Friday, January 21, 2011

Pork chops with apples & garlic mashed potatoes

More snow!  More wind!  And a city full of wimps.  Back when I was young, we didn't have nearly this many snow days.  The city plowed and salted and we were expected to go about our normal days.  Kids today are just spoiled... ha!  But it's going to get colder tonight, dipping into the single digits.  I don't know about you, but a cold wintry Friday puts me in the mood for a few things... (I have noticed a pattern of sharing lists with you on Fridays, woops.  Maybe this will become a staple.  TBD.)

1. A super hard workout to kick off the weekend.  Laziness never feels more deserved than when it's earned.

2. Rewatching Thursday night TV or a movie.  If all goes well, I think we're heading to see The King's Speech tonight.  I'm well on my way toward my quest to see all of the Best Picture nominees!

3. One fantastically gorgeous and hearty, yet totally easy, meal.  One that makes curling up in sweatpants that much more enjoyable.

Pork chops with apples and onions and garlic mashed potatoes on the side.  It doesn't get more well-rounded than that, folks.  While pork chops are the "other white meat" and super lean,  they are often overcooked making the meat dry and rubbery.  Not appetizing at all.  By searing them first and cooking them in a skillet full of sweet apples and onions in apple cider, the pork is tender, juicy, and practically melts in your mouth.  Add a dollop of garlic mashed potatoes on the side and it's all over.  After meals like this, it's almost a requirement to take it slow, sit and relax after a long week of work/school.  No one needs to know that you didn't slave away over dinner :)  Enjoy the weekend!

One Year Ago: Mexican corn, bean and tortilla pie

A few notes: If you aren't a fan of or don't eat pork, I imagine you could substitute chicken very easily in this recipe.  This also makes a great dinner to make for company.

Pork Chops with Apples and Garlic Smashed Potatoes
-serves 4

1 pound new red potatoes
2 cloves garlic
4 1/2-inch-thick boneless pork chops (about 5 ounces each)
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary
Ground black pepper
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 large red onion, cut into 1/2-inch wedges
2 Granny Smith apples, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3/4 cup apple cider
1/4 cup buttermilk

Put the potatoes and garlic in a saucepan, cover with cold water, and season with salt.  Cover and bring to a boil, then uncover and continue cooking until tender, about 15 minutes.  Cover and set aside.

Meanwhile, rub both sides of the pork chops with the rosemary, and season with salt and pepper.  Heat a large cast-iron skillet over high heat, then add 1 teaspoon olive oil and sear the chops until golden on both sides, about 5 minutes total.  Transfer to a plate.

Wipe out the skillet and add the remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil.  add the onion and apples and cook over medium-high heat until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper and stir in the cider.

Return the chops to the skillet.  Cover and cook, turning once, until just cooked through, about 5 minutes.  Drain the potatoes, reserving 1/4 cup liquid.  Return the potatoes to the pan.  Add buttermilk and mash, adding cooking liquid as needed.  Season with salt and pepper.  Serve with the pork chops, onion and apples.  Drizzle with the pan juices and enjoy!

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