Pan-seared Pork Chop with Roasted Squash and Apples

It doesn’t take much for someone to convince me to cook. “How about you make me something using your culinary expertise?” , said a co-worker as soon as I walked in the building was all she had to say. Forget about the tired and proverbial “good morning!”, let’s make you cook today. But as you may have probably already guessed, I happily obliged and yes, apparently, verbal embellishments work wonders. Not that there’s anything “culinary” or “expert” about my cooking.

By the time I punched out for my lunch break, I had already come up with a menu. So I came to her and asked, “how do you feel about squash?” to which she replied with wide-eyed excitement, “oh I love squash!” and then enumerated the types of squash she loves. Then I asked how she feels about apples and she said yes (well, yeah!). And then, I asked, “But how do you feel about squash and apple being in the same dish?” She said, it’s something she is willing and so excited to try.

So I headed straight to Wegmans after work and shopped for the ingredients. Then I went to Dollar General to buy my very first props to “stage” my food. You can’t go wrong with a $1.00 plate and table napkin. Oh, I also bought some flowers from Wegs, but I butchered it because I am not a very good florist. Ugh!

Anyway, here’s the recipe. I have only cooked it once about 2 or 3 years ago. I know the apple and squash kinda worked but I messed up the pork. It was cooked but didn’t have that deep, rich color or seared meat to it because I was afraid of burning it and leaving the inside still raw. So stupid me, I cooked the beautiful meat over medium heat and, disaster! Well, lesson learned and now I am becoming more comfortable searing my meats. Although I still haven’t gotten over popping oil so I still wear long sleeves whenever I fry or sautee or anything that involves hot cooking oil in a pan.

Pan-seared Pork Chop w/ Roasted Squash and Apples

Ingredients:

  • 4-6 pieces bone-in pork chops
  • 1 medium sized acorn squash- peeled and sliced
  • 2 granny smith apples- cored and sliced
  • Rosemary
  • garlic
  • butter
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
Here’s how:
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 F.
  2. Peel and slice squash. Cut in half and cut into 1/4 inch slices across (like a rainbow), then cut slices in half.
  3. Core and slice apples into thin lengthwise cuts. I made the mistake of peeling the apples. Leave the peel to keep the apple from breaking.
  4. In a huge bowl, season with chopped rosemary, garlic and salt then toss olive oil until well coated. Place on a baking sheet in a single layer and roast for 15 minutes (really, it’s all it takes). After 15 minutes, throw in apple slices and roast for another 10 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, season pork chops with salt and pepper and sear over high heat. place a sprig of rosemary on top of the meat after turning and throw in a clove of garlic and a teaspoon of butter over the meat to melt. Once all the pork chops are seared, place on top of the squash and apples and leave in the oven for an additional 10 minutes.
  6. Take tray out of the oven and serve the pork chop, squash and apples with your favorite greens.
The unlikely duo

I love the mix of texture and flavor in my mouth. The tartness from the granny Smith apple was perfect to gut the rich, greasy flavor from the pork chop but the squash cushions that punch of flavor from the apple so it melds well in your mouth. The velvety, earthy, nutty flavor from the squash is what blends all the flavors together and resonates in your palate. Rosemary? That’s my go-to herb. It gave this dish a very fine aroma that heightens your senses and excitement for the food. 

My successfully failed flower arrangement and my dollar General plate.

I was in a little bit of a funk when I started cooking. I guess it was extreme rise in temperature or my 4-yo being a 4-yo today. Then, add to that the pale yellow from the acorn squash. This is why I don’t like using ingredients I’m not used to. I get disappointed and I just lose all interest in cooking. Good thing this acorn squash delivered. It was really tasty.

 

4 thoughts on “Pan-seared Pork Chop with Roasted Squash and Apples

  1. These look delicious and very filling. I like rosemary on my meat, too (and on focaccia). I have to make do with the dried McCormick kind, though, if I want to use it on a whim.
    I deal with oil splatters by using long tongs and a pot lid as a shield, haha.

    • Yun din ginagawa ko eh. kaso tumatalsik pa rin sa arms ko kaya nag lolong sleeves ako. haha. And yes, this meal was filling but it doesn’t leave you that heavy, sluggish feeling afterwards. Try it, this might be one of those things you can put together without looking at a recipe. Really simple. You can never go wrong.

    • Thanks! I figured it would be a nice transition dish from summer to fall? I don’t know.🙂

      But about the pictures, I do the side by side thing (diptych) in Adobe Photoshop. It seems a lot of fuss post processing the pictures but it’s worth it. It is because I try to stay as close to the original size as possible but that requires a lot of space and it’s cumbersome for valued visitors like you to scroll up and down before they can see the entire image. So I figured a diptych would be the best solution.

      Thanks and it’s nice to hear from you again.

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