Saturday night I was jonesin’ for a soda late in the evening – I told Rachel I was going to step out and get a soda and asked her if she wanted anything.  She told me then that we were going to Holly Springs Moravian Church in the morning to celebrate their 3rd anniversary – and oh yeah, there’s a potluck dinner after the service! Well that stopped me in my tracks, cause I am a glory-hound when it comes to cooking! I hadnt planned a thing! So I came back, sat down and launched the online version of my favorite grocery stores’ weekly ads to see what was on sale.  Opening Harris Teeter’s ad I see Pork Loin on sale! Say no more! My mind instantly started thinking Grilled Pork Loin Wrapped with Bacon!! So off I went to Harris Teeter in search of enough Pork Loin to feed a roomful of hungry Moravians!  As I walked into the store I was greeted by a beautiful display of juicy white peaches. Well, that changed everything – I knew I was still making the Pork Loin, but now I started thinking Peach & Pepper glaze! You’ve gotta love taking the best the earth has to offer in season and pairing it with fresh Carolina pork! Walking through the produce section I nabbed a couple of large, juicy peaches, a nice round, firm, sweet Vidalia onion, some various sweet and hot peppers, some vine-ripened tomatoes and a nice large bulb of garlic.  I wasn’t quite sure how I was going to put it all together, but it seemed like a good place to start.  When I got home this is how it all went down- 

Peach & Pepper Glaze
2 peaches peeled & diced small
1 large Vidalia onion diced small
3 vine-ripened tomatoes diced small
1 bulb (about 6 cloves) of garlic, peeled, smashed and minced
1 cup of sweet & hot peppers (your choice)
1 cup white vinegar
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white wine
1 can tomato paste
Kosher Salt
Coarse ground black pepper

As you’re dicing each ingredient, toss it into a large non-reactive pot like stainless steel or non-stick. Because of the acidic content of the tomatoes you really dont want to use a cast-iron pot unless you really love that metallic taste!

Once everything’s combined you can place it over a medium heat, stirring frequently. Because of the brown sugar you can’t get the heat too high or you’ll scorch the bottom of your pan and end up with a nasty charcoal flavor.  Heat it all together slowly until it’s simmering and then cover and let simmer for about 20 minutes or until proper thickening has taken place.  It’s best to do this the night before and refrigerate the whole pot to let the flavors combine overnight.  The next day about 10 minutes of simmering will pull all the flavors out! This recipe makes a large amount – enough to serve with a large pork loin and keep half back for a nice peach salsa!

Grilled Pork Loin
It’s best to start this the day before too – letting flavors combine overnight really adds complexity to your flavors.  For the grilled pork loin: start with a good chunk of pig, wash it thoroughly and trim any excess fat.  Pat it dry completely – its essential for the meat to be dry when you start applying the base for the rub.  I like to lay out a sheet of foil to wrap the loin in – that way none of the rub gets lost!  After combining the ingredients for my rub I slather the pork loin with plain yellow mustard – the kind that says Fancy Yellow Mustard on the jar, but its really the most ordinary kind I know! Then I just start rubbing the spices onto the meat. The mustard helps it cling and adds just a little extra zip to the finished product. I swaddle it all together in foil and let it rest in the refrigerator overnight. The next morning I toss the whole package right into a 350 degree oven and let it roast for about an hour.  A few weeks ago I met Fred Thompson, the BBQ Nation author, at Barnes & Noble in Cary, NC. He told me that roasting meat in a foil pouch is what the professional BBQ’ers call a Texas Crutch and it’s a preferred method on the BBQ circuit.  The pork loin roasts in the oven for about an hour and then I take it out of the foil and roll it onto a BBQ grill for about 7-8 minutes per side over a medium heat just enough to carmelize it and get a nice crust on the outside.  Wrap it back up in foil to keep the heat in and let it stand for about 10 minutes before slicing. This time is important for all the pores to close back up and keep the juices sealed deep in the meat.  Carve it up, ladle some of the Peach & Pepper Glaze over the top and sit back and enjoy the compliments!

Pork Rub
1 tbs Kosher Salt
1 tbs Coarse Black Pepper
2 tbs Chili Powder
2 tbs Brown Sugar
1 tbs Paprika
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp Onion Powder
1/2 tsp Cocoa Powder
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 – 1/8 tsp Cayenne Pepper

It’s not every week the Moravian’s have a potluck – I just wish it was! In addition to my Peach & Pepper glazed Pork Loin there were a number of other equally yummy dishes that put me into a Sunday afternoon food coma. Michaela and the Marley-bunch had an incredible chocolate eclair cake, Hope’s awesome soup was enjoyed by everyone, there was an amazing au gratin potato casserole (not sure who made that, but it was great!), lemon pie, chocolate pie, Mmmm – too many other yummy things to even list!  Enjoy the recipe’s above!

If you’re not too sure what a Moravian is – check out this link: http://spmoravian.org/moravian.htm

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