Sundays are typically quiet affairs where I spend much of the day cleaning and generally preparing for the week ahead. It is also the day I cook myself the meals I need for the coming work week, so much of my Sunday afternoons are spent in the kitchen. In my Sunday Dinner series, I highlight some of my culinary concoctions. This week’s dinner is…
Pork Chops and Caramelized Apples
Yes, a bonus edition this week. One reason Julianne stays with me is the charm that comes with continuously trying to surprise her with dinner ideas. Though I happily admit I am the lucky one in the relationship, Julianne is fortunate that she has someone in her life that knows his way around a kitchen.
This week, a bit of a rarity. I’m not a huge fan of pork chops per se. I like pork generally in Korean dishes like pork belly or spicy sliced pork, but the traditional pork chop is something I tend to stay away from when I cook. If I wanted a slab of meat, I’d typically go with steak.
Apples is also something we don’t usually have lying around the house. Julianne had bought some last week because she grew tired of Korean pears as our post-dinner fruit selection, and came home with a few red apples. Though I like apples, I generally need to have them placed under my nose before I entertain the idea of eating them. Thus the idea of incorporating them into a dinner was conceived.
Though modified, much of the below recipe was found online. Together with a coleslaw, zesty sauce and a bottle of wine, these pork chops and caramelized apples made eating-in feel like a fine-dining experience.
6 boneless pork chops
1.5 tbsp unsalted butter
2 large apples, diced and centres removed
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 can (284ml) cream of celery soup
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
3 tsp orange zest
1 tbsp thyme
Juice of 1 large orange, squeezed
- Cook pork chops in non-stick frying pan for about 7 to 8 minutes on medium-high heat. Pork chops should be fully cooked and should have a crust of golden brown. Once cooked, place them aside on another plate or dish.
- In the same non-stick pan, complete with oils from the pork chops, add the butter and brown sugar. Cook on medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes until you have a consistent saucy mixture.
- Add apples and to the pan and continue cooking for about 5 minutes until the apples appear dark brown and caramelized.
- In a separate pot, add remaining ingredients which will become the sauce, cooking on high for about 3 minutes. Sauce should be brought to a gentle boil.
- Plate pork chop, pouring apples over top and onto sides of the chop and drizzle with sauce.
- Enjoy. Recommended with coleslaw or caesar salad and wine.
The result of this, as you can see from the photograph, is simply exquisite. The apples were soft and sweet, and to my surprise, retained much of their juiciness. But the real deal on this meal was the sauce. The orange juice and zest was the perfect combination for this, which vindicates me as Julianne kept telling me to use the lemon we had in the refrigerator. Though lemon would have probably worked (and resulted in a more tangy dish) I think such a sauce would be best reserved for a breaded entree, like a cutlet or schnitzel.