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Dinner Tonight: Pork Chops with Peaches, Bourbon, and Basil

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[Photograph: Nick Kindelsperger]

Most people understand that pairing pork chops and apples is a foolproof dinner, so why is it such a stretch to pair the meat with some in-season peaches straight from the farmers' market? Perhaps it's that the fruit is often exceedingly sweet, without the slightest bit of tartness to even things out, thereby shifting the sauce from the savory side of things into straight dessert territory. How to prevent that? Like most social situations, adding bourbon makes just about everything a little better.

Of course, you can't just add bourbon straight in. This recipe takes a couple things from peaches flambe—minus the sugar, of course. The pork chops are sautéed until golden brown, then removed. Drained of any grease, butter and peaches are added to the skillet, picking up savory browned bits stuck to the pan along the way. Then the flourish: the heat is killed, bourbon is poured in, and then lit with a match. The aggressive alcohol burns off, leaving a faintly smoky and only slightly sweet sauce. Finally, the chops are added back in, along fresh basil, and the whole mixture is transferred to the oven to finish.

I do wonder whether mint would have made a better fresh herb match, but can't complain about the sauce. Rich and fruity, but never too syrupy, it pairs well with the meaty chops.

About the author: Nick Kindelsperger is the editor of Serious Eats: Chicago. He loves tacos and spicy food. You can follow him as @nickdk on Twitter.

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