Thursday, September 22, 2011

Dinner For Two

 The days have been cooler lately, quite different from the searing heat we had a few weeks ago.
 That hint of fall, and cooler weather sends me into the kitchen for savory, slow cooked dishes, and the other day we feasted on pork with apples in apple cider.  

Simple, delicious, and it almost cooks itself.  The original recipe was devised after a trip to Normandy; Normandy has no vineyards, only apple orchards....the orchards yield apples (of course) and cider in all iterations, from fresh pressed, to fizzy fermented, to Calvados an apple brandy.  So take yourself to Normandy this weekend, and cook this for your's easily doubled or tripled for a larger crowd.

Pork Chops In Cider
Serves 2

2 tablespoons canola oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 Gala apples, peeled, cored and cut into 8 wedges
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons brown sugar
Two 1/2 pound center cut pork chops
salt and pepper
2 teaspoons beef soup base (Better Than Bouillon Superior Touch is my fave)
2 cups apple cider
1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons water
1/2 cup heavy cream (optional)

In large skillet, heat the oil over medium high heat, and saute the onions, apples and thyme for 3 to 4 minutes, until the onions are softened.
Mix the Dijon mustard and brown sugar and coat the pork chops with the mixture.  Move the apples and onions to the side of the pan, and brown the chops over medium high heat, turning once. 
Sprinkle the chops with salt and pepper.  Add the soup base, and cider, cover and simmer for 1 hour.  Stir in the cornstarch mixture, and bring to a boil.

Taste for seasoning and serve.  For a much more luxurious sauce, add the cream and bring to serving temperature.  This is delicious served over buttered egg noodles to soak up the sauce. 
I left out the cream, since it was just the two of us, and I forgot to add it!  It's delicious either way.  You can make the same thing using chicken breasts, they will cook for about 30 minutes, covered, on the stove top.
Cook's Note:  I cooked mine in the slow cooker on high for 4 hours, low for 6 to 7 hours will work. 

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