Monday, September 19, 2011

kevin's birthday dinner

Kevin requested pork chops for his birthday celebration dinner tonight. I remembered this recipe I made awhile back that was delicious! I am serving it with butternut squash & potato mash and a simple green salad. We also surprised him with his favorite applesauce cookies...It's going to be yummy!

Cider Brined Pork Chops with Creamed Leeks and Apples
(Courtesy of
4 1/4 cups apple cider
3 tablespoons coarse salt
6 allspice berries (I omit)
1 bay leaf
4 10-ounce bone-in center-cut pork rib chops

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter
5 large leeks (white and pale green parts only), thinly sliced
1 cup whipping cream

1 1/2 pounds Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, halved, each half cut into 4 wedges
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup chicken stock or canned low-salt chicken broth
1/3 cup Calvados (apple flavored brandy)

Olive oil

Bring 4 cups cider, salt, allspice, and bay leaf to boil in large saucepan, stirring to dissolve salt. Cool completely. Place pork in 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Pour brine over. Cover; refrigerate overnight.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in heavy large skillet over medium-low heat. Add leeks; sauté until tender, about 7 minutes. Add cream and simmer until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Creamed leeks can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.)
Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add apples and sauté 10 minutes. Add sugar and sauté until apples are golden, about 6 minutes longer. Add stock, then Calvados and remaining 1/4 cup cider. Simmer until liquid thickens slightly and apples are tender, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Set aside. Prepare barbecue (medium heat) or preheat broiler. Drain pork. Rinse under cold water; pat dry. Brush pork with oil. Grill or broil to desired doneness, about 5 minutes per side for medium.

Meanwhile, rewarm leeks, thinning with 1 to 3 tablespoons water if necessary. Bring apples to simmer. Spoon leeks onto plates. Top with pork, then apples.

Applesauce Cookies with Browned Butter Glaze
(Courtesy of
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup white wheat flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup applesauce

Preheat oven to 375F degrees. Line cookies with silicone liners, nonstick foil, or parchment paper. Alternatively, use ungreased cookie sheets to bake your cookies. In a medium size bowl whisk the flours, spices, baking soda, and salt until well blended and set aside. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Beat in the egg and applesauce then stir in the flour mixture until just combined. Drop cookie dough by rounded teaspoonfuls onto prepared cookie sheets about 2 inches apart. Bake until no indentation remains when touched and light golden brown around the edges, about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and immediately transfer cookies to a wire rack with a spatula.
Ice cookies if desired.

Browned Butter Glaze
Heat 1/3 cup butter over low heat until golden brown; remove from heat. Stir in 2 cups powdered sugar and 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract. Beat in 2 to 4 tablespoons hot water until smooth and of desired consistency for spreading.

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