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.
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.
Here’s a church that’s been around for a very long time that was quite decked out for fall.
Also, Obie T. Dogg and I have been spending some time hunting down Dogwood trees because they are so pretty in the fall.
Well, maybe not all the Dogwoods are pretty, but most are.
And there’s lots of pretty leaves all around town.
So, now that you are all in the fall mood, how’s about that recipe?
Let me refresh your memory:
Here’s the recipe that we lightly adapted from the one found here.
Pork Chops with Spice Rub and Applesauce
serves 4Ingredients2 Pork Sirloin Chops, about 2 pounds
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.
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.
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.