Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Caramel Apple Pork Chops

Yesterday, I had some pork chops sitting in my refrigerator. I was tired of the same old cooking technique and decided to visit All Recipes to see if I could find a new way to prepare them. This is what I found (here's the link to the recipe on their site: Caramel Apple Pork Chops:

~ Caramel Apple Pork Chops ~

Ingredients:

4 (3/4 inch) thick pork chops
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons brown sugar
salt and pepper to taste
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tart apples - peeled, cored and sliced
3 tablespoons pecans (optional)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees F (80 degrees C). Place a medium dish in the oven to warm.

2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brush chops lightly with oil and place in hot pan. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes, turning occasionally, or until done. Transfer to the warm dish, and keep warm in the preheated oven.

3. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, salt and pepper, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add butter to skillet, and stir in brown sugar mixture and apples. Cover and cook until apples are just tender. Remove apples with a slotted spoon and arrange on top of chops. Keep warm in the preheated oven.

4. Continue cooking sauce uncovered in skillet, until thickened slightly. Spoon sauce over apples and chops. Sprinkle with pecans.

Before I use a recipe from their site, I like to read through the reviews left by those who have tried it out. Many times I find tips on ways to improve the recipe. One of the tips I found for this recipe was to saute onions before making the sauce, which I did. Someone suggested adding a bit of apple cider vinegar to the sauce to give it a bit more "oomph". I also made more sauce than the recipe called for (you have to have plenty of sauce!). And I omitted the pecans.

Overall I was very happy with how it turned out. Maybe a bit too sweet for my liking, but tasty and most importantly - something different. Here's a picture of the finished product:





Along with the chops, I prepared some rice. I recently discovered this particular rice at the commissary:





I found this product because I needed a medium grain rice for a recipe I made a while back. We've all become hooked on this stuff. If you normally use Minute rice or something similar because it's quick, you need to try this stuff! You'll never go back to the bland stuff again. I do try to use brown rice for health reasons, but this rice has so much flavor and texture that it's hard to resist. And it really doesn't take much more effort to make than the instant stuff.

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