Grilled Pork with Peaches and Herb Puree
Recipe adapted from Micheal Gulotta, Restaurant August, New Orleans
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Cook Time: 55 minutes
1 pork blade steak, about 2 pounds (cut 2 inches thick)
3 tablespoons Creole spice blend
2 cups honey, divided
4 ripe peaches
2½ teaspoons Aleppo chile pepper (or 2 teaspoons sweet paprika plus ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper)
1 cup plus 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for the pan
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
4 garlic cloves
¼ cup flat-leaf parsley, plus sprigs for garnish
10 large basil leaves, plus sprigs for garnish
3 scallions, light- and dark-green parts only
3 ounces ricotta salata, thinly sliced
1. In a large bowl, evenly coat the steak with Creole spice. Season with salt and rub ½ cup honey all over the pork. Set aside. Pit and halve the peaches. Toss them with the Aleppo pepper, 3 tablespoons of the olive oil and salt.
2. Heat a grill pan over high heat and lightly coat with oil. (Alternatively, prepare a medium-hot grill.) Place the peaches, cut side down, on the hot pan and cook over medium heat until grill marks form, about 3 to 4 minutes. Flip the peaches and cook until the peaches are warmed through, about 3 minutes longer. Carefully transfer the peaches to a large bowl along with any pan juices and let them cool for 2 minutes. Toss the peaches with the remaining honey and the rice wine vinegar and set aside.
3. Wipe out the pan and lightly coat with oil. Heat the pan over medium heat. Add the steak and cook for 5 minutes, then turn and cook for 15 minutes longer, flipping every 5 minutes.
4. While the pork cooks, combine the garlic, parsley, basil, scallion and the remaining olive oil in a blender and process at high speed until the mixture is pureed but still slightly chunky, about 30 seconds. Season with salt and set aside.
5. After the steak has cooked for 20 minutes, use a pastry brush to coat it with the peach marinade. Continue cooking, brushing occasionally, until the glaze is bubbling and the steak is cooked to desired doneness, about 4 to 6 minutes for medium (an instant thermometer inserted into the middle of the steak should register 145°). Transfer the steak to a cutting board, cover with foil and let rest for 10 minutes.
6. Slice the steak into 1-inch pieces and top with the peaches and ricotta salata. Garnish with parsley and basil sprigs and serve with the herb puree for dipping.