Sunday, February 10, 2013

Pork Chop Bake

I love and hate that after college, all my friends scattered across the US. I have friends in Seattle, Boston, NYC, and Chicago. It's great when I'm traveling, but it's not so great when socializing. Last summer on my east coast solo trip, I stayed with Ayesha and Alex in NYC. I am so thankful that they let me crash on their couch for a few days and gave me a great culinary tour of the city.

This Christmas, it dawned on me that Alex would probably be home for the holidays, so we got together for lunch. I picked him up in Holland (his home) and we had lunch in Grand Rapids (my new home). His family owns Montello Meat Market in Holland, so when I picked him up, I got a quick tour of the operation, complete with Sam in the back hacking a large piece of meat. Then, a lovely surprise! I welcome to the West Side box of meat from the market. There were pork chops, burgers, ground beef, various beef cuts and some amazing homemade bratwurst. I was really looking forward to savoring each cut and eating delicious meat over the new few months.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago and you'll find my refrigerator not working. The compressor broke when I wasn't home (twice) and my entire fridge/freezer thawed out. Thankfully, it was really cold out at the time and my porch then acted as my freezer. The staff at my apartment complex did a nice job of replacing the fridge in a pretty timely manner. However, the meat had been defrosted twice in a few days and I was getting a little leary of how long it would last. I put on a request on Facebook for some recipes and this was one of the results. 

I grew up eating pork chops with applesauce and macaroni and cheese, so this was a great way of getting the apples without making full on applesauce. Go make it. It's delicious.

Pork Chop Bake
original recipe from Holly Hentz
2 pork chops
2 tsp. butter
2 medium apples, peeled and sliced
3/4 cup whole-berry cranberry sauce

1 small sweet onion, diced (1/2 cup)
2 Tbs. brown sugar
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

In a small nonstick skillet, brown pork chops in butter. 

 Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the apples, cranberry sauce and onion. Transfer to an 8x8 baking dish coated with spray.
Combine brown sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over apple mixture. Top with pork chops.

Cover and bake at 325 for 45 to 50 minutes or until pork reaches 160 and apples are tender.

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