Savory Side Dish: Cinnamon Apples & Onions

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Butter melts down, creating a mouthwatering sauce for the apples and onions.

It’s officially fall, and that’s something to get excited about. In Savannah, Georgia, the average temperature this time of year is around 85 degrees, which may sound warm to most, but we welcome anything below the high 90’s! When it comes to food, there are so many ingredients I love to cook with in the autumn months. Continue reading “Savory Side Dish: Cinnamon Apples & Onions”

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An Autumn-Inspired Pork Chop Package

wpid-20121023_203126.jpgAt the start of each new season, there are a few dishes I anticipate cooking greatly. My Apple-Pecan Honey Stuffed Pork Chops in White Wine are at the top of the list in the fall. Apples, onions, pecans and nutmeg exemplify autumn in this comforting, home-cooked meal. It starts on the stove top and finishes in the oven. Special enough for company and simple enough for a weeknight, these tender, juicy pork chops put chicken and beef to shame. It ought to be a crime to eat this good!

Let’s get cookin’! Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 3-4 thick cut pork chops
  • Salt, pepper and nutmeg seasonings
  • 1-2 Tbs honey
  • 1 medium granny smith apple
  • 1 small Vidalia onion
  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • Unsalted butter
  • White wine of your choice, I used Pinot Grigio

Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Start by dicing a granny smith apple, an onion and your pecans. Be sure to dice them up small, keeping them the same size for even cooking. A smaller dice will also make your pork chops easier to stuff.

Melt a tablespoon of unsalted butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add in the diced apples, onions and pecans, season with salt and pepper and dot with butter. Cook for a few minutes, then drizzle in some honey for a touch of sweetness.

Meanwhile, prepare your pork chops. Season both sides with salt, pepper and a little nutmeg. Rub it in good.

It’s really important to get a thick cut pork chop for this recipe. They should be at least a 1/4 of an inch thick.

You’ll need a small, sharp pairing knife to make the incision. Cut them right down the middle, keeping the back and sides of the pork chop intact but making a large enough incision to create a good size pocket. Don’t be scared. Own it!

By this time, your stuffing will be ready. With a large serving spoon, fill each pork chop to the brim. Pack the stuffing in there, getting down in the crevices. Don’t overfill them, but make sure each one is plump. If you put too much stuffing in the pork chops, it’ll just fall out during cooking. You want them to hold as much as possible. Just remember, deep pockets do the trick. You can use toothpicks to secure them, but I find they just get in the way.

In the same pan (easier clean up and building flavors – winning), melt another tablespoon or two of unsalted butter. Gently lay your stuffed pork chops in the pan and brown on each side for 3-4 minutes until the outsides are golden brown and caramelized. When you flip them, handle with care. You will lose a little stuffing, but don’t fret. Before transferring to the oven, hit the pan with a good splash of white wine and inhale. 😉

Finish cooking the pork chops in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes. I find it much easier to finish a thick cut of meat in the oven than on the stove top. The meat cooks evenly and you don’t have to worry about one side getting darker than the other or constant flipping. Plus, you’re not standing over the stove and you can take a moment to sip some wine or devote your attention to side dishes.

They taste phenomenal–warm flavors of nutmeg and pork compliment tart apples in every sweet and savory bite. Don’t forget to drizzle the chops with the pan juices. Having one of these on your plate is like having your own little gift. You’re also getting fruit, protein and vegetables all in one little package. What’s not to love?

A sweet potato or brown rice are a pork chop’s friend.

Feel free to change-up the stuffing. Rosemary is awesome with pork. Don’t like pecans? Use walnuts. Even if pork is not in your diet, chicken is always an alternative. The idea is to have fun and experiment with flavors. Enjoy!

What are your favorite fall meals?

Related Content:
Skillet Barbecued Pork Chops Good Enough for Company

Skillet Barbecued Pork Chops Good Enough For Company

This is one of my absolute FAVORITE ways to fix pork chops. They take less than 30 minutes to make but will taste like you slaved in the kitchen for hours!! I got the recipe from none other than Taste of Home.

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You’ll need some good 1/2 inch thick center cut pork chops, butter, an onion, seasoned salt, some brown sugar, honey BBQ sauce, worcestershire sauce, water and a little corn starch.

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Season the pork chops with seasoned salt (I also like to add a little pepper because y’all I know I like things spicy) and brown them in a large skillet on each side. You don’t have to worry about cooking them all the way through, because you’ll let them simmer in the sauce later to finish cooking. Check out that caramelization action. Man alive!!

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Once you’ve browned the chops, remove them from the skillet. Then toss in your sliced onion. I love that sizzle when they hit the pan. The kitchen starts smelling real good right about now.

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It’s important that you use the correct measuring cups for wet and dry ingredients. I didn’t always know this. Liquid goes in the glass measuring cup. Dry ingredients go in the individual measuring cups.

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For the sauce, combine with the sautéed onion, 1 cup of Honey BBQ sauce, 1 tablespoon of worcestershire sauce, 1/2 cup of water and a 1/2 cup of brown sugar. Stir and let it come together for 2 minutes or so.

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Then add your pork chops back in the pan. Cover and let simmer on low for 15 minutes.

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Meanwhile, combine 1 tablespoon of water with 2 teaspoons of cornstarch.

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Hold on to your boots when you take that lid off. You won’t be able to handle that smell. This is going to be Some Kinda Good y’all!

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Remove the pork chops to a plate and keep warm.

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Pour the cornstarch and water mixture in with the sauce. This is what helps it thicken and gives it that wonderful consistency.

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Stir together and simmer for 2 minutes.

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I served the Skillet Barbecued Pork Chops with a side of brown rice and almonds. Be sure to slather that pork chop good with the sauce.

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The good news is, you’ll have sauce left over. So feel free to use it on chicken, pizza or anything else that floats your boat. Let me know how you like it!! 😉