Can I just say, the mere title of this recipe makes my mouth water! Tonight, however, I am feeling a little less than satisfied and I think I know why!
I am definitely still a novice cook, and I am learning as I go. I thought about not posting this recipe tonight, since I was not happy with the results, but changed my mind. I am writing this blog not only to share my meals with others, but to help myself grow as a cook.
I have made this recipe before, with pretty good results! Tonight, however, I was not impressed with myself. And it all started with my ingredients.
My first mistake: too many sweet potatoes! The recipe called for a pound, but I used two whole sweet potatoes! I also didn’t cut them into small enough chunks, which mean they didn’t cook as much as I’d like. Next time, I will only use one and will cut them into one-inch chunks. This should leave more room in the pan and allow the vegetables to cook properly.
My second mistake: I didn’t have all the ingredients I wanted. (This one wasn’t really my fault, I blame the North Dakota weather!) I had to substitute a white onion for fennel and I had to use dry rosemary instead of fresh (despite going to two different grocery stores, mind you!).
The third mistake: I bought the wrong sized pork chops. I thought I could get away with a 3-pack instead of a four-pack but I was proved wrong! The pork chops were too thick and took too long to saute, leaving them kind of chewy!
The good news? (Yes, there is good news!)
All of these things I can fix! The recipe has a great base with some excellent fall ingredients. I just need to not overcrowd my pan and buy the right ingredients!
Like I mentioned earlier, this is a learning experience. If you have any opinions for me, I’m open to them!
Cider-Dijon Pork Chops with Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Apples
Recipe retrieved from Epicurious.
4 boneless pork loin chops (each about 1 inch thick!)
Salt and Pepper
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 cup apple cider or apple juice (I used organic apple juice and was very happy with the flavor)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons butter, cut into 2 pieces
1 pound sweet potatoes (about one large), cut into 1-inch chunks
2 Fuji apples, cored and cut lengthwise into eighths
1 large fennel bulb (can substitute an onion)
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary or 1 tablespoon dried
1) Remove the pork from the refrigerator and let stand at room temperature while the oven preheats to 450 degrees.
2) In a large bowl, toss the sweet potatoes, apples, fennel, and rosemary with the olive oil to coat. Season with salt and pepper.
3) Spread the vegetable mixture onto a large rimmed baking sheet. Roast, turning the ingredients over halfway through, for about 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are nicely browned and tender.
4) Meanwhile, season the porkchops with salt and pepper.
5) Heat a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil, then add the pork to the skillet and cook for about 5 minutes per side, or until golden brown and barley pink when pierced in the center. Trasnfer to a platter and let stand for 5 minutes.
6) In the same pan, reduce the heat to medium-low, add the apple cider and bring to a simmer, scraping up the brown bits with a wooden spoon.
7) Whisk in the mustard and simmer for about 2 minutes to reduce the liquid slightly. Remove from heat and whisk in the butter to lightly thicken the sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
8) Serve sweet potato mixture with pork chops topped with sauce.
9) Enjoy 🙂