Make savory sweet combo on grill in 30 minutes

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I took a trip last month with my youngest son. He and I went to visit Grandma in New York City and to visit an uncle in England.

Traveling with a teen can be hilariously fun but it is also quite a juggling act. Finding the balance between what I (and eighty-something Grandma, and forty-something uncle) wanted to do and what a 16-year-old boy wanted to do was tricky at times.

This trip, I really wanted to visit the New York Botanical Gardens which currently has a Georgia O’Keefe exhibit of her rarely seen Hawaiian paintings. But, my youngest is not really a Georgia O’Keefe kind of guy.

Solution? We traipsed through Central Park and rented a rowboat at the lake. My teen and I spent time rowing across Central Park Lake and had fun watching other boaters row, attempt to row, and crash. It was an entertaining afternoon and my son said it was “lit.”

We made it to England after the seven-hour flight (thank you in-flight entertainment!), and on my list of things to see was the British Museum. I did manage to get my son to agree to go there because he’d get to see Egyptian mummies and ancient Roman armor. We did, and he said it was “dope.” Plus, he got a pair of Rosetta Stone socks at the gift shop.

Our time in Britain included a train trip to the Lake District and my son’s first time on a proper train. We all loved our weekend in the English countryside and decided to end the weekend with a short hike to the summit of Orrest Head, which overlooks Lake Windermere.

It rained the entire hike. Actually, it poured. Even with jackets and umbrellas, we managed to get soaked. Our shoes were water-logged. We made it to the top but got lost on our way down. We re-traced our route back to the top and finally made it back. My son said it was one of his favorite days of the whole trip. Mine too.

Another favorite part of this trip was all the different foods my son experienced. Of my three kids, my youngest is the least adventurous eater, but this trip widened his eyes and expanded his palate. He ate everything. I am curious to see if that will continue.

This week’s recipe is from the Cook’s Country website and pairs pork chops with stone fruit on the grill. The savory sweet combo is ready in less than 30 minutes from start to finish and is one that even your least adventurous eater will appreciate.

Grilled pork chops with plums and arugula

Serves 4

Ingredients

2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1 Tbsp. lemon juice

4 plums, halved and pitted

2 Tbsp. packed brown sugar, divided use

1 1/2 tsp. ground coriander

1/2 tsp. ground ginger

Salt and pepper

4 bone-in pork rib or center-cut chops, 1/2 inch thick, trimmed

3 oz. (3 cups) baby arugula

Directions

Preheat and prepare grill or broiler. To make the dressing, whisk together the oil and lemon juice in a medium bowl. Set aside.

Use 1 tablespoon of brown sugar to coat the cut sides of plums. Then combine remaining 1 tablespoon brown sugar with ground coriander, ground ginger, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl. Using a paper towel, gently pat the pork chops dry on both sides. This will help the spice mixture to adhere to chops. Sprinkle spice mixture on both sides of pork chops.

Place pork chops on hot grill and cook until browned, about two to three minutes, then flip to other side and cook two to three minutes more or until meat registers 140 degrees with a meat thermometer. Transfer chops to a plate and cover loosely with aluminum foil. Let the chops rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, place plums on the hot grill and cook until caramelized and tender, about three minutes per side.

To serve, toss arugula with dressing and transfer to a platter or individual plates. Arrange plums on top and drizzle with more dressing. Place pork chops on a platter or individual plate next to salad and serve.

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Betty Williams