How ’bout them apples…Pork with Apples

Pork with spiced rub and Apple dressing
Pork with spiced rub and Apple dressing

I was at the store the other day and I saw a “Family Pack” of Pork Sirloin chops on sale.  So, on a whim I picked up a package for Yes!Chef!  When Yes!Chef! saw the package in the refrigerator, I shouted “Surprise.  Happy Birthday!  It’s a food challenge!”  Yes, it was Y!C!’s birthday and he was quite surprised that he was going to be cooking for his own birthday.

After the shock was over, I told him that I had made reservations at a local restaurant for his actual birthday dinner, but he had to use the pork over the weekend so that I could make a blog post. HA!

He spent Saturday morning looking at recipes for the pork.  He came up with a very good one by Michael Chiarello of the Food Network.  As usual, he looks for tasty recipes using things that we already have in the house.  In this case, we have apples, so he found a recipe that uses apples.  We went out to look for paint and for tile for the home that we are remodeling and we didn’t have to stop at the store because he had everything he needed for his meal.

I think I might have mentioned before that we are remodeling a Mid-Century Modern home that we will be moving into as soon as it is complete.  Most of the work is being done by a contractor and various other vendors, but we are doing some of the work ourselves.  It’s a big deal and I’m a little overwhelmed.  Yes!Chef! is quite excited about the whole thing.

We will be moving into the little town of Placerville, CA, where I was born and raised.  We are remodeling the home in which I grew up. I’ve been spending some time driving back and forth to the house to make sure work is proceeding as planned, and as to be expected, they don’t always go as planned.  I am writing a little blog on our adventures here:  Keeping It Mid Century.  

Liquid Amber
Liquid Amber (I think)

When we were there, I noticed all the great autumn colors in the yard.  The above tree was planted by my mom because she loved the fall colors.  She loved to garden and knew quite a bit about it.  It is a lovely tree.  It needs some trimming, but I’m pretty sure we can save it.

There are other beautiful and colorful spots in Placerville.

An old Church

Here’s a church that’s been around for a very long time that was quite decked out for fall.

20131101-_LS_8076 webPlacerville is an old Gold Rush town that has lots of charm.  Here’s a scene I found at the first graveyard in Placerville.

Old City Cemetery
Old City Cemetery
20131107-_R3B8401 HDR1_HDR web
California’s first President of the Medical Society

Also, Obie T. Dogg and I have been spending some time hunting down Dogwood trees because they are so pretty in the fall.

Scary dying Dogwood bloom
Scary dying Dogwood bloom

Well, maybe not all the Dogwoods are pretty, but most are.


And there’s lots of pretty leaves all around town.

20131101-_LS_8040 web

So, now that you are all in the fall mood, how’s about that recipe?

Let me refresh your memory:

20131109-_R3B8466 web
Close up of pork and applesauce

In Process.

Sprinkling spice rub on pork
Sprinkling spice rub on pork
Applesauce, nicely caramelized
Potatoes, seasoned and ready to be roasted
Potatoes, seasoned and ready to be roasted
Sliced Pork
Sliced Pork with crusty spice rub

Here’s the recipe that we lightly adapted from the one found here.

Pork Chops with Spice Rub and Applesauce

serves 4

2 Pork Sirloin Chops, about 2 pounds
Kosher Salt
2 tablespoons Toasted Spice Rub, recipe follows
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup dry white wine

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Sprinkle seasoning (recipe below) evenly on both sides of chops.

Heat the oil in an ovenproof skillet over medium heat and sear the pork chops until golden brown, about 4 minutes on 1 side and 1 minute on the other side. Place pork chops on baking sheet. Remove excess oil from skillet.

Bake the chops until just cooked through, or about 140 degrees.  Remove and let rest.

Over medium heat, add the wine to the skillet, stir it until it reduces to 1 to 2 tablespoons; add the apple sauce and bring to a simmer, until nicely warmed.

Spoon several dollops of applesauce on each dinner place.  Slice pork pieces and place on top of applesauce.  Serve with roasted Yukon Potatoes and buttered green beans.

Spice Rub

1/4 cup fennel seeds
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon peppercorns
1 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup chili powder
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

Toast the fennel seeds, coriander seeds, and peppercorns in a small, heavy pan over medium heat. When the fennel begins to turn light brown, add the red pepper flakes, and toss several times. Immediately turn the spice mixture out onto a plate to cool.

Put in a blender with the chili powder, salt, and cinnamon and blend until the spices are evenly ground. If you have a small spice mill or a coffee grinder dedicated to grinding spices, grind only the fennel, coriander, pepper, and chili flakes. Pour into a bowl and toss with the remaining ingredients.

***Note: If you have an exhaust fan over your stove, turn it on before you start toasting the spices. Be careful not to inhale the fumes once you add the red pepper flakes. Yes!Chef! and I found this out one day when he was making Emeril’s Spice mixture.  It literally gassed us right out of the house, like pepper spray.

Yields about 1 cup, which can be saved in a jar in the fridge or the freezer for later use.
Roasted Apple Sauce:

3 Granny Smith apples
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/8 cup honey
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Peel, core and cut apples into small chunks (we used our apple peeler/corer/slicer gadget). Set aside.  Place a skillet over medium-high heat and add butter. When the butter starts to brown add the lemon juice, apples and salt.  Stir around and cook until the apples begin to caramelize.  Then, stir in the honey and place in the oven to roast about 10 minutes.  Taste for seasoning.

Serve warm with pork.

4 servings

Enjoy and get out and wander around your town/city/countryside to see what you can see, as if you are a tourist.  It helps you to appreciate and be thankful for the area where you live.

View of Placerville from the Old City Cemetery
View of Placerville from the Old City Cemetery

Published by

Karen Schmautz


7 thoughts on “How ’bout them apples…Pork with Apples

  1. A wonderful pork recipe indeed! I always love visiting your blog. Placerville is one of my favorite places in the world. Hwy 49 area is gorgeous! Especially in the fall. Thank you for sharing the photographs. Best to you on your remodel. Quite an undertaking!

  2. Beautiful photos, as always, and I love the recipe! Best wishes on the refurbishing – I know it’s a lot of time, money and work. It will be worth it though, for sure!

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