Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Pork Chops with Apples, Fresh Thyme, and Sweet Onions

I am picking up a third of a pig (a Red Wattle raised in Northern California named Sam and given massages everyday. Those last two tidbits are not true.) on Saturday, so I need to do some clearing out of the pork that remains from my 2011 pig. There isn't much pork left, but one pack of pork chops did remain, so I removed it to defrost and cook up.

I haven't made anything from my trusty Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook in a while, so that is where I turned first. There are only two recipes for pork chops in the book, and the one calling for smoked pork chops sounded better to me. My pork chops are not smoked, but I was sure it would taste good none-the-less.

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 medium sweet yellow onion, very thinly sliced
3 apples, peeled, quartered, and cored
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves, or 1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp salt
4 smoked pork chops, 1/2 inch thick

(I only made one pork chop, so I only made a quarter recipe.)

1. Heat the oil in a 10- or 12-inch cast iron skillet. Add the onions and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Slice the apples crosswise into 1/2 inch thick slices and add to the onions. Add the thyme and salt.

2. Place a square of parchment paper directly on top of the apples. Simmer on top of the stove over medium-low heat for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350F.

3. Remove the parchment paper and place the smoked (or not smoked) pork chops on top of the apples. Cover with aluminum foil. Using a fork, poke holes in the foil 4 or 5 times. Place the skillet in the oven and bake for 18 minutes. Serve immediately.

I picked out this recipe yesterday after I took the chops out of the freezer to defrost. I even typed up the recipe and the intro yesterday. Then tonight, like so many other nights, I was still at work at 7.45. I didn't even have all the ingredients at home! Determined to eat something other than popcorn for dinner, I went straight to the store for my missing items, and cooked up these delicious pork chops. Thank goodness the prep work and cooking time are minimal.

Oh, and I have this Hickory Seasoning Liquid Smoke stuff that an ex of mine once used to make Kalua pork. As I was prepping the meal, I saw it amongst my spices. Since the chop was supposed to be smoked, why not throw some liquid smoke on it?  So I did. I also sliced an heirloom tomato and topped it with a sprinkle of a little salt and a drizzle of olive oil.

Let me tell you, this meal was DELICIOUS. I don't even like apples, but something about the combo of the sweet cooked apples and onions and the pork and the saltiness was perfection. Also, I was really hungry. I am SO happy I bucked up and made a real meal tonight!

Bon appetit.

No comments:

Post a Comment