Thursday, March 24, 2011

Pork and Puzzles

I know, I know, two new recipes in one week?! What has gotten into me? ;) I guess I was feeling adventurous when I made out my weekly menu on Sunday, or else I was just really tired of making the same old dishes! This particular recipe was titled Pork with Apples and Pears by Mark Bittman. I found it in the January issue of the Parents magazine on page 68. I actually find lots of yummy-sounding recipes in both this and the Parenting magazines. I need to start trying more of them and sharing them here.

I gathered all the ingredients I would need - not very many with this one!

  • 4 shoulder or center-cut loin pork chops, 1 inch thick, trimmed of fat
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup water or white wine
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 to 3 pears or apples or a combination, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch wedges
  • Chopped fresh parsley
  • Sprinkle chops with salt and pepper. Put a large skillet over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Add olive oil; when hot, add chops and turn heat to high. Brown for 2 minutes on each side.
  • Reduce heat to medium. Add water or wine and garlic and cook, turning chops twice, until the liquid has almost evaporated - 3 minutes. Add stock, turn heat to low, and cover, cooking until chops are tender but not dry, 10 to 15 minutes. (When they're done, their juices will run slightly pink.)
  • Transfer pork to a platter and cover to keep warm. Add fruit wedges to the skillet, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan. If the pan seems too dry, add another 1/2 cup stock or wine and continue cooking until the fruit is soft and the liquid is reduced slightly, 5 to 10 minutes. Spoon the fruit and sauce over the chops and garnish with parsley. Makes 4 servings.
  • Nutrition per serving: 361 calories; 33 g protein; 14 g carbs; 17 g fat; 3 g fiber; 2 g iron; 278 mg sodium

And here was the finished product on the plate...

As for changes I made to the ingredients and recipe...I used thinly sliced pork chops (they were on sale at Publix this week), so I didn't need to sear them for long and when it came time to cover and simmer, I went with just 10 minutes so they would not dry out too much. I used water instead of white wine (I am not a big fan of cooking with wine). I used one Pacific Rose apple and two Bartlett pears for the fruit and I did not garnish with any parsley. When cooking the fruit, I did add about 1/4 cup extra water as the liquid was evaporating quickly.

I served the dish with some toasted pine nut couscous and sauteed green beans. It was quite yummy and another dish that I will be adding to our rotation! :) Let me know what you think if you try this one out.

After our yummy dinner this evening, we decided to make it a puzzle night - one of Ethan's favorite things to do! We have had a couple puzzles for months now, waiting to be put together, so we started in on one of the Chicago skyline. At 750 pieces and over 3 foot wide, it may take us a bit, but we were able to get all of the pieces sorted by color and the outside border put together this evening. I was quite proud that I got the top row done fairly quickly. ;) Ethan was super excited about helping us out!

He's so cute...who can say no to those eyes?!?

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