pork chops with apples and cider

prep time:  tbd
cook time:  tbd
servings:  4 - 6

salt ingredients:
1/4 teaspoons black peppercorns
3 cloves
4 allspice berries
2 tablespoons roughly chopped sage
1 1/2 tablespoons salt

pork ingredients:
6 boneless pork chops
2 large apples
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons hard cider - separated
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
2 teaspoons potato starch dissolved in 2 tablespoons cold water
3 tablespoons creme fraiche
1 tablespoon calvados
2 tablespoons finely cut chives
2 tablespoons chopped parsley

salt steps:
1.  put peppercorns, cloves, allspice and sage in a spice mill or mortar and grind to a powder.  remove to a bowl and stir in salt.  season pork chops on both sides with salt mixture.  cover and leave chops at room temperature to absorb seasoning for at least 30 minutes.

pork steps:
1.  peel, quarter and core apples, then cut each apple into 12 wedges.  melt 1 tablespoon butter in a wide skillet and raise heat to medium-high.  add apple wedges in one layer and brown gently on one side, about 2 minutes.  brown on the other side and cook for 2 minutes more, or until apples are cooked through but sill firm.  remove apples from pan and keep warm.

2.  add 1 tablespoon butter to pan and swirl to melt.  dust pork chops with flour, and place in pan and brown gently for about 4 minutes per side.  adjust heat if necessary to keep pork from cooking too quickly.  remove chops and keep warm on a platter in a low oven.  discard remaining butter.

3.  add 1/2 cup cider to pan, raise heat to high and cook down to a syrup.  add mustard and chicken broth, and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer.  add potato starch and stir with a wire whisk as the sauce thickens.  stir in creme fraiche.  season to taste with remaining spiced salt.  add 2 tablespoons cider and the calvados.  cook for 1 minute more.

4.  spoon sauce over the chops, then spoon the apples around the platter.  sprinkle with chives and parsley.

- new your times, october 2012

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