Pork Chops with Peaches and Couscous

I can already hear my daughter saying, "Couscous? What's couscous?!" because I never cooked it when she was living here. It's only been in the past year (thank you, Food Network) that it's become a staple in my pantry. Couscous is ground durum wheat and a good way to get some grain into your diet.

I use instant Couscous. You simply add very hot water, cover, and come back in 10 minutes for the finished product. Yes, it IS that easy! Couscous has a rather bland flavor, so you need to serve it with a sauce of some kind (or use it in a pilaf that is well-seasoned). I particularly like it with fruit either added or in the sauce.

Peaches are plentiful and inexpensive in our area right now, so I picked up a dozen peaches a few days ago, only to discover they are not sweet, juicey, fresh peaches, but have an almost tart taste to them. I had to keep this in mind in adapting this recipe.

From start to finish this recipe takes only 20 minutes and has very few ingredients.


4 bone-in pork chops, about 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick
1 cup instant couscous
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 medium sized vidalia onion (or red onion), diced
2 peaches, pitted and cut into 8 to 10 wedges each
3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp brown sugar (you can substitute white)
1/2 tsp dried basil
Salt, pepper

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees (Please see the note at the end of the recipe about using your skillet in the oven).

Add hot water to couscous
Bring 1 cup water to a boil. Pour into large bowl, then add 1 cup of instant couscous. Cover bowl with an upside down plate, and set aside.

Cover with plate and set aside.
Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in fry pan over medium high heat. Salt and pepper one side of your pork chops, and put spiced side down in the hot oil. Cook until nicely browned, about 4 minutes.

As your pork chops are cooking, slice peaches. I simply insert my sharp knife at the top of the peach and roll the peach so the knife cuts the length of the peach and back to the top. I turn the peach a quarter turn and do it again. You should then be able to pop the meaty part of the peach away from the pit. Slice the peaches into wedges.

Once browned, turn your pork chops over and brown the other side. You just want to see a nice brown sear -- no black! Cook for another 4 minutes. Take the pork chops out of the pan and put them on a plate.

Put your pork chop pan (with chops removed) back on the heat and add your peach wedges, diced onion, 3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar (white wine vinegar will also work but NOT white distilled vinegar), a 1 tablespoon of brown sugar. Gently stir to mix it thoroughly and let it cook for just 1 minute. Return pork chops to the pan, moving the peaches to the top of the chops. Sprinkle peaches and chops with the dried basil (or fresh, if you have it!). Just sprinkle it over the top, don't stir anything.

Put your pan in the pre-heated oven. (Again, please see note at bottom of this recipe about putting your fry pan in the oven!) Cook for 8 to 10 minutes. Your peaches should be soft but not mushy.

Remove the plate from your couscous and sprinkle some olive oil over it ("some" being just 1 tsp sprinkled over the couscous). Fluff the couscous with a fork, just as you would instant rice.

Put about one cup of couscous in the middle of your serving plate, place pork chop on top with plenty of peaches, then spoon over some of the sauce from the bottom of the pan over the top.

The finished dish!
IMPORTANT NOTE: Not all fry pans can go into a 400 degree oven! If yours has a plastic handle, it probably shouldn't go in. If you're not sure, better to be safe than sorry. Nothing will make your kitchen smell worse than melting plastic in your oven. Just Pam-Spray a glass baking dish or even a casserole dish, and put your pork chops in there, with the peaches and sauce on top. I'd add an additional 5 minutes to the cooking time, because your baking dish has to heat up (where the fry pan was already very hot).

SUBSTITUTES/ADDITIONS:  You could easily use rice, brown or white, in place of the couscous. In a pinch, you could substitute white sugar for the brown, but I'd add a pinch of cinnamon. This dish would also be good with frozen or fresh green peas (not canned) added to the couscous (just put the frozen peas on top of the dry couscous before adding the hot water).

As you can see, I used less expensive bone-in pork "steaks". These are a slightly darker meat than regular pork chops, much larger, and a little less expensive. Either is fine, but I would not use boneless pork chops unless that's all you have.


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