So I'm having to ease into fall again...and food always helps. Letting go of summer is so much easier when you spend a rainy afternoon cooking and baking. So that's what I did today! I was feeling a bit on the inventive side and unsatisfied with other recipes, so I decided to go sans recipe! This is getting easier for me to do, the more I experiment with flavors, but I still come to the kitchen with much trepidation, always a little afraid I'll mix the wrong spices or flavors and end up with a horrible tasting dinner! When Travis & I went shopping last night, I did intentionally pick up pork, apples and cabbage, but I wasn't sure exactly how I was going to combine them. They are certainly a common assortment of flavors, but I wasn't really liking any of the recipes I found (or the ingredients weren't on hand), so I took a handful of ideas I had seen and started cooking! Here's how it went down:
I took two thickly cut boneless pork chops (salted & peppered) and seared them in olive oil till just browned on either side. While the pork was searing, I mixed together a few things...brown sugar, white cooking wine, vinegar, thyme, rosemary, lemon juice and apple juice. Unfortunately, I didn't measure anything, so when I post the recipe, everything's approximate!
Once the pork was evenly browned, I added the liquid mixture, plus some chicken broth and a bay leaf, got it simmering, and put the lid on. While it was simmering, I chopped some Granny Smith apples, cabbage, and sweet yellow onions.
When the pork had simmered about a half hour, I added the apples, cabbage and onions and covered it again and simmered it for another half hour. After that, I removed the pork and the cabbage, apples & onions with a slotted spoon and turned the stove on high, reducing the liquid for about 7-10 minutes, whisking in 3 TB flour to make a sort of gravy. This was absolutely delicious! We served ours over rice in a shallow bowl. It was a hearty, fallish blend of sweet and sour and bursts of flavor, thanks to the apple. Mmmm!
I recently discovered, to my great delight, two loaded Italian prune-plum trees in the vacant lot behind our house. But it also came with a puzzle. We had one of these trees in our front yard when I was growing up, and the only thing we really ever did with them was to eat them plain as they ripened on the tree. My mom and I made jelly from the red plum trees bordering our property, but we never really knew what to do with the small, deep purple, yellow-fleshed, tart fruit that grew on the little tree in the yard. I am not sure if I want to tackle it yet, but these do seem like they would make delicious and beautiful jam. However, I ripened a bowl of these little beauties on the counter for a few days, and tonight I decided to make them into a crisp.
|Aren't they just beautiful?|
I simply quartered the fruit, removed the pit and mixed them with some sugar. This prune-plum is quite tart, especially if they aren't fully ripe, so I made sure to taste them as I sugared them. Then I sprinkled a typical crisp topping of flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and butter on top and baked it in a 375 oven for about 35 min. Wow. As the plums cooked, the dark purple skin turned the yellow flesh into a gorgeous reddish, jewel-like color, and the fruit turned into this gooey, sticky, jammish yummyness. To me the flavor was almost akin to cherry, with a sweet first flavor and a tangy aftertaste. Love it. It definitely tastes like fall to me.
|Couldn't stop eating long enough to get a good picture, haha!|
Mmm...ok, summer, move over. Fall is winning my heart, one meal at a time.
Pork Chop Skillet
a KitchenJoy original recipe
with more pork, this could feed at least 3, maybe 4
2 boneless, thick cut pork chops
2 TB brown sugar
1/4 cup white cooking wine
2-3 TB vinegar
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp rosemary
2-3 tsp lemon juice
1 cup apple juice
1/4 cup chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1/4-1/3 of a large head of cabbage (shredded)
1 Granny Smith apple, sliced
1 small yellow onion, quartered
3 TB flour
Sear pork chops in olive oil in large skillet. Combine next 7 ingredients, pour over pork chops, add broth and bay leaf. Simmer 30 minutes. Add cabbage, apples and onion slices. Simmer another 30 minutes. Remove pork, cabbage, apples and onion, whisk in the flour and turn up the heat, reducing the liquid for 7-10 min. Serve over rice, pouring "gravy" over pork chop.