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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Hungry Dancer: Pork chops with apples 'n onions

Fall is in full swing and that means one thing for me: apple cravings! Pie, cider, smothered in caramel... if there's an apple involved, I want it.

I'm not much of a meal planner, although that's something I'm trying to change (and more on that in a future post). My cooking style is more fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants, in the moment... what deliciousness can I whip together with what I have on hand in the 'fridge and pantry?

In the interest of breaking out of our normal recipe rotation, I grabbed some pork chops during my last grocery trip. We typically cook beef and chicken, with fish thrown into the mix here and there, but we've never really give much thought to the other white meat. I decided it was time to mix it up.

Growing up, my family always ate our pork chops with applesauce. I loved it and still do (I'm a sweet 'n salty LUVAH). I really don't want my chops any other way. On pork chop night, I didn't have any applesauce, but I had apples so we were in business.

Never having cooked chops before, I perused the interwebs for cooking tips and recipes. Don't want to under cook pork, you know. Like chicken, it likes to be well done. I found this recipe and began. Of course, in typical Jessi fashion, I didn't really follow the recipe, I just used it as a guide. And I don't measure most of the time. I just know. ;)

I began by sauteing the meat over medium heat, seasoned with salt and pepper. The meat was a thin cut, so it didn't need a higher heat, as suggested by the recipe. As it began to sizzle, I added cubes of butter (approx. 2 tablespoons) and sliced white onions.

I stirred the onions around as the chops cooked. The butter and onion smell was heavenly. I flipped the meat over after cooking for about 5 minutes or so on the first side. When the onions began to turn opaque - not brown - I added apple slices. I used honey crisp apples - you want a tart but still sweet apple, with some firmness.

I let the meat cook through and then, instead of white wine (which would be just as good, I think) I added orange juice. I continued to stir the onions around the meat as the oj heated up to a bubbly simmer. I did this until the sauce thickened slightly. My mouth was watering at the smell at this point.

Once I was sure the pork was cooked through and the sauce was thickened to my liking, I turned off the heat to let the sauce set and thicken up a bit more. After a few minutes, I plated the pork, onion and apple mixture, accompanied by sauteed kale (just olive oil and salt!) and quinoa. Then we dug in!

I am going to toot my own horn here. It was gooooood. I think it was one of my favorite meals I've ever made.

What is one of your favorite meals to cook? If you don't cook, what do you love to nosh on?

Bon appetit!



  1. Wow! That looks amazing! And so yummy. And so fulfilling. Oh man... I'm needing to make that soon!

  2. Swoon! This looks so incredible! I LOVE cooking with apples in the fall!! :)

  3. Thanks for your comments, lovelies!
    xoxo J

  4. Yum, this looks so good! I love pork chops, and this version seems perfect for fall!

  5. A great place to find a wide variety of apples in the 'Burgh is at Shenot's farm market in Wexford. They are a small family owned farm known especially for their corn and apples. Caramel covered apples...cider...go get some!

  6. And thank you for the additional comments - I appreciate you all stopping by!

    And @Chris, I'd love to visit that farm! That's something I've been wanting to do with the hubs. Whether we make it or not is dependent on our transportation situation - either we embark on a bus adventure or talk friends with cars into going with us ;)