Friday, September 16, 2011

Pork Chops with Creamy Bacon Cheese Grits

So I have recently realized that I actually pork chops.  It was a new revelation for me since I don't think I have had them since I was about 6 years old as we tend to cook pork tenderloin more often than not.  I have no idea why I thought they would be so different than the tenderloin but for some reason I just avoided them in the grocery and recipes of them online like the plague.  Alas, I saw a recipe on the Pioneer Woman's blog (yep, I am pretty much obsessed with her recipes) and decided it was time to ty these bad boys....I mean seriously though, if they were terrible there was always the grits and who can't make a meal out of cheese grits...WITH BACON!?!?  That is pretty much a meal in and of itself but I decided to cook the pork anyway.   Glad I did because it could have been the most flavorful pork I have ever eaten.  If you are looking for something tasty and totally decadent you should completely try this....if you are looking for something healthy, check out the salmon because this ain' your dish!

Pork Chops with Apples and Creamy Bacon Cheese Grits

6 whole Boneless Pork Chops, About 1/2-inch Thick
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Butter
2 whole Gala Apples, Diced
½ cups Dry White Wine
2 teaspoons Apple Cider Vinegar
¾ cups Pure Maple Syrup
1 dash Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Creamy Bacon-Cheese Grits (see below)
Preparation Instructions

Heat a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil and butter and heat until butter in melted.  Salt and pepper both sides of pork chops.  Brown them on both sides until nice and golden. Remove pork chops from the skillet and set on a separate plate.  

Reduce heat to medium. Add apples and stir to combine them with the oil, and butter that remains in the pan.  Pour in wine and vinegar, then whisk along the bottom of the pan to deglaze it.  Cook until liquid is reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Pour in the maple syrup, then add a dash of salt and pepper.  Stir, then return pork chops to the pan.  Cover the pan and simmer on low for 20 minutes.

Serve pork chops on top of a generous helping of Creamy Cheese Grits (mashed potatoes are good, too) and spoon the apple-maple sauce over the top, allowing the liquid to drip over the grits.

Creamy Bacon Cheese Grits.

8 slices Regular Bacon, Cut Into 1/2-inch Pieces
1 whole Yellow Onion, Chopped
2 cups Stone Ground Grits; The More Coarse, The Better!
4 cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth
2 cups Water
2 cups Heavy Cream (sorry)
1-½ cup Grated Cheese (Monterey Jack, Etc.)
1 dash Cayenne, For Heat
Salt As Needed
Black Pepper To Taste
Preparation Instructions
In a heavy pot, cook bacon over medium heat for a couple of minutes to render fat.  note: I like to use kitchen sheers for jobs like this.  Add onions and cook with bacon for a few minutes, or until bacon is chewy and onions are golden brown.  Add grits, chicken broth, and water.  
 
 Stir together and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to simmer, cover pot, and cook 30 to 40 minutes, stirring occasionally and making sure the liquid level is okay. If grits begin to get dry, add a little more warm broth.  After 30-40 minutes of cooking time, pour in cream.  Cover pot and continue to simmer on very low heat for another 30 minutes, or until grits are done. Taste and add salt, pepper and cayenne to taste. Remove from heat and stir in grated cheese. 

Keep warm and serve.
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