Orange is the New Pork

orange-mustard glazed pork chops

citrus chops

I feel like a broken record, but:

Baby, it’s cold outside.

Feel free to remind me that it’s only 36 days until spring. With a snowstorm practically every week and temperatures barely out of the teens most days (that’s Fahrenheit, all my international friends), winter is not one of my favorite things right now.

But something that’s always one of my favorites is pork. That other white meat is just as tasty and versatile as the original white meat. And thanks to some unexpected citrus flavors, this dish offers a welcome reminder of the sunshine to come. In you know, just 35.5 days.

Orange-Mustard Glazed Pork Chops
½ cup of orange juice
2 tablespoons of orange marmalade
1 tablespoon of whole grain mustard
1 tablespoon of canola oil
4 bone-in pork loin chops
2 to 3 sprigs of rosemary
1 medium red onion, cut into wedges
2 tablespoons of lime juice

Heat your oven to 425.º

In a small saucepan, combine the orange juice, marmalade and mustard. Heat over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes until slightly syrupy.

Heat a large oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil and swirl to coat. Lightly season the pork chops with salt and pepper, and then cook for 5 minutes on one side until browned. Flip the pork chops and add the rosemary and onion to the skillet. Pour the juice mixture over the chops and then bake for 10 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 140.º

Remove the pork chops, onions and rosemary from the skillet. Return the skillet to medium-high heat, add the lime juice, and let cook for about 4 minutes until the sauce thickens. Add the pork chops back to the skillet to coat with the sauce. Then plate, top with some cooked onions, drizzle with extra sauce, and eat.

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How ‘Bout Them Apples?

spiced pork chops with apple chutney

th-th-th-that’s all folks!

Why are pork chops and apple sauce are a thing? I don’t know the answer, but I do know that they taste really good together. If you apples and pork are your thing, these spiced up pork chops with apple chutney will be the apple of your eye, err, taste buds. The chutney is easy to make, and comes together in about 15 minutes. It also makes your house smell all warm and cozy. Seriously, you could leave a pot of it simmering on the stove for instant holiday cheer.

Spiced Pork Chops with Apple Chutney
For the chutney:
– 1 tablespoon of butter
– 3 Gala apples, peeled & cut into small cubes
– ¼ cup of Craisins
– 3 tablespoons of brown sugar
– 3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
– 2 teaspoons of peeled & minced ginger root
– ¼ teaspoon of salt
– ¼ teaspoon of ground mustard
– Pinch of allspice

For the pork chops:
– ¾ teaspoon of chili powder
– ½ teaspoon of salt
– ½ teaspoon of garlic powder
– ½ teaspoon of coriander
– ¼ teaspoon of pepper
– 4 boneless center-cut pork chops
– Cooking spray

Start by making the chutney. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the apples and cook about 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add the Craisins, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, minced ginger, salt, mustard and allspice. Bring to a boil and then simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until apples are tender.

Meanwhile, combine the chili powder, salt, garlic powder, coriander and pepper in a small bowl. Rub on both sides of the pork chops. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat and cook the chops for 4 minutes on each side, or until done. Plate and top each chop with a heaping spoonful of chutney.


Bursting with Flavor

garlic pork chops with grape tomatoes

happy little tomatoes, happy little tummy

You may have noticed there’s been a slight theme with my food lately: fast and easy. I’ve had a lot going on the last few weeks, so I’ve needed meals that are quick and simple to prepare. And flavorful – you can’t forget about that. I’ve also been enjoying some of the fresh summer veggies, like grape tomatoes. I love that they’re so sweet and juicy, and how after you sauté them for a few minutes they blister and burst open, making them extra delicious. You could pour them over chicken breasts or white fish, but I used pork chops rubbed with minced garlic. Thin pork chops or pork cutlets cook up quickly too, making this another super-fast meal, perfect for a busy weeknight.

Garlic Pork Chops with Sautéed Grape Tomatoes
– 4 boneless center-cut pork chops
– 2 teaspoons of minced garlic
– 1 pint of grape tomatoes
– 1 teaspoon of chopped fresh thyme
– Olive oil
– Salt and pepper

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season the pork chops with salt and pepper, and then rub the chops with the minced garlic. Add a little oil to the skillet and swirl to coat. Add the chops and cook a few minutes on each side until done. Remove from the pan and keep warm. Add a little more oil and then and the grape tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Cook 5 to 7 minutes, or until the skins blister (and easily burst when touched by a spoon), shaking the pan occasionally. Add the thyme, drizzle with additional oil and cook 1 minute. Plate pork chops and top with the tomatoes. Serve with rice pilaf, a salad, or your favorite (fast & easy) side dish.


Chop-Chops!

craving complete

My cravings usually inspire (dictate?) what I cook. Because it’s hard to ignore that hunger (no pun intended) for something, especially after it’s been dancing through my head for a while.

When I was craving brownies, I made fudgy ones. I couldn’t stop dreaming about fluffy pancakes, so I made these. And this past week, I had a super craving for pork chops. It didn’t help that I kept running into them all over the place, like here.

I grew up eating pork chops that were breaded and then baked. They’d be crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. Over the last so-many years I’ve been trying a lot of different recipes. Breaded, not bread. Fried. Baked. Bone-in vs. boneless. But for this particular craving I wanted to try something new. So this rustic dish that combines boneless chops with the distinctive flavors of apples, red onions and sage seemed right up my alley. It’s also easy to make so you can satisfy your own pork cravings pretty quickly.

Pork Chops with Apples and Onions
– 3 to 4 boneless pork loin chops
– 2 teaspoons of freshly chopped sage
– 1 large red onion, cut into wedges
– 1 Granny Smith apple, diced
– 4 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
– 2 tablespoons of white wine
– Olive oil
– Salt and pepper
– Cast iron skillet

Rub both sides of the pork chops with the sage and season with salt and pepper to taste. Heat a large cast iron skillet over high heat, and then add a tablespoon of oil and sear the chops until golden on both sides. Transfer them to a plate. Wipe the skillet and add a few more tablespoons of oil. Add the onion and apple and cook over medium-high heat until lightly brown, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, add the apple cider vinegar, and cook another 3 minutes.

Return the chops and any juice to the skillet. Cover and cook, turning the chops over once, until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Remove the chops again, stir in the white wine (this should help pick up any apples and onions stuck to the skillet) and let it cook another minute. Remove the skillet from the heat and serve the chops over the apples and onions.

juicy pork and veggies

I was surprised at how tender and juicy the pork chops came out, especially since they were fairly thick. The onions and apples were flavorful, and had a slightly tart bite. I paired my chops with maple roasted sweet potatoes (a very seasonal side dish!), which complemented them perfectly. I’ll post that recipe in a few days so keep your eyes out.