Today is a red-letter day. After three weeks of being on the fritz, my oven is finally fixed! As a rather obsessive home baker, the last three weeks have been pretty painful (especially since my nutrition internship required me to provide baked goods for 40 kitchen employees last week). Mentally, I’ve been running through hypothetical would-you-rather scenarios involving my oven, like, “Would I rather have a working oven or a working microwave?” “Would I rather have a working oven or indoor plumbing?” (Speaking of which, did you ever read about the British study where people reported they’d rather give up indoor plumbing than Facebook?) I think I’d choose the oven over Facebook…but the plumbing over the oven.
At any rate, it’s been a challenge these last few weeks to get dinner on the table, considering the dead oven situation. The good news is that I’ve been making these Pork Chops with Pan-Fried Apples for years and knew it would serve as one hearty stovetop-only meal that’s perfect for fall.
Except for one little snag…
As written, this recipe is a Sodium B-O-M-B. Checking the nutrition info on realsimple.com revealed that the original recipe contains 2,045 milligrams of sodium per serving–right around the recommended amount for an entire day. Holy Saltshaker, that’s a lot of sodium! Time for a recipe makeover!
For my version, I’ve cut back the salt in the pork chops’ breading, limited the salt on the pan-fried apples to just a sprinkle, and used low-sodium chicken broth for the pan sauce. With these changes, this recipe is still a fairly high-sodium one (just so you’re aware) but is more in the reasonable range. This way you can enjoy your dinner without feeling like you overdid it and have to eat flavorless salt-free mush the entire rest of the day. Even with the sodium reduced, the flavors of the savory pork and caramelized exterior of the apples join for a classic fall combination that doesn’t need anything extra. I served it over mashed potatoes to complete the comfort food feel.
And now that that’s all squared away, I think I’ll go bake something!
Pork Chops with Pan-Fried Apples
(Adapted from Real Simple)
1 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. canola oil
3 small to medium apples, sliced in half
1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. ground cumin
scant 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 1/2 lbs. thin-sliced boneless pork chops
1/2 c. low-sodium chicken broth
2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
Fresh or dried parsley
- Heat butter and canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle apple halves lightly with salt and pepper, to taste. Place cut-side down in the skillet and cook 3-5 until golden brown. Remove and set aside, covered.
- Meanwhile, mix flour, cumin, salt, and pepper in a shallow bowl. Dredge pork chops in flour mixture to coat on both sides. When apples have finished cooking, add more butter or oil to the pan if necessary and cook the pork 2-3 minutes per side until golden brown. Set aside, covered, with the apples.
- Add broth and vinegar to the skillet and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer 4-5 minutes until slightly reduced. Pour over pork chops and top with parsley. Serve with apples.
Serves 4-5, depending on appetites.