ready to cook, preheat grill to 400°F to 450°F (205°C to 230°C).
  3. Remove chops from bag and discard marinade.
  4. Spray chops lightly with cooking spray and season to taste with salt, if desired; place on hot grill. Cook for 7 minutes per side or until internal temperature reaches 160°F (70°C) using an instant-read thermometer.
  5. Remove from grill; cover with foil and let rest for 5 minutes.
  6. For Grilled Stone Fruit Salsa: Wash and halve fruit. Remove the pits; place fruit in bowl. Pour maple syrup and balsamic vinegar over fruit; toss gently to coat. Allow to marinate at room temperature for 2 hours.
  7. Reserving maple-balsamic mixture, place fruit and jalapeno pepper on grill, cut side down.** Grill over direct medium-high heat for 10 to 12 minutes, turning halfway through. Remove fruit and pepper from grill and place back into reserved marinade; cube fruit into 1-inch cubes or quarters. Peel dark skin from jalapeño pepper (if desired); finely chop. Toss with fruit and marinade to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  8. Serve chops with salsa.

Makes 4 servings.

*Stone fruits are fruits that have a hard stone or pit in the center of the fruit, such as nectarines, apricots or cherries

**Use a metal grill “wok” or rack for cooking fruits and vegetables to keep them from falling through the grate, if desired. Coat lightly with cooking spray for easy clean-up.

Nutritional Information Per Serving (1/4 of recipe): Calories: 273 calories; Protein: 31 grams; Fat: 9 grams; Sodium: 215 milligrams; Cholesterol: 80 milligrams; Saturated Fat: 2 grams; Carbohydrates: 20 grams; Fiber: 1 gram.

Recipe and photograph provided courtesy of National Pork Board.