Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Pork Chops with Cider, Horseradish, and Dill

The newest cool kid on the block, The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, is packed full of recipes and photos that literally make you gasp and drool. There are goodies galore inside this baby, and it was impossibly hard to decide what to make first. Ultimately, I decide on these pork chops because I literally couldn't decide between anything in her cookbook, and I knew I already had pork chops in the freezer. Sometimes practicality wins, folks.

Since Deb's cookbook (Don't you love how I call her Deb? Like we're besties?) was the first selection for my one of  my New Year's resolutions, I thought this was perfect to wrap up my first week. It's filling, and I love the spiciness of the cayenne and horseradish against the sweetness of the apple cider. It just works.

Funny story about Deb. I met her in mid-November at a book signing with Elly. I was basically a fangirl and oozed all over her. Deb giggled politely and awkwardly when I asked if I could be her best friend. She doesn't want to spend time with the likes of me, but meeting a blogging powerhouse like Deb was an experience I won't forget anytime soon.

Pork Chops with Cider, Horseradish, and Dill
(Adapted ever so slightly from Smitten Kitchen)

For the glaze:
1/2 c. apple cider vinegar
1/2 c. hard or pressed apple cider
2 T. fresh grated or prepared horseradish
1/2 tsp. salt
Pinch cayenne pepper

For the pork chops:
4 bone-in pork chops, 1/2 inch thick, at room temperature
Salt and pepper, to taste
Olive oil
1 T. chopped fresh dill (as you can see, I had to use dried, and it looks a bit pathetic)

Whisk together the ingredients for the glaze in a small bowl. Set aside.

If necessary, trim excess fat from the pork chops, leaving a small amount. Pat dry with a paper towel, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high, to smoking. Cook the pork chops until they are well-browned, approx. 3 minutes per side. Pull from the skillet, set aside and tent with foil, and pour off any fat in the skillet.

Pour the glaze into the skillet. Bring to a simmer. Cook mixture until it's thickened and leaves trails when a spoon is dragged across the pan, approx. 2-4 minutes. Return the pork chops to the skillet, along with any accumulated juices. Flip the chops and coat both sides with the glaze. Lower heat to medium and cook chops approx. 5 more minutes, until internal temperature reads 140* F. Check for seasonings and season with salt and pepper, if necessary. Remove pork chops to platter and pour over glaze. Sprinkle with dill before serving.

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