I’m pretty sure the only reason my husband asked me on a second date was because he realized that I was willing to feed him. I have a pretty terrible personality. Anyway, I had a handful of recipes that I could throw together on a weeknight that, at least at the time, were sufficiently delicious and “fancy” by my early-20s standards to hold his interest.
(Admittedly, at this stage in my life, I thought that going to BJ’s was a “fancy night out” so, if we’re being honest, if we were like 3 or 4 years older he’d have walked out about halfway through our second date and I’d be alone and probably really fat).
Grilled cheeses on crusty boule with gruyere and parmesan, carbonara, scratch made lasagna, roast chicken (NOT the pre-made kind, either!), and this…
Back when, you know, I actually had cable TV and could pantlessly binge watch Food Network all weekend, I picked up a recipe for pork chops and a beer-bacon-gravy from Rachel Ray. So delish, amiright? I made the original several times and then made a few changes to the ingredient list after going Paleo, and then a couple more since coming out of my mid-20s angst and realizing that Paleo was awful. Because without Paleo in my life I could seriously drink this gravy and it would be OK. I’m into accepting people for who they are, aren’t you? Of course you are, so let’s eat part of a pig covered in booze, shall we?
- 4 Thick-Cut Pork Chops
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 1 T Olive Oil
- 4 Thick Slices of Bacon, cut into lardons
- 1 Onion, diced
- 1 Medium Apple, cored and diced
- 1 T Arrowroot Powder or Tapioca Starch
- 1½ c Hard Cider (apple juice is fine, too)
- ½ c Chicken Stock
- Season your chops with salt and pepper to taste.
- Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.
- Brown the chops on each side until just firm, about 5 mins on each side.
- Remove to a plate and cover with foil to let rest.
- Add a bit more oil to the pan and add your bacon.
- When the bacon is browned, add the onions and stir until translucent.
- Add the apples, mix well, and cook for another 2 or 3 minutes.
- Whisk in the arrowroot powder for about a minute, then add the cider, whisking constantly to combine well and avoid lumps.
- When the gravy is reduced by half, add the stock.
- Let simmer for 4-5 minutes, then pour over the pork chops.
- Serve garnished with parsley.