Showing posts with label pork chops. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pork chops. Show all posts

Friday, September 15, 2017

And More Apples

Yes, they keep coming. I suppose I could have planted just one perfect tree and admired it, but no, I had to try out multiple varieties, forgetting that they would all bear fruit at the same time, more or less. The squirrels are having a great time, and a few fallen apples have toothmarks on them that I don't recognize . . .

But as I said last week, since New England has always had a plentiful supply of apples, there is an equally plentiful supply of recipes. I even found one I hadn't seen before! This one's savory rather than sweet. Well, it's sort of sweet, since there's a dash of honey in it, but it pairs nicely with pork.

On the tree
Confession: I've forgotten the variety of the apples I used. I can name all the others in my small orchard, but not this one. But it's pretty, holds up well in cooking, and is remarkably resistant to both insects and squirrels. Oh, and it tastes good too.

Pork Chops with Apple Relish



2 Tblsp butter

3 apples, peeled, cored and diced
1/2 small onion, diced (about 1/2 cup)
1 tsp apple cider vinegar

1/3 cup dried cranberries
1 Tblsp honey

Melt the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat.

Add the apples, onion and vinegar and saute until lightly browned (about 4 minutes).

Add the cranberries and the honey and bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until the apples are tender, stirring occasionally.

Keep warm while you prepare the pork chops.

Pork Chops:

4 boneless or bone-in pork chops
Seasoning of your choice
(I recommend a little salt, because there is none in the relish.)

Season your pork chops to taste (if you want to add some kick, use a bit of chipotle powder.

Add a bit of oil to a skillet and heat. Sear the pork chops on both sides, then reduce the heat to let them cook through. Serve topped with the relish.

Coming November 7th!

A Late Frost (Orchard Mystery #11)

In the dead of winter…
The usually quiet town of Granford, Massachusetts is even drowsier during the colder months. But this year it’s in for a jolt when Monica Whitman moves into town. She's a dynamo who wants to make friends fast in her new home, and she throws herself into community activities. Meg Corey, now Chapin after her marriage to Seth Chapin, is intrigued by the new arrival, who has already sold the town board on a new, fun way to bring in visitors during the offseason: WinterFare, which will feature local foods (such as Meg’s apples) and crafts as well as entertainment.

Tragically, Monica falls ill and dies the evening after the event, in what looks like a case of food poisoning.  But after all the food served at the event has been tested, including Meg's apples, it becomes clear that there's a more sinister explanation to the older woman's sudden demise.

Available for pre-order from Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

San Francisco Pork Chops #Recipe @PegCochran

I found this recipe online but now I've lost the name of the site.  There are numerous recipes for San Francisco Pork Chops but I couldn't find any reference to how they got their name.  I can only guess that the name is a nod to San Francisco's Chinatown because of the inclusion of soy sauce in the recipe. 

Most recipes were similar to this one although some gave directions for making this in your slow cooker.  Either way, we thought it was delicious.  Perfect when served over rice or with mashed potatoes to soak up the delicious sauce.

San Francisco Pork Chops


1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 boneless pork chops
1 clove garlic, minced 

1 onion, chopped
1/4 cup beef broth
1/4 cup soy sauce 
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons water 


Dry pork chops on paper towels.  Recipe is for four but I made only two for the two of us.

Heat vegetable oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Add chops and brown on each side, approximately 5 minutes per side.  

Remove to a platter.

Add garlic and onions to oil remaining in skillet and cook, stirring, until garlic is fragrant and onions are soft.

Whisk broth, soy sauce, brown sugar, 2 tsps. vegetable oil and red pepper flakes in a bowl until combined and brown sugar is dissolved.  

Return chops to pan, add soy sauce mixture and bring to a boil.  Cover skillet and reduce heat to low.  Simmer until pork chops are cooked but still tender.  

This will depend on the thickness of your chops but start checking at 15 minutes.  Chops should reach an internal temperature of at least 145 degrees.

Transfer chops to your serving platter.  Whisk cornstarch and water in a small bowl until smooth.  

Stir into liquid in the pan and stir until thickened, about five minutes.

Pour over chops and serve. 

 Bon Appetit!

The county fair is the highlight of the year for the small town of Lovett, Michigan—especially for food-and-lifestyle blogger Shelby McDonald, who writes as the Farmer’s Daughter. She’s submitting jams and jellies she’s created from the produce she grows at Love Blossom Farm in hopes of harvesting a blue ribbon.

But the townspeople get more than just the excitement of hayrides, tractor pulls, and cotton candy when Shelby’s neighbor and volunteer fireman, Jake Taylor, extricates the body of Zeke Barnstable instead of a dummy during a demonstration of the Jaws of Life. The fact that Jake and Zeke were known to be at odds plants suspicion in the minds of the police. As evidence against Jake grows, Shelby knows she has to plow through the clues to weed out the true killer and save her friend.

Follow me on Facebook to learn about upcoming giveaways! 


Friday, March 11, 2016

Saint Patrick's Day Pork Chops

I had written a nice post about pretty spring food and then I remembered: Saint Patrick’s Day is next Thursday, and I won’t be posting until the day after. Sure, you could make it a very long weekend, but I didn't want to miss the day, plus I found a new and tasty Irish dish (that doesn’t involve fish! Or cookies!).

Do you know, I’ve never been in Ireland for St. Patrick’s Day? So I can’t say whether the towns actually celebrate it (apart from Dublin, where the tourists are), or if it’s just another day, and it’s only the exiles who have made a big thing of it, with parades and turning a river green and the like. I'll be checking in with "my" pub to see how they handle things.

Cows in an Irish meadow (they're everywhere)
You might notice there’s a lot of cream and butter in this recipe. That shouldn’t be a surprise, since the dairy business is big in Ireland, particularly in West Cork (over 4,000 herds of cattle), and Kerrygold is one of the country’s largest exporters. I will not comment upon the rate of heart disease in Ireland. Why spoil the fun?

The pork? Well, back when people there were just scraping by with their small dairy herd and their potato hills, they kept a pig to sell for cash, which was hard to come by. There’s now a large piggery up the hill from where my grandfather was born (and a lot of empty houses around it, because a piggery is rather aromatic).

Saint Patrick's Day Pork Chops with Honey Whiskey Green Peppercorn Sauce(Inspired by The New Irish Table by Margaret Johnson)

[Note: This recipe serves four. Since there are only two of us at home, I cut it in half, which is what you see in the pictures.]


4 pork chops (abt 1/2 lb each)
Forgive the mess: I'm doing a bit of
spring cleaning in my pantry closet
Salt and pepper to taste
Oil for cooking


3/4 cup dry white wine
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into
small pieces
1 Tblsp green peppercorns (preserved in liquid)
1/2 cup Irish whiskey
1/2 cup honey

Pat the pork chops dry, and season with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a heavy skillet and saute the chops. Remove them while they=re still a bit springy (they will continue to cook from their own heat). Place on a plate and cover, then keep warm while you prepare the sauce.

[Note: a lot of recipes call for cooking liquid to reduce it by some percentage. I can=t just eyeball that, and every pan is different anyway. The bottom line is, cook until the liquid thickens a bit. Use the time estimate if you want.]

Wine in the pan (if this was French, it would
be called deglazing)
In the same pan, cook the wine over medium heat for 4-5 minutes, or until reduced by half.

Add the chicken stock and cook for another 4-5 minutes, until the liquid is reduced by one-third.

Add the cream and cook for another 4-5 minutes, or until reduced again by one-third.

All liquids in the pan
Slightly mash up the green peppercorns with the back of a spoon, then stir into the sauce.

Whisk in the butter, one piece at a time, and cook for 2-3 minutes or until thickened.

Stir in 2 Tblsp of the whiskey and 2 Tblsp of the honey, and cook for 3-5 minutes until smooth. Taste it and add more of either or both if you want. Ditto with the salt and pepper.

The finished sauce
Place a generous spoonful of sauce on each warm plate and set a pork chop on it. Surround with boiled new potatoes. Serve with the remaining sauce on the side.

Lá Fhéile Pádraig Sona Daoibh

Yes, that's Ireland--Glandore Harbour in West Cork. No, it's not March in this picture. (Nor in the book coming next year. Hmm, maybe the one after that?)

Find it at Barnes and Noble or Amazon

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Oven Baked Pork Chops #Recipe @Peg Cochran

I've got a funny story about pork chops.  I know, pork chops are funny?  Huh?  Okay, maybe it's slightly more amusing than outright funny, but I'll let you be the judge.

My brother-in-law doesn't like pork chops for some reason.  My sister discovered that not long after they were married.  Every time she got out pork chops to cook, he would suggest going out to dinner.  So now she keeps a pack of pork chops in the freezer and, whenever she wants to go out to eat, she puts them out on the counter.  Bingo, her husband will say "honey, let's eat out tonight."  She has no idea how old those pork chops are now...

On to the recipe.  Super simple after all the work and prep for Thanksgiving dinner and before all the work and prep for Christmas dinner.


Pork chops (bone-in are more flavorful).  However many you need to feed your crew
Prepared ranch dressing
Seasoned bread crumbs

I usually buy plain bread crumbs and season them myself with herbs like thyme, basil, oregano and sometimes some Adobo seasoning.  And, of course, a dash of salt and pepper.

Pour some ranch dressing into a dish and coat each of your pork chops.

Next, coat your chops with the seasoned bread crumbs.

Place on a rack inside a baking pan and bake at 425 degrees for approximately 15 to 20 minutes.

Voila!  A quick, easy and tasty dinner.  

I'm very excited that sometime this month Berried Secrets will be released as an audio book!

AND a new Lucille series book is coming out this month.  Look for A Room with a Pew very shortly! Join my friends on Facebook or sign up for my newsletter for a preview cover reveal and ordering info.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Irish Pork Chops

by Sheila Connolly 

Now that the New England Crime Bake is over for another year (sigh), I’ve shifted to planning mode for my imminent trip to Ireland (more research, of course!). So you may be seeing a lot of Irish recipes from me (depending on Internet accessibility), or maybe wannabe Irish recipes. I cannot say often enough how much Irish food has improved since I first visited! (But I’d go over there anyway.)

Thanksgiving is looming, and somehow that holiday always demands a lot of cooking, for a lot of people (did I mention I’m leaving the country rather than face that?). So having a few quick and simple recipes on hand, for before and after, is a good idea. This is one of those.

And I get to put in a plug for my favorite Irish distillery, West Cork Distillers, in Union Hall/Skibbereen (Union Hall is what is says on the label, but I’ve visited where they make it in Skibbereen, a few miles away). It’s one of the newest in the country, with some pretty stiff competition, but they’re making really good stuff—yes, I’ve tested it—and the guys who run the place are even going to be in my next County Cork book (and not for their whiskey!).

For those of you who don’t know it well, Irish whiskey tastes a bit sweeter than Scotch (which is why I like it). But it won’t overpower a savory dish. Think of this as Irish sweet-and-sour pork.

Pork Chops with Lemon-Honey-Irish Whiskey Sauce

This recipe was originally intended to serve six, but I cut it in half. I did give the full measurements for the sauce, in case you want to spoon it over your side dishes.

3 boneless pork cutlets or bone-in pork chops (I like the bone-in ones for flavor, but the boneless ones make this dish quick and easy to prepare).

Salt and pepper
1 tsp vegetable oil
1 Tblsp butter
1 Tblsp minced shallot
1 tsp flour


1-1/2 tsp finely grated lemon rind
1/2 cup Irish whiskey
1 cup chicken broth
1 Tblsp honey
1 Tblsp lemon juice

1 Tblsp butter

Dry the meat with paper towels and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil until it shimmers. Add the pork and cook until they are browned on the bottom (timing will depend on whether you’re using boneless chops, which cook quickly, and how thick they are—they should be slightly springy when you touch them, not stiff). Turn and brown the second side. Transfer to a plate, cover and keep warm.

Swirl the butter in the skillet. Lower the heat to medium-low. Add the shallot and a bit more salt and cook until the shallot softens (about one minute). Add the flour and cook, stirring, for another minute (to cook the flour).

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the whiskey. Return to the heat, raise it to medium and simmer, stirring to incorporate the tasty stuff in the pan. This is where you burn off the alcohol in the whiskey, in case you’re worried. After about a minute, add the chicken broth and whisk. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is reduced to about 1/2 cup (it should thicken slightly). 

Add the honey and lemon juice and heat through over medium-low heat. Add one more tablespoon of butter, then taste for seasoning, and add salt and pepper if you think you need it.

When you serve your dish, spoon the sauce of the meat and serve immediately. (Noodles, rice or potatoes would pair nicely.)

A Turn for the Bad, the fourth book in the County Cork Mystery series, will be released in February 2016.

And there's whiskey! I visited the distillery last year and met the owners, and since then I've watched their bottles appearing on store shelves all over my area. Of course I had to put them in this book!

You can pre-order it at Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Pork Chops with Sweet-and-Sour Apple Cider Glaze

When I was going through recipe clippings recently, I pulled out a bunch that my mom must have cut out. Apparently we have the same tastes in some things. This recipe came from the December 2000 Gourmet magazine. I've made some dishes like it before but let me tell you, this time I wanted to lick the glaze right out of the pan!

In the beginning, I wasn't certain whether we would like the glaze, so I spooned a little bit on the meat and served the rest on the side. It doesn't make much glaze because it cooks down and thickens. I'm wondering if I might double the glaze next time. There will be a next time because this is a keeper for sure. It's the kind of recipe that you won't need to refer to after you make it once or twice, which is perfect for quick dinners.

Even though I read the recipe and looked over the ingredients before I shopped, I had to make some substitutions and it still came out great, so don't be afraid to vary the ingredients just a little bit.

For starters, while I looked for apple cider in two stores, it just wasn't there yet, so I substituted apple juice. I'm sure apple cider is great but it's hard to imagine that it could be any better. The recipe calls for mustard seeds. I planned to use powdered mustard but when I pulled open my spice drawer and took it out –surprise – all gone. I used prepared horseradish mustard instead, and it worked beautifully. *Note that the preparation is a little bit different if you use prepared mustard instead of mustard seeds.

What I do think is very important and shouldn't be varied is the type of meat and the cooking times. Look for a rib-in one-inch thick pork chop. Follow the cooking times exactly to avoid over-cooking.

While it ought to be served with a green vegetable, we ate fresh local corn with it. I also sliced one small red onion and two apples and sautéed them in a little olive oil, then added the exact same ingredients that are in the glaze, except I only added 1/2 cup of apple juice instead of 1 cup. Very fresh and yummy for people who love cooked apples. Southerners who are used to apples cooked in brown sugar may wish to add more brown sugar to the apples.

Pork Chops with Sweet-and-Sour Cider Glaze
from December 2000 Gourmet 
recipe by Elizabeth Vought Greene

2 1-inch thick pork chops with rib
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup apple cider or apple juice
1 1/2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds* OR 1 heaping teaspoon prepared mustard*

Dry the chops and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Brown the pork chops about 5 minutes on each side. 

Stir the cider, brown sugar, and prepared mustard* together, add to skillet and simmer, uncovered for about three minutes, turning the chops once. Remove the pork chops to a plate and set aside.

Add the vinegar and the mustard seeds* to the pan and bring to a boil, scraping up any brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Simmer uncovered about five minutes until the liquid is reduced to 1/3 cup.

The original recipe returns the meat to the pan to warm it but I simply served the meat with the glaze at that point.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Necessity is the Mother of Invention

Lucille Mazzarella, the character in my Lucille Series (Unholy Matrimony—just released—and Confession Is Murder) is a big believer in home cooked meals.  As Lucille would say, “I ain’t feeding my Frankie or my Bernadette no meals that come out of a cardboard box.”  Every Sunday Lucille cooks dinner for the whole family—husband Frankie, daughter Bernadette, her sister Angela and her husband, her best friend Flo (who is in charge of bringing the cannolis for dessert), Father Brennan from St. Rocco’s and Cousin Louis and Cousin Millie who are Frankie’s father’s cousins once removed.

But even Lucille sometimes doesn’t feel like running to the A&P to get groceries after a busy day of tracking down a murderer.  That’s when she assesses the contents of her pantry and figures out how to make something with what she has on hand.

This dish came about much like that.  I didn’t want to leave our warm, cozy home to brave the (interminable) cold and snow to buy something for dinner.  I rummaged around and found some boneless chicken thighs and a box of thin spaghetti.  I always have cans of diced tomatoes on hand, some wine or vermouth and onions. 

I’m sure there’s a “real” recipe for this type of dish and it may even have a name, but in this case it was a matter of pulling things from the pantry and freezer and coming up with something for dinner!

I’ve done something similar with pork chops, and I imagine you could use chicken breasts, but I think the thighs have more flavor.  You can add mushrooms or not…depending on whether you have any!

 Chicken thighs—I think I had around five
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 tsp. minced garlic
Dash of wine (red or white—about ¼ cup or so)
Mushrooms if you have some on hand
1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
Salt to taste

Heat oil and sauté onions and garlic until onions are soft.  Push onions and garlic to one side and brown chicken thighs on both sides—about 2 to 3 minutes per side.  Add mushrooms, if using, and saute briefly.  Add splash of wine to pan to deglaze, stirring to incorporate any browned bits on the bottom of the pan.  Add tomatoes and cover.  Simmer for about 30 minutes until chicken is done and flavor has developed.

Serve over spaghetti or pasta.

Use a splash of red wine or white.

Simmer ingredients until chicken is done and flavor has developed

A tasty dinner without a trip to the grocery store!

The hilarious Lucille Mazzarella is back and planning a wedding. But even the worst Bridezilla can’t create the wedding drama she’s about to face in this second book in the series. 

Desperate to see her pregnant daughter Bernadette married before the baby comes, Lucille is engrossed in all things wedding. Nothing will distract her from planning this Mazzarella main event. Nothing, that is, except for the murder of the mother of the groom. 

Just when things couldn’t possibly get any worse, Lucille is named as the prime suspect, and it’s a race against time as she and her best friend Flo struggle with shady financial dealings, a family that isn’t at all what it seems, a groom that might not be all man, and a little bundle of joy that might make an appearance before the mother can say I do. 

Available at Amazon or Barnes & Noble and Smashwords

Stop by my web site or catch up with me on Facebook @pegcochran

Monday, July 16, 2012

Rosemary Pork Chops with Blackberry Champagne Gastrique

That sounds so fancy schmancy, doesn't it? Hah! That's what this recipe is, but don't be afraid -- it's the kind of easy, flavorful cooking I love. And should you happen to want to impress someone like a snooty mother-in-law, you can reel off that name and sound like a cooking genius!

Do you look in other people's grocery carts to see what they're buying? Be honest. It's pretty boring to stand in line at the grocery store. After all, there's not much to do once you've read all the tabloid headlines. Maybe it's the mystery lover in me that makes me study people at the grocery store. The three guys buying nothing but beer -- is that a party without food? A night watching a ball game? A fishing trip? The mom with kids who is buying six pizzas -- is there a slumber party at their house? Or are the pizzas for an after-the-game celebration?

Last week, I shopped for groceries with my mom. Each of us takes a cart, and we shop independently. But when I stopped to pick up a prescription, I turned around and discovered my mom looking through my cart! (Evidently, I inherited the snoopy gene.) I didn't mind and got a good chuckle out of it. When I returned to my cart, she said "Those pork chops look delicious. I want one of them when you cook them."

Today I'm sharing the pork chops with you, too. They're about an inch and a half thick, which I don't often find. Our blackberry bushes continue to bear wonderful lush berries, so I made a blackberry champagne reduction. More specifically, a gastrique. If you're like Sheila and me, and you watch cooking shows, you've probably heard the term. I didn't know what it meant.

Queenie helping herself to berries
According to yumsugar, a gastrique is a "thick sauce in classic French cuisine that consists of a reduction of vinegar, wine, sugar, and sometimes fruit that has been caramelized over heat.
A gastrique is employed to round out flavors in a dish, and is either served with meat or seafood, or used as a base for other sauces, such as one with tomatoes. It can also be used to add complexity to fruit-forward cocktails."

It's really just a reduction and they're so easy to make. If you're not a fan of vinegar, deduce the balsamic vingear to 1 tablespoon.

This would be great with a steak, or chicken breasts. You could even cook the meat on the grill. I chose not to because the pork chops are so thick, and I didn't want them to dry out. The 90 degree heat under a blazing sun also convinced me to cook inside.

Rosemary Pork Chops with Blackberry Champagne Gastrique
(serves 2)

Blackberry Champagne Gastrique

2 cups blackberries (save a few for garnish)
1/2 cup champagne (or white wine)
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Place all ingredients in a pot. Bring to a boil and mash the berries with the back of a spoon to release their juices. Simmer, uncovered, until the liquid reduces, about 20 minutes. Put through a sieve before serving over meat. Garnish with berries.
(Can be made ahead of time.)

Pork Chops
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon salt
splash balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pork chops
splash of champagne (optional)

Place 1 tablespoon olive oil, rosemary, salt and vinegar in a zip-type bag. Mash together and add the pork chops. Seal it closed and turn over a few times to coat them. Marinate up to an hour.

Place 2 tablespoons of oil in a pan on medium/low heat. When hot, add the pork chops. Brown about four minutes on each side. Add a splash of champagne if desired. Reduce heat a bit and cover. After 4-7 minutes, flip to other side, cover and cook. Check internal temperature with a thermometer. Pork is done at 145 degrees.

(Note: My 1 1/2 inch thick pork chops were perfect after 7 minutes on one side and 5 minutes on the other.)