A Week with Curtis Stone - Tuesday

Oh boy this one is a keeper!

Today is day two of my week of cooking from Curtis Stone's What's for Dinner cookbook.  Tonight we had Cider-Dijon Pork Chops with Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Apples.  I will admit the picture in the book made me hungry for this one.  It's a beautiful shot of four perfectly cooked chops on a well used sheet pan with the roasted veggies and sauce.  I wanted to eat the picture! 

We happened to stop at one of my favorite places, The Golden Fig, in St. Paul yesterday.  I needed eggs but when I saw some beautiful Fischer Farms smoked pork chops I knew I had to have them for tonight's dinner.

The recipe says the prep time is 10 minutes and the cooking time is 15 minutes.  I think the prep time is right on, but it took maybe 25 minutes for me to put it all together and get it on a plate.  Still not bad for an amazing "put it together after a long day at work" meal.

If you know me you know I roast a lot of vegetables but I've never roasted fennel or apples, both of which were called for in this dish.  Sprigs of rosemary are added too and I have to say the rosemary with the fennel was delicious!  Roasting the fennel mellows the licorice flavor to something slightly sweet.  And the roasted apples were like dessert mixed with dinner!  I had some cauliflower in the frig so I added that too.

The chops are sauteed in a little olive oil.  Are these not beautiful?  The kitchen smelled like bacon was cooking!

Once the chops are resting, the pan is deglazed with some apple cider.  This time of year I could only find apple juice, that worked.  To this a couple tablespoons of Dijon mustard are added.  I'll admit I was worried it was going to be too "mustardy" for my taste but it wasn't.  The tart of the apple juice cut the mustard so the sauce had a sweet and tangy flavor.  It was one of the best pan sauces I've ever had.  Note Michael Ruhlman I'm using a flat wooden "spoon!"

This yummy sauce is poured over the pork chops and vegetables.  Delicious.  There wasn't enough pork, I wanted more!  This is definitely a keeper!

Tomorrow Grilled Tri-Tip with Green Bean and Red Onion Salad!

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