Sunday, July 17, 2016

Pork Chops with Savory Apple Butter

Think pork and apples. You couldn't ask for a more complementary pair. This combination is a Cajun spiced happenstance. Pork chops are liberally sprinkled with zesty seasonings and then topped with a spicy apple butter. I could stuff the chops, but for that the chops would have to be at least an inch thick. Not quite up my alley, freezer or kitchen. Plus I do like using the stuffing as a topping which turns crusty brown while roasting.

The savory butter is a strange combination.  The holy trinity of Cajun cuisine are sauteed.. onions, green peppers and celery. Added to this mix are chopped apples, butter, stock, breadcrumbs and Cajun spices. This mix is then cooked just enough to keep some texture. You should see bits of apple, butter and greens. Pork chops are generously spiced with Cajun seasonings and then topped with the apple butter. Roasted in a hot oven, they take on earth tones...dark brown and crusty.

Serves 4

8 loin Pork Chops
3 Gala Apples
1/2 cup unsalted Butter
3 tablespoons Olive Oil 
2 big Onions
5 Scallions
2 Green Peppers
4 Celery Stalks
4 Garlic Cloves
3 + 2 tablespoons Cajun Seasoning (recipe below)
3/4 cup Chicken Stock
1/2 cup Breadcrumbs 
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt

Cajun Seasoning 
1 tablespoon ground Black Pepper
2 teaspoons Chile powder
1 teaspoon Paprika
1 teaspoon dried Thyme
2 teaspoons Garlic powder
2 teaspoons Onion powder
1 teaspoon Kosher Salt

Whisk powders well and keep in an airtight jar.

Wash and pat dry pork chops. Arrange them on a baking sheet or ovenproof dish.

Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of Cajun seasoning over chops.

Chop onions, green peppers and celery into 1/2 inch pieces.

Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet.

Add chopped onions, celery and peppers. Saute for 5-8 minutes till onions turn translucent.

Mince garlic finely and add to onions.

Sprinkle 3 tablespoons of Cajun seasoning over onions. Keep sautéing for a few minutes longer.

Add chicken stock and breadcrumbs to onions and let the liquid come to a low simmer. Take off the heat and cool.

Heat oven to 350F.

Core and chop apples into large chunks. Do not peel.

Put chunks into a food processor along with butter. Pulse a few times till you have small chunks of apple. 

Scrape apple butter into the onions. Mix well to combine.

Divide onion apple butter between the pork chops, mounding the mix over the chops.

Place chops uncovered in the oven and roast for 25-30 minutes.

Remove from oven and enjoy with any side of your choice.

The pairing of pork and apples is as old as the hills. The emanating aroma is enough to lure my meat lovers into the kitchen, where the deliciousness happens!