Using apple butter to flavor succulent pork chops provides a variation on a down-home favorite. Quick barley and lima beans make a crunchy and unusual side dish.
Apple butter is a thick preserve made by slowly cooking apples, sugar and spices together. Adding a little horse-radish and apple cider vinegar creates a great sauce for pork.
For this recipe, I bought a jar of apple butter. If you have time, you can make your own in the microwave. Combine cored and quartered McIntosh apples with brown sugar, cinnamon and a little nutmeg. Cover and microwave on high 10 minutes (for 1 pound apples) pass through a food mill and return to the microwave, uncovered, for 5 minutes or until thick. Add more cinnamon and nutmeg, if needed. Other supermarket products that make this a fast, healthy dinner are lean, butterflied pork chops and quick-cooking barley. Butterflying means cutting the pork chops almost in half and opening them like a book so they are thinner and cook more quickly. These can be found, already butterflied in many markets.
Barley usually takes about 40 minutes to cook, a quick-cooking version takes only 10 minutes. I combined it with frozen lima beans for a hearty side dish.
— Any type of pork chop can be used.
— If pork chops are thick, cut them in half horizontally.
— A meat thermometer should read 145 degrees when pork is cooked.
— Start barley.
— Prepare pork ingredients.
— Finish barley.
— Make pork.
Fred Tasker’s wine suggestions: Pork with apple butter is a sweet and savory dish that would go nicely with a slightly sweet white wine such as a chenin blanc.
Here are the ingredients you’ll need for tonight’s Quick Fix dinner.
To buy: Olive oil spray, 3/4 pound butterflied, boneless center cut pork loin chops; 1 small jar apple butter; 1 small bottle prepared horseradish; 1 package quick-cooking pearl barley. 1 bottle dried rosemary and 1 small package frozen lima beans.
Staples: Olive oil, apple cider vinegar, salt and black peppercorns.