Pickled Red Onions

As it turns out, pickling food can be rather simple! If you are anything like me, you too must love the vinegary snap of a freshly pickled red onion on tacos, salads, sandwiches, mole…. the list goes on and on. So with my first gander into the art of pickling, this was the end product… crisp red onions mingling with the flavors of allspice, cloves, bay leaves and dried chilies.

Eggs and pickled red onions should be the name of a Dr. Suess book since they really are a match made in heaven. Go on… put them on anything. Everything. Or just dig into the jar with your grubby little fingers and enjoy the sweet tartness of this vibrant and tasty magic meal sprucer upper.

3/4 cup white vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar
pinch of salt
1 bay leaf
5 allspice berries
5 whole cloves
a small, dried chile pepper
1 large red onion, peeled, and thinly sliced into half moons

In a small, non-reactive saucepan, heat the vinegar, sugar, salt, seasonings and chile until boiling. Add the onion slices and lower heat, then simmer gently for 30 seconds. Remove from heat and let cool completely. Transfer the onions and the liquid into a jar then refrigerate until ready to use.

*Storage: The onions will keep for several months.

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Roasted Pork Chops & Peaches

It’s Springtime! How do I know? Well, Cadbury Creme Eggs are abundant (even though I have yet to eat one this season), we have an hour more sunshine each night and most importantly… fruits and vegetables are bright, fragrant and oh so delicious!

Last year I stumbled upon this super easy pork chop and peaches recipe and was instantly hooked. I’ll be the first to admit, I was shocked to find how flavorful and juicy 2 little peaches could become when cooked alongside seared salty meat. Shopping at the market last week, Judd and I spied ripe peaches across the produce section that upon closer inspection, smelled of summertime. Naturally, we sniffed the pile for the ripest of the ripe and headed to the butcher for some thick cuts of pork.

Making this tasty meal simply couldn’t be easier. Savory piggy cooked in a skillet until both sides are brown and crispy. Peach and red onion wedges sautéed in meat drippings and white wine vinegar until they soften and create… you got it, more juice. The combination of pork, fruit and onion balanced atop your fork is enough to make even Punxsutawney Phil beg for an early spring every year! (Wow, I’m a huge nerd).

We gobbled up our pork and peaches with a side of Judd’s ever so tasty Sautéed Brussels Sprouts (recipe link coming soon) and a side of couscous. Open some chilled white wine and dig in!

Makes 4 servings

1 10-ounce package couscous
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 pork chops (3/4 inch thick; about 2 pounds total)
kosher salt and black pepper
2 peaches, cut into wedges
1 small red onion, cut into thin wedges
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves (optional)

Heat oven to 400° F. Cook the couscous according to the package directions.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Season the pork with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper and cook until browned, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.

Add the peaches, onion, vinegar, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper to the skillet and cook, tossing, for 1 minute. Return the pork (and any accumulated juices) to the skillet. Transfer to oven and roast until the pork is cooked through and the peaches are tender, 8 to 10 minutes.

Sprinkle pork chops and peaches with basil (if you’ve got it). Serve with the couscous.