Tasty Morsels: Choice of apples makes the difference in pork chop dish

By: Susie Iventosch
-A +A
The Auburn Community Festival harvest recipe contest is just around the corner — this Saturday — and I can’t wait to see what delectable treats community members bring to the table this year. If any of you have had the chance try Judy Barth’s award-winning Elizabethan harvest pie, you can see why this is an exciting time. That pie was outrageously delicious and quite a sight to present to dinner guests! In thinking about this week’s recipe, I was hoping to create a savory dish using pork chops, apples and onions, because I just love that combination and apples are right in season. But, what are the best apples to use for this sort of dish? I wanted them to hold their shape when cooked and didn’t want the apples to be too tart or too sweet. So, I paid a little visit to Machado’s Orchards because they really know about apples over there. Connie Ortega gave me some good advice. She said they use the Empire apples in their pies, because they hold their shape very well. She also said that perhaps a couple of Fuji apples would add just the right amount of sweetness for my recipe. Connie’s advice was excellent and the dish turned out just how I’d envisioned. The pork chops were very tender and the sauce was delicious. Good luck to all of this year’s harvest recipe contestants. (By the way, contestants can show up to the festival with the dish and a pre-printed recipe, even if they have not pre-registered.) I’ll be looking forward to sampling the winners’ recipes and hopefully printing them for our readers. Pan-glazed pork chops with apples, onions and sage (Serves 4) Ingredients 4 boneless pork chops (at least one-inch thick) 5 medium-size apples (I used a combination of Empire and Fuji), peeled, cored and cut into ¾-inch-thick wedges 1 large yellow onion, chopped 16 mini chicken apple sausages, cut into small slices 1 bunch fresh sage (Remove several stems for garnish, and chop the remainder) 1 teaspoon dried thyme 1 teaspoon dried oregano 1 teaspoon dried sage 1 teaspoon ground black pepper 1 teaspoon sea salt ½ cup dry sherry ½-3/4 cup chicken broth 3 tablespoons olive oil Directions Trim pork chops of any excess fat. In a small bowl, mix dried herbs, salt and pepper. Coat top and bottom of each chop with herb mixture. Heat oil in large skillet and brown chops thoroughly on both sides. Remove from pan and tent with foil. In same pan, add a little more oil, and cook onions over medium-high heat until translucent. Add apples, sage and sliced sausage and continue to cook until apples are al dente and mixture begins to brown. Add ½ cup dry sherry to pan to deglaze the pan and then reduce heat to medium-low and add chicken broth. Replace pork chops into pan along with apples and onions, cover and cook until chops are cooked to desired doneness. This will depend upon the thickness of the chops. The chops I purchased were about 1½ inches thick, and took approximately 15-20 minutes to cook over medium-low heat. Be careful to check chops occasionally, because overdone chops will become dry. Serve pork chop on plate with onion-apple mixture spooned over the top. Garnish with reserved sage leaves. Susie can be reached at