Friday, October 28, 2011

Adventures in the Kitchen - Spiced Pork Chops with Apple Chutney

So it has been awhile since I've graced you all with an "Adventures in the Kitchen" post. The Hubs and I just have been that adventurous lately. We've also been lazy. and out of sync when it comes to planning.

The Hubs doesn't like to plan ahead, he likes to wing it. I, on the other hand, like to pick recipes, make a list, grocery shop and cook. Last week, after a bit of heated discussion about what to do for dinners for the week, we decided to go to the store with the cookbook and randomly pick two recipes based on what we saw. Although this method induced some anxiety in me, it ended up working out and we picked two recipes that we both liked fairly well. I was also impressed that neither one had any carbs in them, which is something for this bread loving girl. Our Paleo friend would be proud!! :-)

The first recipe we tried was Spiced Pork Chops with Apple Chutney. The recipe came from Cooking Light Way to Cook, a great recipe book with step by step instructions for the novice cook (like me!) and LOTS of pictures for those who don't like to read (like The Hubs!).

Image Source: Amazon

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 5 cups (1/4 inch) cubed peeled apple (about 3 apples) ** This was a TON of apples. Probably could have done with 1/2 to 3/4 of the amount.**
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger  ** I substituted 1 teaspoon of ground ginger and it worked fine. **
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground chipotle chile pepper **Since we didn't have exactly this, I had The Hubs ground up red pepper flakes as a substitute. **'
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 (4-ounce) bonless center-cut pork loin chops, trimmed
  • Cooking Spray
First up was to prepare the Chutney. I was so excited to use my new Le Creuset Dutch Oven that I used it to do my Chutney preparation. It worked great and after using it for the last few things we've made, I'm in love!

Combine all of the spices and put aside in a separate container.

Then, melt the butter in a nonstick pan of your choosing over medium-high heat. Add apples and saute for 4 minutes until lightly browned.

 Add cranberries, spices and cider vinegar and bring to a boil. Note this will be a small boil since there isn't a whole lot of liquid going on.

Reduce heat and simmer 8 minutes or until apples are tender, stirring occasionally.

For the pork, clean and pat dry the chops.

Combine all of the spices in a separate container and the sprinkle over the pork.

Coat a grill pan with cooking spray and add pork to pan.

The recipe says to cook for 4 minutes on each side or until done. We did some research and found out that we were supposed to cook to 150-155°C and then letting it sit for 5-10 minute to let it reach the USDA recommended 160°C. Well, it ended up being more than 4 minutes on each side and since we are conservative, we probably cooked it longer than we had to, but we were having trouble getting it to the right temperature.

I also made string beans as a side (since it was suggested with the recipe). For these, I cooked the string beans in olive oil for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. Then I stirred in 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon black pepper, and 2 thinly sliced garlic cloves. I continued cook for 5 minutes until the garlic was lightly browned.

Finally, everything was plated and a beautiful, healthy (and yummy!) meal was created!

This ended up being The Hubs's favorite dish of the two we made last week. The pork was nicely spiced and had a good contrasting flavor with the slightly sweet and tangy apple chutney. I also really like the flavor of the string beans. It was nice to veer from the traditionally steamed beans we usually eat! It really felt like a gourmet meal, especially since pork is not something we normally cook.

You all will have to let me know how you like this recipe if you do try it out (and if you substituted anything that made it even better!)!

Have a great weekend everyone!

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