With the abundance of our current Sierra apple crop, I thought it would be fun to present a recipe for Pork Chops with a special apple-based sauce.
You don’t have to look far to see trees laden with apples. I see them in neighborhoods in Carson City every time I’m tooling around town. May I suggest, if you don’t have a tree of your own, you ask your neighbor if they’d mind if you took some apples off their hands — or their tree. My guess is they may have more than they know what to do with and won’t miss having to scoop the rotten apples off the ground once they fall. Also something to consider is picking some for house-bound seniors and helping spread the abundance to others in the community.
Apples can be easily transformed into apple butter, sauce or jelly, stuffed with raisins or cranberries with a bit of cinnamon, brown sugar and butter and baked or used in breads, strudels and pies. You can home can apple chutney, pie filling or applesauce to be used until next year’s crop or dry them as a natural “candy.” The possibilities are endless.
At Cafe at Adele’s and at home, I always use meat that’s humanely raised, natural and preferably organic that does not contain growth hormones, steroids or antibiotics.
You can purchase these products at places such as WholeFoods or Trader Joe’s. Nancy’s Green Barn Farm in Dayton offers naturally-raised beef, pork, lamb and a variety of poultry and veggies in season (nancysgreenbarnfarm.com or 775-246-8456). Sunny Day Farms in Stagecoach offers organically-certified pork for sale (775-342-7675 or sunnydayfarms.com). Holley Family Farm in Dayton offers organic vegetables in season and naturally-raised and grass-fed beef and pork. Call ahead (775-721-7806) to make sure they’re home and have what you need.
These are three examples of area farmers committed to providing folks with the highest-quality meat and vegetables possible.
You can also check with local butchers to see what they offer. So find some apples and some natural pork and get cooking. This is a wonderful way to welcome fall and celebrate harvest.
You will need:
4 Thick-cut chops (1 1/2 inch)
Sea Salt and Pepper
The chops can be cooked two ways, either seared and put in the oven or barbecued and put in the oven.
For the seared method, pour about a 1/4-inch of olive oil in two separate skillet on medium-high heat. When to temperature, place two chops in each skillet (or all four in one skillet, provided you have one big enough) and sear for three minutes on each side. Season with sea salt and fresh ground pepper. On both sides, before searing. Drain oil and place pork chops in preheated, 350 degrees oven for 12 minutes, which will yield perfect medium done pork chops.
There’s no need to cook your pork chops to death.
For the barbecue method, heat the grill and put the chops on until both sides are marked, no more than five minutes per side. Season with sea salt and fresh ground pepper. On both sides prior to grilling. Then remove to a baking dish and place pork chops in preheated, 350 degrees oven for 12 minutes. There’s no need to cook your pork chops to death.
You will need:
3 baseball-size apples (or an amount comparable); cut into 1/2-inch squares; there is no need to peel them.
2 T. Butter, split
2 T. Marmalade
1/2 C. Apple juice, unfiltered
Optional: 2 T. Dried cranberries or cherries
In a saucepan, melt 1 T. Butter and add apples, 2 T. Marmalade and 1/2 C. unfiltered apple juice. Optional: Add 2 T. Dried cranberries or cherries.
Let simmer 10 to 15 minutes over low or medium heat until reduced by 50 percent. Set sauce aside until pork chops are done. When they are done and ready to be served, reheat the sauce and add additional 1 T. butter, stirring thoroughly on low heat just long enough to melt the butter (approximately 2 minutes). LOW HEAT is imperative at this stage, otherwise the butter will separate.
When the sauce is done, spoon over the pork chops and serve with a side of homemade applesauce.
Chef Charlie Abowd co-owns Café at Adele’s with his wife Karen Abowd. Café at Adele’s is located at 1112 N. Carson St. For more information or to makes reservations, call 775-882-3353 or visit adelesrestaurant andlounge.com.