Tag Archives: apples

Easy Breezy Stuffed Pork Chops

Okay, so the flavors in this dish are distinctly fall, but as much as I love to buy produce seasonally, I buy apples all year round.  What can I say, I love apples.  So, when I pulled these chops out of the freezer and realized I had bacon, apples, and onion, I knew exactly what I wanted to do, and let me tell you, this is truly a knockout combo no matter what time of year.   To be honest, there’s not really much more of a story to this one, it was just a regular mid-week dinner that was absolutely tasty and well-suited to illustrate a method that makes a simply prepared dish look super-impressive.  Seriously give it a try, dinner will be on the table before you know it.

Ingredients

Bacon

Apples (I used granny smith, but any firm cooking apple will do)

Onion

Fresh Rosemary (or another woodsy herb of your choosing)

Thick Cut Boneless Pork Chops

Butter

Kosher Salt

Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Poultry Seasoning

Process

Heat a large skillet over medium fire.  While the pan heats cut bacon into small pieces.  Toss into the hot pan to cook.

001While the bacon cooks, finely chop onion, apple, and rosemary.

002Once the bacon is browned, drain off a little of the excess fat.

004Then toss in the onions.

005Once the onions begin to go translucent, add the apples, rosemary, and a little butter.

006Now, stir it all up and allow to cook down for a few minutes.  Then season with a little salt and pepper.

007Turn the heat to low and allow to cook a few more minutes while you prep the chops.  You can also preheat your oven to 400 degrees at this point.  Place your chops on a cutting board and grab a sharp knife.

009Now to create a pocket in the chops to stuff the filling in, press your hand flat down on the top of the chop and insert the tip of your knife into the side of the chop.  Slice into the chop to create the pocket leaving about a 1/2 inch on each side.  Do not let your knife go all the way through the chop.

011Here’s what the pocket should look like:

012Repeat the process on each of your chops then liberally season the with salt, pepper, and poultry seasoning.

013Now, grab the chops one by one and spoon filling into the slit until it is just about flush with the edge of the chop.   If you think you need to, you can use a toothpick to close up the opening, but this time around my filling was pretty secure.

015In the same pan that you used for the filling, heat about a teaspoon of butter over medium-high.

016Add your porkchops to the pan.  We just want to give them a golden brown crust.

017When the first side reaches desired color, flip ’em over and allow the second side to brown.

018Once both sides are nicely browned, transfer the chops to a baking dish and pop in the oven.

019They are probably only gonna need about 15 minutes in the oven, depending on the thickness of your chops.  They should look like this when they are done:

021I served them up with creamy whipped potatoes.  I happened to be low on fresh veggies this day, but any steamed green veggie would also be fabulous alongside.

024Enjoy!

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Apple Pie Cupcakes, UM…I Mean Cake

After seeing these cupcakes on the web, I had been planning to make them for almost a week, and when I finally found the time and had all of the ingredients, I discovered that I couldn’t find my muffin tin anywhere.  I already had my butter softened and some of the ingredients measured out, so I decided to wing it and turn it into a cake.  I’m not sure where I originally found the recipe but, this one comes from www.annieseats.wordpress.com.  I halfed both the cupcake and vanilla buttercream recipes and made a single layer, 9-inch round cake.  Of course I didn’t have proper timing for this size and type of pan, so I approximated.  Cakes usually take a little longer than cupcakes, so when it had been in the oven for the amount of time that the cupcake recipe calls for, I peeked in to see how brown it was.  I estimated that it needed another five or so minutes and I was right.  So, here’s Annie’s recipe, with my adaptations inserted:

Annie's Cupcakes

Annie's Cupcakes

Apple Pie Cupcakes

Yield: 24 cupcakes

Ingredients

For the cupcakes:

3 cups sifted cake flour

1 tbsp. baking powder

½ tsp. salt

1 cup butter, at room temperature

2 cups sugar

4 eggs

1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup milk


For the apple filling:

2 tbsp. butter

2 tsp. cinnamon

2-3 tbsp. sugar

3 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and diced (I used Cortland)


For decorating:

vanilla buttercream

yes...it's ok to drink wine while you bake.

(I prepared this before the batter and kept it in the refrigerator until 1/2 an hour before I was ready to frost the cake)



Process

To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350°. Line two cupcake pans with paper liners.

(Instead of lining the cupcake pans, I lightly buttered and floured my cake pan)


In a medium bowl, sift together the cake flour, baking powder and salt.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.


Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well and scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla extract and mix well to combine.

Add in the dry ingredients alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Stir until just combined.

(By the way, my collection of baking equipment is non-existent and most of what I do have is terrible.  So, I often have to improvise when it comes to this, as well.  I use a whisk and a rubber spatula for all of the mixing and believe it or not, I measure all of my ingredients, wet and dry, in the same cup.  Anything that calls for tsp. or tbsp., I measure in my hand.  Please note that for my version I added some cinnamon to the dry ingredients, just because we love it.)


Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake liners, filling them about 2/3-3/4 full.

(I filled my prepared cake pan about 2/3 of the way up.)

my garage sale cake pan

Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 18 to 22 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes in the pans. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely.


To make the apple filling, heat the butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the cinnamon and sugar and cook for a minute, until the mixture begins to bubble. Lower the heat to medium and stir in the apples.

Mix well. Cook until the apples are somewhat tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.

While the apple mixture is cooling, use the cone method to remove a chunk from the center of each cupcake, making sure to leave a rim around the top of the cupcake. Fill the holes with the cooled apple mixture. To decorate, top each cupcake with a swirl of vanilla buttercream.


(Sorry.  Initially, I wasn’t sure if the cone method would work on the cake so, I wasn’t going to do it but, at the last minute I decided to go for it, and forgot to get a pic.  It worked.  Just be sure not to cut too deep.)

Dan and I were both very impressed with the apple filling and the buttercream.  I wasn’t totally pleased with the texture of the cake but, that was probably because I had to improvise on the measurements.  Dan didn’t even notice anything about the texture so, it was probably just me picking it apart.  Overall it was a really delicious fall treat…enjoy!


*Winn:  I’m still gonna make you some cupcakes soon…don’t give up on me.*

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