Patti, Zach, Molly and Maggie's mom
These pork chops are smothered in an apple-based gravy to keep them juicy and flavorful. Served with mashed potatoes and acorn squash makes a nice autumn meal.

Smothered Pork Chops with Cider and Apples

(Serves 4-5)

3 ounces bacon (about 3 slices), cut into 1/4-inch pieces

2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour

1 3/4 cups apple cider

(additional vegetable oil if needed)

4-5 bone-in, rib-end pork chops 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick

ground black pepper (to taste)

1 medium yellow onion , halved and sliced thin (about 1 3/4 cups)

1 Granny Smith apple (large), or 2 small Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 3/8-inch wedges

table salt (to taste)

2 tablespoons water

2 medium cloves garlic , pressed through garlic press or minced (about 2 teaspoons)

1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves

2 bay leaves

Fry bacon in small saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towel-lined plate, leaving fat in saucepan (you should have 2 tablespoons bacon fat; if not, supplement with vegetable oil). Reduce heat to medium-low and gradually whisk flour into fat until smooth. Cook, whisking frequently, until mixture is light brown, about the color of peanut butter, about 5 minutes. Whisk in apple cider in slow, steady stream; increase heat to medium-high and bring to boil, stirring occasionally; cover and set aside off heat.

Heat 1-tablespoon oil in 12-inch skillet over high heat until smoking, about 3 minutes. Meanwhile, dry pork chops with paper towels and sprinkle with 1/2-teaspoon pepper. Brown chops in single layer until deep golden on first side, about 3 minutes. Flip chops and cook until browned on second side, about 3 minutes longer. Transfer chops to large plate and set aside.

Reduce heat to medium and add 1 tablespoon oil, onions, apples, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and water to now-empty skillet. Using wooden spoon, scrape browned bits on pan bottom and cook, stirring frequently, until onions are softened and browned around the edges, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds longer. Return chops to skillet in single layer, covering chops with onions. Pour in warm sauce and any juices collected from pork; add bay leaves. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until pork is tender and paring knife inserted into chops meets very little resistance, about 30 minutes.

Transfer chops to warmed serving platter and tent with foil. Increase heat to medium-high and simmer sauce rapidly, stirring frequently, until thickened to gravy-like consistency, about 5 minutes. Discard bay leaves, and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper if needed. Cover chops with sauce, sprinkle with reserved bacon, and serve immediately.

God Bless,

For more recipes, visit my blog at:
Patti, Zach, Molly and Maggie's mom
Next time I'll toast the buns, but honestly... I was lucky enough just to get a picture before these yummy sandwiches were devoured! If you don't have a pressure cooker, this recipe could be done in your crockpot.

BBQ Brisket Sandwiches

1 medium sliced onion, separated into rings
12 oz bottle of chili sauce
1 cup beef broth
2 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
1 (2 lb) beef brisket
1 teaspoon black pepper
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
6-8 submarine rolls

Combine first 4 ingredients in a 6-quart pressure cooker. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Remove 1/2 cup of chili sauce mixture from pressure cooker.

Trim fat from brisket. Cut brisket in half crosswise if needed to fit into your pressure cooker. Rub the brisket with pepper and garlic. Place in pressure cooker. Spoon 1/2 cup chili sauce mixture over brisket. Close lid securely; bring to high pressure over high heat (about 5 minutes). Adjust the heat to medium or level needed to maintain high pressure; cook 1 hour. Remove from heat; place pressure cooker under cold running water. Remove lid. Remove brisket from pressure cooker, and set aside. Add the brown sugar to chili sauce mixture in pressure cooker; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Shred the brisket using 2 forks. Return meat to sauce in pressure cooker; cook until thoroughly heated. Spoon 1 cup meat with sauce over bottom of each roll, and cover with tops of rolls.

God Bless,

For more recipes, visit my blog at:

Patti, Zach, Molly and Maggie's mom
This recipe makes a small pot of hearty soup that will serve about 4-6 people. If you have a large family or want leftovers, you'll want to double the recipe!

Tuscan Bean and Prosciutto Soup

1 TBSP unsalted butter or margarine

4 oz. prosciutto (you could also use bacon or ham if you prefer)

4 cups water

1 cup dried navy beans, rinsed and sorted

1/2 cup dried lima beans, rinsed and sorted

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1 tsp salt

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp ground paprika

1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add prosciutto and fry until crisp. Drain on a paper towel and let cool.

Crumble prosciutto into small pieces and add to crockpot. Add water, navy beans, lima beans, onion, salt, cumin, pepper, and paprika. Stir well until combined. Cover and cook on LOW for 10-12 hours.

Add tomatoes and juice, stir well. Cover and cook on HIGH for 30-40 minutes or until soup is heated through.

God bless,

For more recipes, visit my blog at:
Patti, Zach, Molly and Maggie's mom
This soup sure hit the spot during this week's cold rainy days we had. Paired with homemade bread, this heartwarming, comfort food was just what the family needed while dealing with colds!

Roasted Garlic and Onion Soup (6 servings)

2 medium bulbs of roasted garlic*

1 TBSP olive oil

1/2 cup chopped prosciutto or cooked ham

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves

1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped onions (about 2 medium onions)

1 large baking potato, shredded (you can peel first if you like, but I like to leave the skin on for the added nutrients)

3 1/2 cups chicken broth

1/4 tsp pepper

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Remove cloves from garlic bulbs and mash with a fork to make a paste.

Heat oil in a 3-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook prosciutto, parsley, basil and onions in oil about 5 minutes stirring occasionally until onions are tender.

Stir in potato and broth. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer uncovered 10 minutes.

Stir in roasted garlic paste, pepper and cheese. Simmer uncovered about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until thickened.

Serve topped with fresh grated Parmesan cheese and hot bread.

*To prepared roasted garlic, carefully peel away papery skin around garlic bulbs leaving just enough to hold garlic together. Cut slice from the top of the bulb enough to expose the cloves. Place the stem end down on a sheet of aluminum foil. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper if desired. Wrap securely in foil and place on a pie plate or shallow baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes until garlic is very tender when pierced with a fork. Cool slightly.

God bless,

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