Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Porkchops and Applesauce

One of my favorite things to do with savory dishes is to add a sweet element to them. I love the classic combination of pork and applesauce, but wanted to update it with fresh (not jarred) ingredients. I started by caramelizing some onions in a frying pan in a tiny drop of oil.

Then I chopped up my apples from my Boston Organics produce box. This was also an effort to use up all the apples. I find that I go through the veggies pretty quickly, but I am just not a fruit eater. After this week I updated my delivery to 2/3's veggies. More on that later....

I wanted the apples in a medium dice, so they would soften a bit, but still maintain their sweet crunch!

Here they are -- all sauteing together. I added salt, pepper, a half teaspoon of sugar, and a splash of cider vinegar, and cooked it all down until the onions were caramel in color.

While the onion/apple mixture was cooking on the stove (and some previously blogged oven fries were baking in the oven) I got started on the pork chops. I started with salt and pepper, then rubbed the chops with some Dijon mustard. I followed this with a bit of rosemary (i LOVE pork with rosemary).

I pan fried the chops in a hot pan so they would get a crust on them. I didn't think this through entirely though, because the mustard (and all the delicious rosemary) stuck to the pan....For a moment I was devastated....but then a little light bulb went off. I cooked the chops until they were just cooked through, then took them out of the pan. I then de-glazed the pan with a little chicken stock and a splash of white wine to make a pan sauce. I put the chops back in for a minute just to coat them...and it saved the day.

Dinner was delicious...The apples/onions were a perfect slightly sweet compliment to the savory chops...and the requisite oven fries and organic broccoli rounded out the meal.

Leftover Chicken Stock

I'm on a real kick of reducing the waste in my cooking. I am trying to use up all my ingredients and produce and throw things out only if they are truly past their prime. After my roast chicken...and with the low waste mentality in mind, I decided to make some chicken stock for the first time...I love making soup for my lunches at work, and I almost always pick up chicken broth or stock on my weekly grocery trips, so this is something that will definitely get a lot of use in my kitchen.

I don't know where I heard it, but I have heard a comparison made between making stock and making tea. Making chicken stock is like making chicken and veggie tea. I put the chicken carcass in a pot with a couple of quartered onions, and a few carrots. I also made a bouquet with some of the remaining herbs, about ten peppercorns, and I threw in a piece of lemon leftover from making the chicken. I covered everything with a few inches of water, brought the pot to a boil, then let simmer for a few hours. I skimmed the foamy stuff off of the top, cooled, and removed the carcass and the leftover veggies. I then put the whole pot in the fridge. The next morning I skimmed a little fat off of the top, and voila! Homemade chicken stock....enough for 2 soups. I have pictures of one of the resulting soups for another post....still making plans for the other half of the stock! Stay tuned!