Saturday, August 30, 2008

Rushing the season

Tonight's Menu

  • pork chops with apples & onions in a cider mustard cream sauce
  • mashed potatoes
  • sauteed cabbage with bacon
Oh people, it's not even quite September yet and I am SO ready for fall! I can't help it; it's been a loooong summer here in central Texas. I was in the mood for fall food tonight, and nothing says fall to me like pork, apples and cabbage.

So, the pork! I had some really large but thin bone-in chops that I just seasoned with salt and pepper and then browned on both sides in a heavy skillet with a little bit of oil. I removed the chops to a plate and covered them with foil to keep warm, then dumped half a Granny Smith apple (peeled and sliced relatively thin) and half a sweet yellow onion (also sliced thin, lengthwise) into the skillet. I tossed them around to pick up some color, then briefly removed the pan from the heat so I could pour in about 10 ounces of hard cider. (You could also use regular non-alcoholic apple cider, in which case there's no danger of a flareup and thus no need to take the pan off the heat.)

I put the pan back on the heat and left it to simmer away, uncovered, until the onions and apples were tender and the cider had evaporated by about half. Then I stirred in one tablespoon of whole-grain mustard (because I like the seeds) and slowly added about half a cup of heavy cream. I let it bubble away for just a minute before taking it off the heat.

The idea is to serve the apple-onion sauce over the chops, but I put it on the side because I knew the kids would never eat it that way. And yes, they are still free to Make (Their) Own Damn Dinner(s) if they don't like what I'm serving, but they both DO like pork chops and it's no skin off my nose to put the sauce on the side.

The mashed potatoes were my usual frozen Ore-Ida, jazzed up with milk, butter, salt and pepper. I KNOW! But for a processed food this one doesn't contain too much scary crap, and I just HATE making mashed potatoes from scratch.

For the cabbage, I just browned off some chopped bacon in a skillet and then dumped in a bunch of chopped cabbage. Stir, stir, stir until the cabbage is tender, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Easy!

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