Share this article

print logo

Easy weeknight meals: Pork Chops with Apples, and more

Monday: Meatless meal

To make the beans for Cajun Red Beans & Brown Rice, saute 1 small chopped onion, ½ diced bell pepper, 2 minced garlic cloves and 2 diced ribs of celery in olive oil for about 5 minutes. Add 2 cans drained and rinsed red beans and 1 can of diced tomatoes. Bring to a simmer and stir in 1½ teaspoons Cajun seasoning and ½ teaspoon dried oregano. Cook on low for about 10 minutes, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with cooked brown rice and hot sauce. Oh, and a slab of cornbread.

Tuesday: An apple a day

It’s fall, which makes me think of apples and the wonderful selection at the grocery stores now. Eat them out of hand, add to a green salad and stir cubes into yogurt. Or pair them with pork chops. Pork Chops With Apples and Garlic Smashed Potatoes (recipe below) is a tasty tribute to the season and a hearty meal that your family will ask for again. I promise.

Wednesday: Rotisserie chicken

OK, I’ve still got apples left and am dicing them to add to Curried Chicken Salad. You can serve scoops on a bed of lettuce or as the filling for wraps or sandwiches. First make the dressing for the salad by mixing ½ cup plain yogurt, 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise and a teaspoon of curry powder. This should be enough for the meat you pull off a rotisserie chicken and dice. Add to your salad sliced almonds and diced apples (or halved grapes). Raisins are good, too.

Thursday: Greek pastabilities

To make Shrimp and Feta Pasta, cook a package of orzo according to package instructions. While that’s cooking, saute 1 pound peeled, uncooked large shrimp in olive oil and minced garlic. Remove from heat when just pink. Mix drained, cooked orzo with shrimp and 1 can diced tomatoes, ½ cup of white wine, a couple teaspoons of Greek seasoning and salt and pepper. Layer in lightly greased casserole and dot with feta cheese crumbles. Bake at 350 degrees until cheese is bubbly, about 12 minutes. Before serving, garnish with chopped, fresh parsley. Sliced tomatoes on the side.

Friday: Going upstream

Marinate salmon in a store-bought ginger-sesame marinade and grill. (Make your own by mixing ¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce, 1 tablespoon grated ginger, 1 tablespoon sesame oil, 2 thinly sliced scallions and ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper). Serve salmon with sauteed spinach and couscous that’s ramped up with sliced almonds.

Pork Chops with Apples and Garlic Smashed Potatoes

1 pound small fingerling potatoes

2 cloves garlic

Kosher salt

4 ½ -inch-thick boneless pork loin chops (5 ounces each)

2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage

Freshly ground pepper

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided use

1 large red onion, cut into ½-inch wedges

2 Granny Smith apples, cut into ½-inch pieces

¾ cup apple cider

¼ cup buttermilk

Put the potatoes and garlic in a saucepan, cover with cold water and season with salt. Cover and bring to a boil, then uncover and continue cooking until tender, about 15 minutes. Cover and set aside.

Meanwhile, rub both sides of the pork chops with the sage, and salt and pepper to taste. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over high heat, then add 1 teaspoon olive oil and sear the chops until golden on both sides, about 5 minutes total. Transfer to a plate. Wipe out the skillet and add the remaining 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Add the onion and apples and cook over medium-high heat until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the cider.

Return the chops to the skillet. Cover and cook, turning once, until just cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain the potatoes, reserving ¼ cup liquid. Return the potatoes to the pan; add the buttermilk and mash, adding cooking liquid as needed. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with the pork chops, onion and apples. Drizzle with the pan juices.

Serves 4.

Per serving: calories 413, fat 16 gm, sodium 98 mg, carbohydrate 40 gm, fiber 5 gm, protein 26 gm.

Source: Food Network