*homemade, but not by me, more on that below
Hi there. It’s non-vegetarian Hilary speaking. Remember me? Maybe not. You haven’t seen me around these parts for a bit as I’ve been off on summer holidays to avoid the sweltering heat. But the nippy fall breeze is back (ok, maybe not so much this past weekend, but it’s coming!) and so am I. Good to see you again.
Kale and quinoa – favourite summer foods (well, also sweet potato, but it managed to sneak into this dinner…I can’t quit my hot weather food cold turkey, after all) – be damned! Carnivore Hilary is rearing her ugly head.
The entire basis of this meal was formed around a condiment: the apple sauce. This wasn’t your average run-of-the-mill, eat-with-peanut-butter-on-toast (actually very tasty) apple sauce. This was homemade crab apple sauce made by our web editor, Wendy.
I know! Crab apples! Yes, you’re thinking of the right food, those tart little half-sized apples you used to throw at the kids on your block. The ones that you would pitch like a soft ball and hit with a tennis racket. They are one in the same.
For the childhood reasons listed above, crab apple sauce would normally not appeal to me. But because Wendy, a whiz with all things food, made it, I knew it had to be good. Wendy told me it was like your everyday apple sauce but with a kick; more cinnamon and – you’ll never guess so I’ll just tell you – a whole bag of marshmallows melted into the batch!!! Crazy, right? According to Wendy, the marshmallows were to serve as an alternate sugar supplement and were also used to thicken the sauce. Sneaky marshmallows. I love it.
So right, when it comes to dinner food, I always associate apple sauce with pork chops. As it happened, I had some leftover sprigs of fresh rosemary in the fridge, perfect to top off these chops.
And, as is always the case when I cook meat, I underestimated the time it would take to cook. So here I sit (this is past Hilary speaking), typing out this blog post, eating spoonfuls of apple sauce and listening to my stomach growl. Please don’t even remind me of the homemade pizza my mom made for her dinner, the leftovers of which are sitting idle in the fridge, threatening to turn my saliva glands into miniature geysers.
Anyways, I also made this sweet potato, celery and apple salad to accompany the chops. I thought it would nicely balance the heaviness of the meat. Raw sweet potato is a recent revelation and allowed me to divulge in the fleeting days of my summer foods. If you are a loud chewer such as myself, do not make this salad for any occasion where you need to impress, since the sound of it crunching in your mouth will sound like bones being broken. And I know this is the biggest first world problem EVER, but julienning sweet potatoes = my own form of personal hell.
Sorry the photos aren’t up to my usual standards. It is getting dark oh-so-early and I’ve yet to find the ideal nighttime photo location.
Recipe: Sweet potato, celery and apple salad
From wholeliving [dot] com
– 2 tablespoon lemon juice
– 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
– 2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
– Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
– 1 small sweet potato, peeled and finely julienned (2 cups)
– 1 tart apple, cored and finely julienned (I used Granny Smith)
– 1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
– 2 green onions, thinly sliced
– 3 radishes, finely julienned
– 3 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
– 1/4 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves
In a small bowl, whisk lemon juice, ginger, and oil. Season with salt and pepper.
In another bowl, combine sweet potato, apple, celery, scallions, radishes, sesame seeds, and cilantro.
Drizzle dressing over salad and season with salt and pepper.
To cook the pork chops:
I didn’t use a recipe for these, but here’s a bit of a lowdown on my cooking method:
– 1 lb centre cut pork chops
– 1 sprig fresh rosemary, finely chopped
– 1/2 onion, chopped
– Sea salt and pepper
– 2 tbsp olive oil
– 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
– Some leftover sweet potato
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Marinate the pork chops. Whisk together the olive oil and balsamic vinegar in a shallow bowl. Dip each side of the pork chop in the mixture. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper.
Place each pork chop in a baking pan. Surround it with the chopped onion and sweet potato. Sprinkle with half the rosemary.
Loosely cover with aluminum foil and let cook for about 35 minutes. Remove foil and cook for another 10 minutes. Cut open one of the chops to ensure it is cooked on the inside.
Once cooked, sprinkle with remaining rosemary. Serve with crab apple sauce or normal apple sauce.