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Pan Fried Pork Chops with Apple Compote and Apple, Cheddar and Rosemary Biscuits

Pork Chops, Apple Compote and Apple, Cheddar Biscuits with  Rosemary

Here we are in one of my most favourite parts of the year, the beginning of spring. In fact, Autumn and Spring are my favourite seasons. I mean, yes summer is all hot and sunny and has an abundance of fruits and vegetables, but spring is where it all begins and autumn is where we say goodbye. I like the beginning and the end better than the middle, for the middle is so long that you get used to being in it, but spring is fleeting and autumn turns to rain and snow before you know what hit you. But it is not “officially” spring yet. We are straddling that line between seasons at the moment really. Here in Victoria, BC, spring comes a little early, but there is still time to be waited out before it will be here.

I have my seedlings sprouting on my kitchen counter, waiting for that last frosty morning to rear it’s ugly head. Gardening is in my future, and I will be posting about it soon! Food wise, things are starting to happen though. I see California Asparagus and Artichokes in the grocery store, two of my favourite spring veggies. Artichokes grown in BC tend to mature in mid summer, but California gets all the fun. California artichokes peak in March and asparagus is a spring vegetable as well, though somehow it is more known in summer. Probably because it is readily available and cheap during those hot summer months.

I am tempted to buy those vegetables marked USA, but for this week I have relented and set my sights on something more “end of winter-y” and available more locally. Pork chops are a great family food, ubiquitous with weeknight dinners of yonder youth I’m sure. It is also locally produced right here on the island, so no worries there. Apples are local all year round, though I’m not entirely sure how they are stored. My father says Argon gas is used, but if anyone wants to clarify, have at ‘er. Broccoli is out of season, I will admit it….but I need my green veggies, and we love our broccoli, such a super food!

This dish is meant to be a farewell to winter. A vibrant mix of winter comfort foods and fresh tasting accompaniments, it will surely satisfy everyone in the family. Make the biscuits anytime, they are to die for! If I do say so myself….

Pan Fried Pork Chops with Apple Compote

For Compote:

1 small sweet onion, finely diced
2 small green apples (such as Granny Smith or Orin), peeled, cored and diced
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp butter
1/4 tsp each of cinnamon and nutmeg
Juice and zest of one lemon

1. In small saucepan, mix all ingredients and set over medium heat.
2. Continue to cook for 15-20 minutes, or until apples and onions are softened.
3. Keep warm until chops are finished cooking.

For Chops:

4 Pork Loin chops (bone in)
canola or other high heat tolerant oil
salt & pepper

1. Rub each chop with a small amount of oil, then season generously with salt and pepper.
2. Heat cast iron or non stick skillet over medium high heat and wait until completely heated through. (To test, drop a small droplet of water in. If it sizzles and evaporates, we’re ready to cook!)
3. Set chops in one layer directly on pan and sear on one side for 5-6 minutes (or until beginning to brown), flip over (using tongs not a fork!) and sear other side for another 5-6 minutes. Lower heat to medium or medium low and continue to cook and flip until done to your taste. I prefer just slightly over medium rare, on the medium side, if you will. Still a little pinkish and not dry and overdone.
4. Remove from pan and set on plate for 5 minutes to rest.
5. Serve chops with a dollop of apple compote on top and a side of apple, cheddar and rosemary biscuits (recipe follows).

** Just a note about pork and how rare it can be cooked (safely) and eaten. There is much rumouring and chit chat about this, as back in the late half of the last century it was well known that pink pork (or undercooked game meats) would give you trichinosis, a form of larval worm. EW! In North America, cases of trichinosis are rare, in part because we no longer feed raw meats to pigs and have upped the sanitation factor in most factory farms. In Canada, there has not been a case related to eating pork products in over 15 years! Trichinosis is a problem in China and other developing nations though, so it has not been eradicated. The safest thing to do would be to know your farmer! Know where your meat is coming from, and what they are being fed (rememberpigs are omnivores). If you are worried about it when cooking, simply cook your pork to an internal temperature of at least 140°F (According to Agriculture Canada, trichinosis is destroyed in any meat if cooked to an internal temperature of 137°F, well below 160°F which would yield a medium doneness). Most people would prefer a medium cooked pork chop though, so aim for a little pink in the middle and always rest your meat for 5-10 minutes after cooking!

Pork Chops, Apple Compote and Apple, Cheddar Biscuits with  Rosemary

Apple, Cheddar and Rosemary Biscuits

2 cups all purpose flour (or 1 cup AP flour and 1 cup whole wheat flour)
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsb sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup butter, slightly chilled (remove from fridge about 10 minutes prior to starting)
2 Tbsp fresh rosemary, minced fine
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup canola oil
1 egg
175 g Cheddar cheese, grated
2 small green apples (such as Granny Smith or Orin), peeled, cored and diced

Apple, Cheddar Biscuits with Rosemary

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease a 12 cup muffin tin and set aside.
2. Sift flour, salt, sugar and baking powder into large bowl.
3. Cut in butter until it almost dissapears, should look like fine crumbs. Add rosemary and stir to combine.
4. In a seperate bowl, combine buttermilk, oil and egg. Whisk with a fork until completely blended.
5. Pour wet ingredients into dry, add apple and cheese and stir gently until a dough comes together. Don’t overmix, but there shouldn’t be any loose flour left. You dough is going to look like mostly apples and will be very thick looking, this is fine!
6. Spoon into muffin tin (Should fill 12 perfectly) and bake for 25-30 minutes.
7. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes in pan. Turn upside down on cooling rack to release biscuits. Cool another 5 minutes and serve!

Apple, Cheddar Biscuits with Rosemary

8 comments to Pan Fried Pork Chops with Apple Compote and Apple, Cheddar and Rosemary Biscuits

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