Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Pork Chops with Apples and Onions

About a month ago, my friend Sunny had a birthday. She and I, as well as our friend Julie, are firm believers that no woman should have to cook dinner on her birthday. So Julie and I made her dinner. It didn't actually end up being on her birthday because she went out with family. So she didn't cook anyway. But, this was our way of helping her celebrate. Planning birthday menus is fun, if laborious. I always want the meal to be special, so casseroles don't cut it, and it has to be delicious to the birthday person. We knew Sunny doesn't love Italian food, which ruled out a lot of my "special" meals, and we knew that she doesn't like curry or spicy foods, which ruled out some of Julie's favorites. (I promise, she's not as picky as she sounds right here!) So we brainstormed and then found a recipe for really tender pork chops on Mel's Kitchen Cafe. That was it. Julie put it together and made some potatoes and I baked breadsticks. The one thing I knew was that this dinner had better incorporate homemade bread in some form because Sunny does not bake but LOVES homemade bread. She is a jill of all trades (she replaced Julie's toilet once) and prefers repayment in the form of baked goods. We, of course, are happy to oblige. We also made molten chocolate cakes which ended up being not so molten, but still yummy. But the pork chops.

Oh, the pork chops. Heavenly. Tender. Perfectly soft onions and apples. And so simple.

I made them yesterday for dinner. I read comments on the blog and found many people had NOT gotten tender pork chops, which made me worry. I opted to alter the recipe and don't know what would have happened if I hadn't. They were reasonably tender, but not fork tender. I would not say they were tough. And they were still delicious. You can't argue with the flavor. But I think I would return to the original recipe.

Pork Chops with Apples and Onions.
Adapted slightly from Mel's Kitchen Cafe
printable recipe

*serves 2, but easily adaptable. The original recipe serves 4, when Julie made it, she doubled that and served 10 (including 4 children)

2 pork chops
1-2 yellow onions, sliced
1 1/2 granny smith apples, peeled and sliced
1/3 cup brown sugar
salt and pepper

Spray an 8x8 baking dish with cooking spray. Spread the onions in a single layer, not separating the rings. Add the apples in a single layer, then sprinkle brown sugar on top.

(Note: Here, I seared the pork, but the original recipe does NOT specify to do this.)

Season the pork with salt and pepper and then put them on top of the apples. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil and bake at 325. (Note: I baked for an hour and a half because I used boneless chops and seared them, but wonder if they would have been more tender if I had left them in). Bake for 3 hours. Do NOT peek!

To serve, top the chops with the onions and apples and enjoy.

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