Yes, you CAN pair peaches and garlic

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Danielle (Habeas Brülée) received the following comment on her blog after posting about Stuffed Grape Leaves made with garlic and hazelnuts:

I like to draw a line on the number of things you can pair with garlic […] Peaches and garlic – no! Hazelnuts and garlic – no!

So many rules!! And as we all know, rules are made to be broken:

Yes, Of Course You Can Pair Garlic With That!

As I already mentioned to Danielle, I couldn’t and still cannot imagine that hazelnuts and garlic would NOT go well together. And peaches and garlic could be great! In fact, I’ve had difficulty imagining anything that would not go with garlic. (I did think of one: I suggested in Danielle’s comments that chocolate cake with garlic icing might be a bit odd tasting. But Tara (Should You Eat That?) assured me that mocha mousse with garlic was good so why wouldn’t chocolate cake iced with mocha garlic icing not work? I’m afraid I’m still a bit resistant to that but I’d try it if someone else made it…)

I would have broken the rules with hazelnuts. But we didn’t have any hazelnuts on hand. We did, however, still have a couple of peaches left in the basket after making peach chutney.

peaches and garlic T wasn’t so sure (which surprised me because he is definitely not very rule bound about what ingredients will go together) but I was convinced that peaches would be delicious with garlic so one night I made one of my quick one pan dinners with pork chops and vegetables. I often add dried apricots but who would use dried apricots if they had fresh ripe peaches?! (click on image for larger view)

Here’s how I prepared pork chops, peaches and garlic on a bed of couscous.

Before frying the pork chops, I rubbed them with grainy mustard. Then I sauteed onion, garlic, red pepper, yellow zucchini, Asian eggplant in olive oil. I then added the chop and browned it on one side. I turned it over. I tossed in some green beans, a little red wine and fresh peach slices, turned the heat down to the barest simmer and covered the pan.

Then I poured boiling water over some couscous – with a little chicken stock powder added – if we had had stock in the fridge, I’d have used it instead. In a small pot (oops, did I say this was a one pan dinner? Okay, okay, you’re right, it was a two pan dinner, but the couscous pot is very small so it doesn’t really count…) I covered the couscous and let it sit for 5 minutes.

When the couscous was ready, I served the chop and vegetables on top and quickly deglazed the frying pan with a little more red wine and poured that over as well. Et voila! Dinner was ready!

Peaches and garlic with a pork chop is delicious. The only change I will make next time will be to add a little more garlic. (Too bad peaches aren’t in season any more!! Unless we can get frozen peaches, we’ll have to wait til next summer to try this again!)

Yes, Of Course You Can Pair Garlic With That!

[A]ll you have to do is cook a dish that pairs garlic with something it’s not usually paired with. [Danielle has] a really strong preference for seeing garlic/hazelnut dishes, but any unusual garlic pairing is fair game. Have fun with this!

The deadline for Yes, Of Course You Can Pair Garlic With That! is Monday, 8 October 2007.

edit 9 October 2007:
Newsflash!! Because of time constraints, Danielle has changed the deadline to next Monday, 15 October 2007.

If you would like to participate in Yes, Of Course You Can Pair Garlic With That!, please read the following for more information:

edit 23 October 2007: Danielle has posted the roundup. Take a look at the many really interesting recipes full of not really that surprising combinations as well as some really quite surprising (to me) combinations: (eg: brownies with garlic, chocolate dipped candied garlic, Apple and Plum Tarts Glazed with Garlic Jelly!!)


9 responses to “Yes, you CAN pair peaches and garlic

  1. MrsBrown

    I once made a fruit salsa with peaches, garlic, cilantro, hot peppers, lime juice and salt. It was brilliant with grilled chicken. I’m in the camp that thinks that there is very little that can’t go with garlic–well, maybe the cranberry-pecan tart that I’m making for Thanksgiving dinner might not be condusive to garlic but other than that….

  2. ejm Post author

    That fruit salsa sounds delicious! I’m very sorry that all the peaches are finished now.

    Ooooh, cranberry pecan tart? Can I come over to your house, MrsBrown?

  3. Paz

    Rules are made to be broken. I’m glad you went ahead and made this recipe. Sounds really good! I like to use canned peaches from the stored or the bottled ones. They work better for me than the fresh ones. They’re perfect, taste good and are already skinned. The last time I used fresh peaches there was a whole lot of drama. ;-)


  4. ejm Post author

    Thank you Danielle! How very kind of you to say that.

    Hahahahaha!!! Paz, please stop making me spit on the monitor. (I love the subtext of “a whole lot of drama” in juxtaposition with the yo-yoing pig) I’ve always found that bottled peaches are a bit soft. But I realize that the peaches in the dish I made became soft so I may just make this dish again sooner than I expected. Thank you for the tip.

  5. Zlamushka

    Of course it goes well together. I think you have that Middle Eastern touch going on here. In Marocco they make apricot bulgur (soak both in boiling water for about 20 minutes), then stir-fry some veggies (and GARLIC!) and mix it all together to cook until done. If bulgur works, I am sure cous cous works even better (I like cous-cous better myself).

    And apropo my raisin stuffed chili peppers we were passionately discussing, VICKI (My Blog… Work In Progress), she was very kind to post a comment on my entry saying :

    [F]resh olives aren’t available for sale, because they’re not edible. They’re incredibly alkaline, and need to be pickled in acid in order to taste good.

    So… now we know, … (and knowing is half of a battle ;-)

    I still dotn know how this is (in reality) solving your fresh olive-shortage, but I thought you might be interested :-)

    Take care

  6. ejm Post author

    You’re right, Zlamushka, I did base the idea for this particular dish on the Moroccan-style chicken with prunes and apricots that we make.

    That apricot bulgur sounds really good. I’ve only ever had the bulgur with parsley (in tabbouleh)

    I had never actually thought about the fact that bulgur and couscous are related so closely to each other. It looks like they are just made from different kinds of grain but otherwise are basically the same thing!

    Thanks for the note about olives. (I did know that they had to be pickled in some way before eating) Amazingly, we saw some fresh ripe olives in Italy-town the other day. We didn’t buy any though. Maybe next year….

  7. brilynn

    Well done! I had good intentions of participating, and even made a hazelnut and garlic pesto, but I suspect some of my ingredients were past their prime, it did NOT turn out the way I had planned…

  8. ejm Post author

    Oh that is too bad, Brilynn!! I hate it when that happens. I do hope you’ll try again. I really think that hazelnut and garlic pesto would be great. (Was there basil too?)

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