There is something about a pork chop that gets my mouth watering. Yes, pork is delicious. But I think it goes back to my childhood growing up in rural Ohio. A place where, as the sign says, "Farming is Respected."
I grew up in Preble County, Ohio and every summer the Pork Festival would setup shop at the local fairgrounds. It was a typical festival with arts and crafts, animals and games.
What made it different was the food. You'd show up to the festival and the first thing that hit your senses was the smell of BBQ pork chops being cooked over an open fire. This smell would follow you around all day until it was finally time to dig in. The chops were always juicy and they tasted amazing. As a kid, I looked forward to getting my hands on one of those pork chops all summer.
So when I was asked to review a recipe from Elizabeth Nyland's new cookbook, Cooking with Coconut Oil, I was thrilled to find the Pork Chops and Apple Compote recipe. A new take on one of my favorite foods with the health benefits of coconut oil added in for good measure. The results were fantastic.
Pork Chops and Apple Compote Recipe Review
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 35 mins
This recipe was simple and didn't take long to make. All in you're looking at around 45 minutes. It would be a great dish to serve when you have company, or, it would be a perfect main course for that special someone you want to impress. I'm telling you guys, the saying should be "the way to a woman's heart is through her stomach."
1 small sweet onion, or 1/2 large onion, peeled and diced very finely
2 small tart apples (such as Pink Lady), peeled, cored, and diced very finely
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp honey
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
2 tbsp coconut oil
Sea salt and fresh-cracked pepper to taste
4 thick-cut pastured pork chops (loin or rib end)
Make the compote: In a small saucepan, combine all compote ingredients and set over medium heat.
Cook, stirring occasionally, 35 to 45 minutes, or until a sauce-like consistency is reached and apples and onions are soft.
Meanwhile, make the pork chops: Preheat the oven to 400°F and place a heavy baking tray in the middle rack. In a heavy, cast-iron pan, melt the coconut oil over medium-high heat.
Season the chops on all sides with salt and pepper. Place in hot pan and sear for 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to oven and allow to cook for approximately 10 minutes or until a thermometer inserted into thickest part of chop reads 145°F.
Serve compote over pork chops.
My Final Take
The cookbook itself is a pleasure to look through. The pictures are a joy to look at. However, what I like most about this cookbook is how simple the recipes are. Most of the recipes have very simple ingredient lists and the cooking methods are accessible to even newbie chefs. There are six main categories of recipes in the cookbook; breakfasts, salads and dressings, sides, mains, snacks and starters, desserts and baked goods. Plus there is a nice little section at the end of the cookbook with tips on living paleo. Love it.
Hats off to Elizabeth Nyland of Guilty Kitchen for putting together a nice resource for people striving to improve their health and fitness with a paleo lifestyle. You can pick up a copy of Cooking with Coconut (Gluten-Free and Grain-Free Recipes for Good Living) on Amazon.