Friday, February 11, 2011

Dinner Plans by Duck Momma

Its cold out, and it's so easy to get beat down by the winter blues. Its easy to get beat down by mid week" I don't know what to do for dinner" syndrome too, but hope is in sight!

Assuming you have some of the basics around, this meal comes in at around$8- $10 total (closer to$15 for a family of 3 or 4. ) Tonight we are having thick cut pork chops with a big hearty apple and onion saute, glazed carrots, and spinach with a little bacon!
First the pork chops: finding them in sale is the first key and it does happen so keep your eye out. Second is getting those chops in a brine. I made mine with kosher salt (key ingredient), black pepper, smoked paprika, onions, celery, apples, garlic, and carrots. This is all done the day before, so just chop, dump, fridge, and you're done!

Next lets work on carrots. I just wanted to use up the carrots I had, and they were a little small so my pieces aren't all identical, but the sizes are as similar as I could get.  This would be awesome if you had baby carrots. First chop up your carrots and pop them into water to blanch. You don't even need to peel them, which is really helpful if they are skinny carrots. Season your water with salt and we are just going to blanch. Cook til your desired tenderness, and into a salty ice bath to shock! After they have been schocked you can just rub the outside skin off with a dish towel. So easy and so fast! The carrots can hang out until close to dinner time. When you are ready melt and combile a couple tablespoons of buttter, garlic, about 1/4 or so cup of brown sugar and salt.  A splash of water will help things melt faster and you can cook it out. Toss in carrots and simmer to coat!

Now for those pork chops! They go right from the brine to a nice hot skillet with a touch of butter. Cook around 6 minutes on each side. Don't mess with them while they cook! After the 12 minutes let them rest on a plate while you work on your saucy saute!
Add long cut onins and thin apple slices to the same skillet you cooked your prok chops in. A pat of butter and about 1 cup white wine to deglaze. Let everything cook together and get saucy and wonderful. I added some salt, garlic, and smoked paprika (same seasoning I used on my chops!)
After everything is where you want it add the chops back in to heat through and smother with apples and onions. Yum!
Bacon and spinach are easy. Crisp your bacon and add spinach. I use frozen sppinach I thawed while cooking everything else.
Thats it! You are done! Its time to scoot up to the table and be super proud of yourself! Enjoy!
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