Monday, September 19, 2011

Weeknight Dinner: Spiced Caramel Apple Pork Chops

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Welcome to Apple Week here at The Growing Foodie!  Since we go apple picking every Labor Day, September in our house has always been marked with the apple pies, apple crisps, apple sauce, etc. that graced our table.  Mom loves to make her apple pies, and Dad loves his apple sauce.

His favorite apple meal, in fact, is apple sauce, pork, and sauerkraut. I wanted to do a slight riff on that idea, and I came across a bunch of recipes for Caramel Apple Pork Chops.  It seemed a little too sweet to me just from reading the ingredients, so, I decided to come up with something on my own.

These delicious pork chops do have a slightly sweet caramel sauce with black pepper.  That really helps the dish become savory along with some lightly sauteed onions.   The pork chops are lightly seasoned with a spicy rub, which is scented with cinnamon.  I used boneless chops because, not only were they on sale, but I like them better.  Either one would work--just make sure to cook the bone-in chops a little bit more.  Lastly, I put the chops over smashed potatoes (not shown in the picture) which soaked up so much awesome sauce.  Oh, it was so good. 
Spiced Caramel Apple Pork Chops
Serves: 4
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons pepper
1 teaspoon cinnamon
4 boneless pork chops (about 1 1/2 pounds)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
1 onion sliced
2 apples, peeled and sliced*
2 tablespoons brown sugar*
1 chicken bouillon cube
1 cup water

Combine the paprika, cumin, cayenne pepper, salt, 2 teaspoons pepper pepper, and cinnamon.  Rub onto pork chops.  In one skillet, add two tablespoons of vegetable oil.  In another, large, skillet add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil.  In the first pan, sear the pork chops on both sides, until browned nicely and easy to remove from the pan (about 8 minutes).  In the second, add the onion, apple, sugar, bouillon cube, and water.  Let this cook for about 5 minutes, onion will soften, stirring often.  Add the pork chops to this skillet and cook an additional 15 minutes, uncovered.  The liquid should reduce and the chops should be cooked through; the apple slices should also be softened.  Serve immediately.

*The apples and onions should be about the same amount, so if it is a large apple, you might need one.  A small onion, one apple again.  Eyeball it!

This is only the first of five apple recipes this week; and, I even have another great weeknight dinner for you to try later on in the week.  Keep tuning in!

Until the next time my oven is on...

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Welcome! I'm Dani (aka the Growing Foodie), just a girl balancing her career and passion for all things edible in NYC. I hope you'll join me in my adventures in life, through food. (Click for More)
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