Sunday, January 24, 2016

Pork Chops Sauté with Gala Apple and Bermuda Onion

     A Delicious Café Style Pork Chop Entrée!
     Pork Chops with Apples and Onions is popular in nearly every northern hemisphere country from Russia to America.  Some Apple & Onion Topping recipes are fancier than others.  Some are prepared as a cream sauce or velouté.  A saucy Apple & Onion Topping for pork chops is nice, but it does not appeal to every guest.  Many café patrons prefer sauté food that is made with no sauces at all.  This kind of guest prefers food that is prepared to order, like a simple sauté entrée.

     Perfection sauté food compares to Asian stir fry food in one respect.  Great sauté food and stir fry food is best when it cooked to order and served immediately.  Sauté food that is prepared way ahead of time loses its appeal, especially if sautéed fresh vegetables or fruit is part of the recipe.    
     Just like with stir fry cooking, all of the ingredients for today's pork chop recipe can be cooked in the same pan.  Experience is the only one way to learn good sauté cooking techniques.  Too high or too low of a temperature will result in burnt or greasy sauté food.  Moderate sauté cooking temperatures are best.  Timing also is essential to understand.  Items that take the longest time to cook should be placed in the hot sauté pan first and items that require a short cooking time should be added last.
     For today's sautéed pork chop recipe, Sweet Bermuda Onion balances the slightly tart flavor of the Gala Apple.  Only a faint touch of cinnamon and allspice are added.  Allspice and cinnamon are very strong spices, so only less than 1/8 teaspoon of each is enough to flavor the apples and onions.  
     Sherried Boston Lettuce is the accompanying vegetable in the pork chop photos.  Quickly braised lettuce is popular in Europe and it is offered at a few trendy American restaurants.  I used to occasionally serve braised escarole lettuce with entrées at a French café about twenty years ago.  If the lettuce is properly cooked, it will have a slightly crisp bite to it and the bright green color will be retained.  Sherry adds an inviting flavor to braised lettuce.

     Sherried Boston Lettuce: 
     This recipe yields 1 portion.  
     It is best to prepare the ingredients for this recipe ahead of time, then start cooking the lettuce when the pork chop recipe is halfway done.  This way the lettuce will still have a slightly crisp bite and the bright green color will stay intact!
     Step 1:  Heat a sauté pan over medium/medium low heat.
     Add 1 teaspoon of unsalted butter.
     Add 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil.
     Add 1 tablespoon of diced carrot.
     Sauté the carrots till they start to become tender.  (Try not to brown the carrots.)
     Step 2:  Add 1 clove of minced garlic.
     Sauté till the garlic is a light golden color.
     Step 3:  Add 1 handful of trimmed whole Boston Lettuce leaves.   (About 8 to 10 large leaves)
     Add 1 pinch of sea salt and white pepper.
     Toss the leaves in the pan, till they start to wilt.
     Step 4:  Add 1 ounce of dry sherry.
     Toss the leaves with the sherry, till the lettuce is wilted and the excess liquid evaporates.
     Step 5:  Remove the pan from the heat.
     Place the Sherried Boston Lettuce in a bowl and keep it warm on a stove top.

     Pork Chops Sauté with Gala Apple and Bermuda Onion:  
     This recipe yields 1 entrée.
     The cooking technique for this recipe involves sautéing the pork chops till they are almost fully cooked, then adding the apples and onions to the pan.  The pork chops are then placed over the apples and onions as they sauté, till the apples and onions are lightly caramelized.
     Step 1:  Select 2 thin pork chops that have the bone attached.  The chops should weigh 5 to 6 ounces apiece.  
     Season with sea salt and black pepper.
     Step 2:  Heat a wide sauté pan over medium heat.
     Add 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of vegetable oil.
     Add the seasoned pork chops.
     Sauté the chops till they are lightly browned on both sides and they are almost fully cooked
     Step 3:  Remove the pan from the heat.
     Drain off the excess grease, but leave about 2 teaspoons of grease in the pan.
     Step 4:  Place the pan over medium low heat.
     Move the pork chops to one side of the pan.
     Add 1/4 cup of thin sliced Bermuda Onion strips to the bare side of the pan.
     Add 1 medium size peeled seeded Gala Apple that is cut into thin wedges.
     Add 1 pinch of sea salt.
     Add 1 small pinch of cinnamon.
     Add 1 small pinch of allspice.
     Step 5:  Place the pork chops on top of the apples and onions.
     Gently sauté the apples and onions underneath the pork chops.
     Occasionally move the pork chops to the side and stir the apples and onions.
     Sauté till the apples and onions are lightly caramelized and tender.
     Remove the pan from the heat.
     Place the chops on the front half of a plate with the bones pointed toward the center of the plate.
     Use tongs or a slotted spoon to place the Bermuda Onions and apples on the pork chops.
     Place the Sherried Boston Lettuce (or a vegetable of your choice) on the back half of the plate.
     Garnish the plate with Italian Parsley sprigs.
     Serve with a potato of your choice on the side.

     This simple sautéed pork chop entrée is perfect for a chilly day!   

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