Next up was a pan full of pork chops with roasted apples and Brussels sprouts. Apples go with pork chops like blue cheese and butter go with steaks, and a little fresh thyme. But actually, I think it is the Brussels sprouts that make this dish so excellent.
Pork chops are a little sweet for a meat, of course, and apples are a little sweeter. When you add brown sugar and cinnamon to the mix, that only intensifies the effect.
So what you need is a counterbalance. A healthy splash of apple cider vinegar helps, but it is the Brussels sprouts, with their bitter, cabbage-like taste, that makes this dish such a winner. Caramelized with a slight char from broiling, these veggies are completely addictive.
PORK CHOPS WITH ROASTED APPLES AND BRUSSELS SPROUTS
Yield: 4 servings
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons light brown sugar, divided
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary, divided
1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided
4 (1-inch thick) bone-in center-cut pork chops
3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 Gala apple, cut into 1/2-inch wedges
1 pound fresh Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and lightly grease with cooking spray.
2. Stir together the paprika, chili powder, garlic salt, red pepper, cinnamon, 1 tablespoon of the brown sugar, 1 teaspoon of the rosemary, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and 1/4 teaspoon of the black pepper in a small bowl. Rub each pork chop with 1/2 teaspoon of the olive oil; rub both sides of each pork chop with the brown sugar mixture.
3. Whisk together the vinegar and the remaining 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 1 teaspoon rosemary, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil until blended. Place the apples, Brussels sprouts and 1/4 cup of the vinegar mixture in a large bowl; toss to coat.
4. Place the pork chops in the center of the prepared baking sheet; place the apple mixture around the chops.
5. Bake for 12 minutes; turn the chops over and bake until a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest portion registers 140 degrees, 10 to 14 more minutes. Transfer the pork chops to a serving platter, and cover with foil to keep warm. Stir the apple mixture on the baking sheet and spread into an even layer.
6. Turn the oven to broil, and broil the apple mixture 3 to 4 minutes or until browned and lightly charred. Transfer the apple mixture to a medium bowl. Toss together the apple mixture and the remaining vinegar mixture. Season with the kosher salt, and serve with the pork chops.
Per serving: 411 calories; 23 g fat; 5 g saturated fat; 75 mg cholesterol; 27 g protein; 26 g carbohydrate; 16 g sugar; 6 g fiber; 861 mg sodium; 91 mg calcium
– “One Sheet Eats,” by Oxmoor House