I have this habit of listening to podcasts on my drive to work. I used to get audiobooks from the library, but they tend to lose my interest because they are several hours long. I got on the podcast kick a few years ago when I was planning a trip to Disney World. Yes, there are podcasts about Disney World. Good ones, in fact.
Speaking of good podcasts, have you listened to Serial?
Anyhow, obviously I’m into cooking, so I began looking for a podcast that talked about my favorite subject. That’s when I found The Splendid Table…“the show about life’s appetites.” Since then, I’ve been listening to this podcast pretty regularly. They tend to talk about seasonal cooking, so here recently it’s been all about apples, butternut squash, and comfort food.
This got me thinking…I need to cook with apples more. I love apples, but I rarely use them in my cooking. Why? Who the heck knows. After a quick search of my favorite website, allrecipes.com, I came across a recipe for caramel apple pork chops. I love caramel, I love apples, and I love pork chops if cooked the correct way!
Today was the perfect day to make this dish. It was a gorgeous fall day outside, with the air slightly crisp and the sun shining. Jeff and I both loved the dish. As for Jake…well…he liked the raspberries I gave him. 😐
Caramel Apple Pork Chops
(adapted from this recipe)
2 thick cut pork chops
salt & pepper to taste or meat seasoning such as Penzey’s Northwoods Fire Seasoning
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and chopped (can substitute other tart apples)
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tsp vegetable oil*
Boursin cheese (optional)
Remove pork chops from fridge, sprinkle with seasoning of your choice, and let come to room temperature as you prepare the rest of the dish.
Combine apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and butter in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium low heat until apples are tender, stirring occasionally. Mine took about 20 minutes to get to the consistency I wanted. Full disclosure: I forgot to peel my apples. Learn from my mistake…peel yours.
After apples have been cooking for approximately 10 minutes, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the vegetable oil (*or in my case bacon grease as I was also making my Warm Potato Salad) to the pan. Cook pork chops on medium heat for about 5 minutes per side or until internal temperature is 145º. I like using a meat thermometer with my pork and beef because I tend to overcook it and my guy hates overcooked meats.
Remove from pan when pork chops are cooked and let sit for about 5 minutes. To serve, top with caramelized apples.
Well, here’s what happened when I served the dish. Jeff ate the pork with the apples and said it was just OK but it was missing something. When asked what he thought it needed, he said he wasn’t sure but maybe “something creamy like cheese but also a little tangy? I don’t know…” My quick thinking produced the remains of the Boursin cheese I’d purchased for my Harvest Salad. He added a little touch of the cheese to the pork and he could not quit raving about the dish.
And just because he’s so stinkin’ cute, here are a couple pictures of my little guy from this weekend. Can you believe he’ll be FOUR in two months??? #slowdownkid