We know. It's not exactly apple season. Apple season is Fall, with its apple picking and apple crumbles and general apple-y-ness.
But if you take a walk through any New York City greenmarket these days, you still see bushels of apples. And, frankly, not much else in the way of tantalizing local produce (hey, we're not California.
So we bought some apples, determined to make something fresh that still felt like a winter dish.
See the recipe we came up with below...
The vendor we spoke to claimed Stayman apples were more in-season than other varieties because they could withstand cold weather. Ours were flavorful and pleasantly tart but a wee bit soft.
So we cut them into large slices and sautéed them with green cabbage, a bona fide winter favorite, to pair with some juicy pork chops. We used a mixture of apple cider vinegar and chicken broth to braise the cabbage and apples and added a little sugar, giving the dish some sweet-and-sour punch.
All in all, we thought it was a healthy, satisfying supper that allowed our local apples to shine without being part of a pie.
What are you buying at the farmers' market right now? Any other bright ideas for apples?
Pork Chops with Sweet-and-Sour Cabbage and Apples
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 medium-sized, tart apples, cored, peeled, and sliced into wedges
1 head of green cabbage, cored and sliced thin
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
4 center cut, bone-in pork chops (about 1 inch thick)
1/4 cup flour
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
Melt the butter in a dutch oven over medium heat. Add the apple slices and cook for about two minutes, until they begin to soften. Add the cabbage, salt, and pepper and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the chicken broth, vinegar, and sugar, and stir the cabbage and apple mixture until it is coated, and cabbage is slightly wilted. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, then remove cover and cook for an additional 10 minutes (you want the cabbage to get soft but allow some of the liquid to evaporate). Stir occasionally, but be gentle. You don't want the apples to disintegrate.
While the cabbage and apples are cooking, make the pork chops. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. Pour the flour onto a shallow dish and season with salt and pepper.
Dredge each pork chop in the flour, coating all sides, and tap off any excess. Cook the pork chops about 5 minutes on each side, until golden brown and crusty. Remove from the pan, set on a plate and cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.
When the cabbage and apples are finished cooking, top each chop with a heaping scoop. Note: You'll have extra cabbage and apples, but it tastes great leftover. Or, you can cook six pork chops if you have room.