Every year when Labor Day weekend rolls around my mind turns to the fall apple harvest. OK, I think about apples all year-round, but that’s just me. At any rate, September is here and all of us will be experiencing cooler night and warmer appetites for heartier dinners.
Homemade Pork Chops and Chunky Applesauce are the first two recipes appearing in the introduction of my nostalgic cookbook, Pork Chops & Applesauce. Find more comfort food recipes at http://www.porkchopsandapplesauce.net/purchase.htm
Homemade Chunky Applesauce
6 – 8 apples, peeled, cored, diced (best to use several different varieties)
1/4 cup water or apple juice
1 heaping teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup granulated sugar
Place prepared apples in a large saucepan, add water, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg and sugar. Do not stir; cover with a tight-fitting lid. Place over medium heat. When apple mixture begins to bubble or steam, reduce heat to low. Simmer for 20-40 minutes, stir only when necessary to avoid scorching. When apples are tender, remove from heat and mash to desired “chunkiness” with a hand-held masher. For a thicker applesauce, cook uncovered, on medium-low heat for 5-15 additional minutes, or until applesauce reaches desire consistency. Yield: 6 cups
Note: The key to making the world’s most flavorful applesauce is to use a variety of cooking apples in every batch. Adding 1 or 2 Red or Golden Delicious apples adds extra sweetness to the sauce. For a caramelized type applesauce, avoid stirring the apples during the cooking process. Do not stir after pouring the spices and sugar over the prepared apples, stir only enough while cooking to keep mixture from scorching.
Pan-Fried Pork Chops
6 – 1″ thick, bone-in pork chops
3 tablespoons cooking oil
Salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste
Sprinkle pork chops with salt, pepper and garlic powder; set aside. Treat a heavy skillet with cooking spray; place skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil and when “dimples” begin appearing in the skillet, add seasoned pork chops. Pan-fry over medium heat for approximately 10-15 minutes on each side, or until chops are crispy and brown on the outside with no visible pink inside next to the bone. Serve with warm Homemade Chunky Applesauce.
Yield: 6 servings
Note: Grilling has become a more popular cooking method for meat, chops and poultry. When I’m serving applesauce with pork chops I keep the seasoning simple as with pan-frying and then grill to taste. You can hardly go wrong by serving a fall dinner of pork chops and applesauce to your friends or family – it’s a sumptuous autumn dinner everyone loves.