Pork Chop with Apple Cider Cream Sauce

Guys. I know. It’s good.

I made this for myself as a late dinner one night after a long evening of baking. I was craving a pork chop, since I basically had cake batter and beer as an appetizer, and fortunately had one thawed in the fridge! I served this to myself with a side of Wegman’s Lazy Person’s Brown Rice and Quinoa blend. I made this for one, but the recipe below is for 2, and could be scaled to fit any number.

2 pork chops
1T butter
1/2 an onion, chopped
garlic, if you like
1/4-1/2 cup apple cider
splash of heavy cream (or half and half, or leave it out), probably 1-2 tablespoons

1. Melt butter and saute onions until translucent. Add garlic and saute 30 seconds longer.

2. Add pork chops and brown on all sides.

3. Pour in a good splash of apple cider and stir to mix with butter. Allow the apple cider to cook down a bit. It will turn pretty syrupy-looking. Add some more apple cider and flip the pork chops. You want a good pool of apple cider in the pan, but not so the pork is swimming. You also want the apple cider to cook down quite a bit. At this point you may also want to check the temperature of the pork chop. Depending on how thick your chop is, it may be done already (at 145F). If it’s not done yet, you can cover it and throw it in a 350F oven (if you happen to have it on already), or you can keep it on the stove. When it reaches 145F, go to step 4.

4. Using tongs (or a fork), plate your pork chops. Drizzle in your heavy cream, stirring all the while. Once sauce has reached a light brown color, cook for 30 seconds and then pour it over the pork chops on the plates.

5. Enjoy! I think this would go really well not only with the rice/quinoa blend I mentioned before, but also with some sauteed greens or a nice salad.

Variation: You could also slice some apples real thin and start those in the butter with the onions at the very beginning. I didn’t have any apples to do this at the time, but I think that would make a nice addition too.

Eat well, friends.

Pork Tenderloin with Kale & Browned Butter Risotto

Sounds good, eh? I didn’t take pictures, but here’s the skinny:

1 pork tenderloin
salt, pepper
1 stick butter
2 T olive oil
1/2 an onion, diced (I used a red one)
1 T minced garlic
1.5 cups arborio rice
5 cups broth (I used water and Better Than Bouillon)
A crap-ton of kale, chopped roughly

Preheat your oven to 375.

Now first thing’s first: Brown your butter. I implore you. It will make your kitchen smell great. It will be beautiful. You will love it. To do that: Put the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Once it melts, swirl the pan a bit. It will get a little foamy, and then you will begin to smell this wonderful nutty aroma, and it should begin to turn golden (keep swirling). Once it is a light golden brown, turn off the heat, and you can put the butter in a bowl or ramekin (and use that pan again for kale in a bit).

Next, put your pork in some kind of oven-safe dish. I used an old broiler pan thing I found at a garage sale, which worked great. Put the pork in the dish, and toss on some salt and pepper. Take a spoonful of the browned butter and put that over the pork. Toss it in your preheated oven. I recommend sticking a thermometer thing in it, if you have one. We have an electric thermometer thing. It dings when there’s stuff (stuff = pork getting to 145).

For the risotto: In a dutch oven or 4ish quart pot on the stove, add olive oil and diced onions and cook them, stirring occasionally, until the onions begin to become just a little less than opaque. Toss in the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds or so, until fragrant.

Now you’re going to pour in the arborio rice. It’s possible you can use any kind of rice for risotto, but arborio is the kind that gets creamier, I think. So put that in the pot with the onions and garlic, and cook it for about a minute (no liquid yet).

Pour in enough of the broth to cover the risotto and stir. Once that liquid is soaked up, do that again. Stir it a lot – that’s what makes it creamy. Continue until all the broth is soaked up and the rice is tender. If the rice is not tender and you’re out of broth, use some more. Or use water. Liquid is important.

While that’s cooking, pour a little broth in the bottom of the pan you used for the butter (which is now empty), and pile in the kale. Use the broth to wilt the kale. You want it a vibrant green. Stir a few times and once it is uniformly wilted, turn off the heat.

So – now you’ve got wilted kale, and you should have a pot of tender risotto and a cooked pork tenderloin (don’t forget about it – and when it’s done, let it rest under some tin foil while you finish the risotto). Stir in the kale and any liquid from the pan. Make sure the kale is evenly distributed, and then pour in the browned butter and stir that in.

Et voila! Incroyable! Pretty delicious. If you have a dairy-free person in your house, omit the browned butter. Use a bit of olive oil on the pork loin, and the risotto will still be delish without the butter.

Eat well, friends!