Thursday, February 9, 2012
Apple, Onion and Bacon Stuffed Porkchops
Growing up I spent winters in Kansas and summers in Fairbanks. In Kansas, we lived on a farm, not a working farm, just a big house in the country with some out-buildings. We had a chicken coop and got 100 chickens every spring to butcher in the fall, we also had laying hens for the fresh eggs. We always got 3 turkeys for the holidays, we got a spring pig, a calf and one year we got geese, but they became one of my mom's pets (that is another story). We also had other animals that were pets, a Shetland pony, a goat named Twerp that was my sister's 4-H project, peacocks (my mom loved unusual pets), a de-scented skunk, a raccoon named Heather and a ferret.
One spring the pig got out of the pig pen. Little pigs are friendly and we played with it, scratched it and fed it little treats. Pigs are also extremely smart and this little guy was no exception. He would follow us around like a dog, looking for treats and attention. We named him Peaches and he became a pet, no one ever got around to fixing the pig pen that year so Peaches had the run of the farm. We had summer break and left for Alaska, then came back in the early fall to get ready for school. Peaches had grown quite a bit, but was still as gentle and friendly as when we left. He continued to follow us around looking for treats. He would greet cars in the driveway and people would honk their horns to get someone to come out and move the pig before they would get out of their cars. We started school and Peaches would walk us to the end of the driveway as we waited for the bus then sit under the walnut tree eating fallen walnuts and sitting in the shade until we got home from school.
Fall in the real world (that is what we call everywhere else besides Alaska) is a busy, food filled time. In Kansas, we would pick apples at the apple orchards and spend the week making apple butter, apple pie filling, apple sauce and eating ourselves sick with apples. We would go to the peach orchard and do the same with peaches. We always had a big garden so we would spend days digging potatoes, picking green beans and pulling carrots. Our dinners revolved around what ever was in season and what we had just harvested. One day, shortly after the peach orchard visit, we came home from school, busy with homework and gossip about our day. Dinner time rolled around and we asked our mom what was for dinner.
"Peaches," was her answer.
And then she proceeded to bring pork chops to the table.
We expected the peaches we had picked at the peach orchard, but no, our pet, our friend was on the table. We were appalled, burst into tears and didn't eat that night, or any other night pork was on the menu.
It did take me a couple of years to get over the trauma of that experience. But my husband loves pork chops and he will cook them. He does this wonderful dish of apples, onions and bacon stuffed in pork chops. It is over the top and to-die-for. I'm so sorry Peaches, but sometimes I even request that he make them.
Apple, Onion and Bacon stuffed Pork Chops
4 thick cut pork loin chops, each about 1 inch thick
8 pieces center cut bacon, diced
2 med. yellow onions, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced finely
2 med. crisp apples, cored and cut in rings
8 oz. mushrooms (optional)
splash red wine (optional)
Fry bacon in skillet. Drain on paper towels. Drain skillet of all but 2 Tbsp. bacon fat.
Add onion, saute in bacon fat until soft. Add mushrooms to pan and continue to cook for about 5 minutes. Add a splash of red wine. Add minced garlic and saute for 1 minute more.
In separate saute pan, spray with cooking spray, add apple slices. Cook until tender.
Cut pocket in pork chop down long edge not cutting through the fat side.
Stuff equal amounts of bacon in each pork chop, reserving 1/2 for top. Using 1/2 of the onion-mushroom mixture, stuff pork chops evenly.
In skillet used for bacon, preheat to on medium high, add some olive oil or cooking spray if needed. Place pork chops in pan and cook 3 minutes on one side. Carefully turn pork chops, so not to lose filling, cook second side covering pan and turning heat down to medium low and cooking until pork chops are cooked through about 5-7 minutes.
Plate each pork chop, top equally with remaining onion-mushroom mixture, bacon and apple rings.
February 9, 2012 Daylight 7 hours, 46 minutes, 6 seconds Current Temp. 18 ºF