Monday, July 23, 2012

Chunky Peach BBQ Sauce with Grilled Pork Tenderloin - a Food Photography Challenge

BBQ... what does it mean to you?  In my childhood years, BBQ was more of a verb than a noun.  Dad would BBQ chicken, or maybe T-Bone Steaks on the weekend.  However, when my husband and I moved to Kentucky early in our marriage, BBQ became a "thing".  I must admit that I never did quite figure out what that "thing" was, but I know it's something traditional and not to be messed with.

Shortly after our move to Kentucky I happened to be chatting with a neighbor boy of about 10 years old and he mentioned that he "had BBQ last night".  In my naive California way I asked, "BBQed what?".  Perplexed he retorted, "What do you mean BBQed what?  We had BBQ!"  I never did figure out what "BBQ" was, but  know it was indeed special.

Moving back to California our new San Diego home included a fabulous built in grill.  Here we don't really BBQ, but I do grill 4-5 times a week.  I grill everything from the traditional chicken, fish and steak to garlic bread and pizza and even fruit and veggies.  I look upon my grill as my BFF.  We have a wonderful relationship as long as I pay attention to her - meaning not forgetting that I have something cooking.

With this month's Food Photography Challenge for my photography group, The Inspired Plate, posted as BBQ, I must admit to being in a bit of a quandy.  Should I go traditional with meat doused in a viniagery sauce (BBQ) or work on something a little more out there like our favorite grilled pizza?

Once again, Dad provided the answer.  Nothing says summer quite like the rosy kissed cheeks of a tender, fuzzy peach, and with an occasional bag of the fragrant, sweet stone fruits appearing on my doorstep, I know Dad has been thinking of me.

Yesterday, such a bag appeared, and wending peaches into this month's Food Photography Challenge didn't prove to be a difficult decision.  Photographing said BBQ, though, did prove to be quite a challenge.

Meat has always proved to be difficult for me to capture nicely.  Frankly, I don't really think meat is "pretty", or even attractive.  Sizzling away on the grill, meat is indeed mouthwatering, and a nice, juicy fillet topped with a pat of herb butter can even almost appear sexy.  Pork tenderloin, however, just didn't bring out those feelings for me.

With a fabulous Peach BBQ sauce simmering away on my stove, aromas of bacon, chipotle and sweet peach filled every corner of the house.  The pork slowly roasted over my low flame on the grill, and after a quick rest on the cutting board, the pork proved to be exceptionally tender and perfectly cooked.

Combining the steaming sauce and tender pork with a side of Aroz Verde, the plate actually held mouthwatering appeal.  Shooting as the sun set into the ocean just a few miles behind me, the light brought out the colors of the sauce and the rice contrasted nicely with its green hue.

As the setting sun dropped quickly and my teenage son hovered over his dinner, time was of the essence and after some 20 shots my shoot was deemed done.  The dinner, however, lasted far longer as my son and I lingered over our peaches and pork for an enjoyable and infrequent dinner with just the two of us.  With topics bouncing all over the spectrum and conversation flowing for over an hour, this BBQ dinner proved to become an evening that this mom will long remember.

For more BBQ Food Photography, join my for a trip around our Inspired Plate Blog Circle.  Next up?  A fabulous photographer I had the pleasure of joining on a photo shoot a few weeks ago,
 Laurie Vengoechea | Southern California Food Photographer

Peach BBQ Sauce

4 ounces bacon slices, chopped
1 chipotle chile from can, diced (more for a spicier sauce)
1 cup coarsely chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tablespoon whole black peppercorns, crushed
2 small peaches (10 to 12 ounces total), halved, pitted, diced
3/4 cup orange juice (We've 1/2 cup pineapple juice in a pinch!)
1 cup ketchup
1 1/2 tablespoons (or more) fresh lemon juice (we use Apple Cider Vinegar on occasion)
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (optional)

Sauté chopped bacon and chipotle pepper in heavy large saucepan over medium heat until bacon is crisp. (If not using bacon, simply add the chile to the onions)  Add chopped onion and garlic cloves; sauté until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add Worcestershire sauce and crushed peppercorns; stir 1 minute. Add peaches and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add orange juice, ketchup, 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice, and hot pepper sauce. Simmer until sauce thickens enough to coat spoon thickly, stirring sauce often, about 30 minutes. 
Strain sauce into medium bowl, pressing enough liquid and solids through strainer to yield 2 cups sauce; discard solids in strainer.  Alternatively, leave sauce chunky (I prefer chunky!).  Season sauce to taste with salt and more lemon juice, if desired. (Can be made 1 week ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)
Pork Tenderloin
For the pork I simply rubbed my tenderloin with my favorite garlic oil (optional... any oil will work just fine), sprinkled with salt and pepper and grilled on a medium/medium low heat to about 140º.  Allow to rest for a few minutes, and slice.  Top with the Peach BBQ Sauce. 

Thanks for the peaches Dad!!!  XOXO


  1. Love the peaches, Kim! I'm a huge fan of fruity twists on classic things. Love to see your interpretation of BBQ!

  2. I'm going to have to try that peach sauce. It sounds so yummy!!!

  3. You had me at fresh peaches...they look divine. I love your approach here. I have some peaches just about ready on my tree so I will definitely have to try this out.

  4. I think I love reading your narrative even better than your images, and that is saying something!!! Love it, Kim!!!

  5. I love the story behind your BBQ experience! Wonderful idea to use peaches and how perfect with pork tenderloin. Fantastic post!

  6. Peaches and Pork Tenderloin look and sound like a perfect combination. I like your chunky sauce,and gorgeous pics. Somehow, Dads always turn up at the right time!

  7. Those peaches look so great that I can see why your son was hovering over the dinner while you were shooting! Love these Kim!

  8. Yum, this photo is totally mouth-watering! You did a great job of choosing a barbecue topic. Love pork tenderloin and yours looks fantastic!

  9. Pork tenderloin does look like quite a challenge to photograph but I like what you've done here :) You've captured the peaches well, they look juicy and delicious, I wish it was summer here! Also it's really sweet the way you talk about time with your son :)

  10. This recipe sounds so yummy Kim!! I can't wait to try. Beautiful post and beautiful photo's!!

  11. Oh wow! I have to show this to Patrick. He is a big peach lover. His Mom always picks up like 50 lbs of them when it is peach season and bakes and cooks with them. So I am sure this would remind him of his Momma since we live so far away now. looks sooo good Kim!!

    PS- Let Liv know we missed her the other night at auditions! I told my director that we had a aspiring star that we could count on on the west coast and that someday she would be famous so to keep her in mind ;-).

    PSS- I was able to make it into the company for an additional year. This will be my 3rd year of auditioning and continuing with them. Yay for dance!

  12. We recently bought a barbq grill and i am loving it... Grilling meaty stuff is so much fun and i love the flavor it gives our food! I gotta try this peach sauce asap coz it looks delicious!

  13. That looks awesome. Lizzy posted a great looking tenderloin too. Love the use of the peaches here and your pics. As soon as the burn ban is lifted, I hope to get back to grilling!

  14. Oh peach BBQ sauce sounds so yummy. If I only had a peach tree in my yard.... I like you stepped out of the box a bit and made a sauce to incorporate into this months challenge. It looks so yummy...I'll bet it was scrumptious on that tenderloin.

  15. Definitely in love with this BBQ sauce. I tried a peachy BBQ sauce before on some ribs, which I absolutely loved, but I can't wait to give yours a try as well!

  16. This combo sounds delicious! We grill most nights during the summer, I need to add this recipe to the menu! :)

  17. I served peaches with pork last week and it was a great pair! I had no idea about this recipe for peach BBQ sauce I'll have to try it!

    I have ALWAYS admired your food photography skills and your "eye" for it. Sadly, I'll never be at your level but I am so impressed by your talent!


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