Apple and Onion Pork Chops with Fall Grains

Fact:  This is not your Mom's Shake 'n Bake.

Fact:  To this day, I associate pork chops with Shake 'n Bake.  Even when pork chops aren't breaded.  Even when they cost $45 at a 5-star restaurant, and come next to a side of broccoli dipped in gold. (Does this exist?)

Fact:  Growing up, from time to time, my Mom made Shake 'n Bake pork chops.  It was...not my favorite meal.  Personal preference.  Don't worry, she and I have discussed this and we're still on good terms.

Don't get me wrong, my Mom's an awesome cook.  Her talent and comfort level in the kitchen are part of what has inspired me to love cooking.  My last meal on death row, aside from a sleeve of Oreos, would most likely include my Mom's delicious home cooking. 

But Shake 'n Bake pork chop night, well, those were the evenings I went to bed without any Oreos.

Now that I'm all grown up, I "get" Shake 'n Bake.  It's quick.  It's easy.  It's a no-brainer when there are lots of activities/chores/errands/craziness going on, and you just need to get dinner on the table. 

Since my self-imposed Type A OCD-ish tendencies compel me to cook most weeknights as a rule, I'm always on the look-out for recipes just as quick and easy.  Things that I can whip up without too much trouble or sacrifice, so that I can still have plenty of time to be a good wife and laugh at my husband's never-ending supply of jokes without distraction.

And I shouldn't give pork the shaft simply because of its Shakey past.

As another rule (did you think I only had 1?  I'm going to be such a fun Mom), I try to control the health factor if I can.  I like to be healthy, you know?  So I concocted this Type A Kitchen original recipe to meet this week's need for quick/easy/delicious.

Pork and apples go wonderfully together in this dish. The pork absorbs the flavor of the apple and onion, and the reduced pan sauce served over top was a big hit.  Serve along-side a toasted barley salad with an apple/honey vinaigrette and dinner is served!

Apple and Onion Pork Chops with Fall Grains
a Type A Kitchen original!
Yields 2-4 servings

1 c barley, rinsed
2 c fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
2 apples, cored and cubed (I used Gala, but any mild apple will work)
2 tbs fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 c white wine vinegar
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tsp honey
4 tsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
1+1/4 c apple juice, divided (I found some with low sugar, or you could also use apple cider)
1 lb boneless pork chops, trimmed
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
Heat a dry sauce pan over medium heat, and add the barley.  Toast for 4-5 minutes, stirring quite often so you don't over-toast/burn it.  Add the chicken broth, and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer approximately 25 minutes or until the barley is soft.  Drain to remove the excess liquid.

Meanwhile, whisk together 2 tsp olive oil, 1/4 c apple juice, vinegar, lemon juice, honey, and salt/pepper in a medium-size bowl.  Add the barley, apple, and parsley to the bowl and toss to combine.  Set aside and let come to room temperature.

Heat a large skillet coated with 2 tsp olive oil over medium-high heat.  Sprinkle your pork with salt and pepper, and add it to the pan.  Cook until browned on both sides, about 4 mins per side.  Add the onion and 1 c apple juice to the pan, and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 7-8 minutes (or until the pork is cooked through).

Serve the pork chops with the apple barley salad, and drizzle with the onion-y apple sauce. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey Al, It looks amazing. Definitely will try this one. Shake and Bake served a deeper purpose in your life. It got you to create a perfect and easy dish that's also healthy. The jury stills out though on what you're going to whip up after chasing 3 kids around with their activities!! Keep up with these great recipes.


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