Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Sunday night dinner

I have decided that Sunday nights will be the night I will try out more difficult recipes that may require more time. This week, I decided to try a French (Normandy) recipe I found in the Gourmet cookbook.

My Sunday night dish- Pork Chops with Sauteed Apples and Cider Cream Sauce and a side of oven roasted sweet potatoes. Please note I am NOT going to win Top Chef with my plating here. I should have put the apples on top for a prettier picture.

I love French cooking, which is part of my foodie-ness. The sauces are just so rich and so perfect. But sauces are not always an easy thing to master, otherwise we would all have our own restaurants. The sauce for this recipe was a true labor of love, as are most french sauces- but it was delicious. I do think it could have been a tiny bit thicker, and I did try some tricks but to no avail. Perhaps it was some of my ingredients. But it was pretty good all the same. My only complaint was we made the full sauce recipe but with one less apple and 3 less pork chops. The pork chops I bought had surprisingly little meat. Though the bone-in was fancy and such, I think I will go for a meatier pork chop in the future. I did not feel full for so much work! We had plenty of sauce to go around though so some bigger chops could work.

My side dish was some oven roasted sweet potatoes. I diced them, tossed them in a bag with some olive oil, sea salt and onion and garlic powder and baked them at 375 until they looked a little brown. They were also delicious. The apples lended themselves as a second side- they were probably the most delicious part!

Without further adieu, here is the recipe-

Pork Chops with Sauteed Apples and Cider Cream Sauce
(Recipe source The Gourmet Cookbook)


3 tablespoons of butter
1 large shallot, minced
1/2 cup apple cider
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon of fresh sage, chopped or 1/4 teaspoon dried
1 1/4 cup chicken stock
2/3 cup heavy cream
6 pork chops (about 3/4-1 inch thick, 2 1/2 pounds total)
Salt and pepper, to taste
3 golden delicious, gala or fuji apples, peeled, cored and cut into wedges
2 tablespoons light brown sugar


Melt one tablespoon of butter in a medium heavy sauce pan over medium-low heat. Add shallot and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add apple cider, vinegar and sage and bring to a boil. Boil until reduced to about 1/2 cup, about 8 minutes.

Add 1 cup stock and return to a boil. Boil until reduced to about 3/4 cup, about 12 minutes. Add cream and boil until reduced to about 1 cup, another 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, pat pork dry and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chops (if cooking 6 you will have to cook in 2 batches) and cook, turning once, until just cooked through. This should take about 6-8 minutes and internal temperature should be 145 degrees. Transfer to a plate to let rest and cover loosely with foil to keep warm.

Pour fat from skillet and add remaining 1 tablespoon of butter. Add apples and cook over medium heat until golden and just tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and toss with brown sugar.

Add remaining 1/4 cup stock to the skillet and deglaze by boiling over high heat and scraping up the brown bits for 1 minute. Stir deglazing liquid into sauce along with any accumulated meat juices and salt and pepper to taste.

To serve, top pork with apples and ladle sauce over.

Yield: 6 servings

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