I love family. I love learning. I love food. This is simply a collection of thoughts, memories, and recipes that are a piece of me!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Apple Bacon Chops

Once, a very long time ago, my sweet sweet husband made a comment to me after another staple dinner one night.  He very gently said, "You know, babe, variety is the spice of life."  After I spent hours crying and heard countless apologies, I recognized he simply meant "please don't make me eat spaghetti again this week."  Since then, I've had this underlying mission to find delicious ways to make things that are new and different.  This recipe came from that mission, and I'm happy to report that it's one of my husband's favorites....but that might be because it's not spaghetti.  It's really easy.  There are a few different steps, but each one is simple and totally worth it.  Enjoy!

What you'll need (I did this recipe with 2 pork chops, but the recipe is for 4)
4 pork chops, thick cut is best
2 to 3 red delicious apples
1 lb of bacon
Pepper Jack cheese slices
salt and pepper

First, you're going to cut up your bacon. (You don't have to use the whole pound.  Use half or a third or a few pieces, it's really up to you.  We just LOVE bacon.)  Make it easy on yourself and use kitchen scissors. It's so much easier.  Just cut the strips into bit sized pieces.

Cook the bacon until the fat has rendered out and it's crispy.  Pull the bacon out with a slotted spoon, but don't pour the fat out.  Making sure the fat and pan are really hot, carefully put in the pork chops.  We aren't looking to cook them all the way through.  We just want to brown the outside and add some serious flavor.  Salt and pepper a bit.  Flip when the first side has browned and delicious up the second side.

While you're browning the pork chops and the bacon is cooling a bit, chop up your apples into bite sized pieces.

Combine the bacon and apples and try to not throw your face into the bowl.  This is a serious challenge for me.  That salty and sweet combination is AMAZING.

Add your browned (but not cooked through) pork chops to a pan with a lid that your sweet and beautiful aunt gave you as a wedding gift.  (Oh...was that just me?) If you don't have a dish like this, no big.  A glass baking dish with foil on top will do the trick.

Cover the chops with the apple bacon mixture.  Oh yes.  That's right.  Cover and bake at 350 for about 40 minutes, or until your pork chops are done.

Once cooked through, pull the dish out, take the lid off, and add a slice of pepper jack cheese on top of each pork chop.  If it doesn't melt right away on its own, throw it back in the oven, uncovered for no longer than a couple of minutes.

Serve the pork chops with the cheese and apples and bacon still on top or falling all around or completely taken off.  It's really up to you...and enjoy this not-so-basic pork chop!  I hope it adds some variety to your dinner table, too!

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