My husband and I were newlyweds when I first made this dish. We were so happy and in love. Everything was perfect and then real marriage kicked in. I spent the afternoon preparing what I thought would be the perfect dinner for my husband. I couldn’t wait for him to come home because he was going to love this awesome dinner that I cooked just for him. Wrong! He took one look at his plate and said, “I don’t like cooked apples.” And with a hint of an attitude I replied, “What do you mean you don’t like cooked apples?” His response was “I don’t like my apples soft and warm.” Then I said, “What do you mean you don’t like your apples soft and warm? You eat apple pie.” He said, “Yeah well, apple pie doesn’t have pork chops and onions in it.” And there it was. The honeymoon was over, and we were officially married. My husband didn’t even pretend to like the meal. Needless to say I was a little miffed. And that was the last time I made pork chops and apples for him.
Fast forward 12 years. Now that I have this blog I get to cook whatever I want and I don’t have to worry about anybody’s warm, soft fruit issues. I dusted off the Good Housekeeping cookbook that had the infamous pork chops and apples recipe in it, and I went to work recreating it for this post. It’s an easy recipe and I made it with ingredients I already had on hand. The original recipe called for Golden Delicious apples, but I used Fuji apples since that’s what I had from a recent trip to an apple orchard.
After I finished cooking, my husband came into the kitchen with a smile on his face and said, “Something sure smells good!” I just looked at him and said, “You won’t like it because it has cooked apples in it.” His response was, “Can I try it?” (Sure, why not?) He took a bite and said, “This is good! How come you never make this?” (Really?) I didn’t say anything. I just fixed him a plate and he walked away a happy man. He is so lucky he’s cute.
Pork Chops with Sauteed Apples and Red Onions, adapted from Good Housekeeping
Makes 4 servings
1 tablespoon canola oil
4 pork loin chops, thick-cut and bone-in
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
2 large apples, cored and cut into 1/4-inch thick wedges
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 cup apple cider or apple juice
2 teaspoons cornstarch
Pat the pork chops dry with paper towels. (This will help the chops brown quickly and evenly.) Mix the salt, pepper and thyme in a small bowl. Sprinkle each side of the chops with the seasoning mix. (You will have seasoning left over. Use it to season the sauce.) Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chops and cook for 3 minutes on each side until browned. Transfer the chops to a platter.
Reduce the heat to medium and add the onions to the skillet. Cook the onions until tender, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the apples and sprinkle with the sugar. Cook the apples until they begin to soften, about 3 minutes.
Mix the apple cider and cornstarch in a small bowl until combined. Stir the liquid into the skillet. Bring to a boil. Add the pork chops and any liquid on the platter. Cover and cook until the chops are cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes.
Transfer the chops to a platter and spoon the apples and onions on top.