Do you ever have those moments when you are doing something and out of the blue ideas for something else just pop into your head? This has been happening to me quite often lately. When I am driving ideas for a recipe will just BANG hit me,which is awesome right? Well it would be if my ADD wasn't so dang bad. I mean just driving is a serious challenge for me at times. I have been known to be driving somewhere that I have been to a million times before, and at some point take the wrong exit on the freeway or turn down a wrong road. It is bad enough when I am alone, but when someone is with me it is a tad bit embarrassing! SO when these ideas pop into my head I have to say the ingredient list out loud over and over to try and help me remember. Again, not so bad when you are alone but if you have passengers they really think about exiting the car once it slows down to about 30 MPH!!
This idea started out because when we went shopping the other day, Kevin picked up a couple packs of buy one get one free center cut pork loin chops. He loves pork chops but I don't make them very often, A-because he constantly complains that the pork chops now aren't as good as the old ones were. He loved big fatty pork chops and hasn't seemed to accept the health news that fat is bad for you. Although the fat is pretty darn tasty!! And B- well I just haven't been that moved by pork. My Dad wasn't a big pork fan and neither were my kids so unfortunately Kevin was out numbered. Now that it is just the two of us he gets his way much more often. In fact I think he is getting a little spoiled. I had better make sure he doesn't too cocky about getting his way!
Now, due to my lack of pork cooking, I was a tad clueless as to what I wanted to do with them. I can make a mean roast but my extent of chop cooking was, regretfully a throw back to the old days of smothering them in a can of pork and beans, or frying them. I know that is OK once in a while (p.s. I will be frying the other batch soon!) but I wanted to make them special
After racking my brains for a while I just put it to rest and went off to run some errands. In mid drive the light bulb went off in my head BING I knew what I wanted to do with them. The true test was to remember the plan and then run it past Kevin to see what he thought. Since the chops really were for him I wanted them to be something he would really enjoy. In other cooking he doesn't get as much of a vote. So I was pleasantly surprised when his face lit up with a smile when I ran down my game plan. He even got into the kitchen with me to help get everything together.
The result was one fantastic meal. The sauce for the chops was so tasty, sweet with that little bite of bourbon flavor, and the mashed potatoes with the onions and apples? YUM! Mixed with the sauce from the pork chops they were heavenly. I had made 3 chops and it is a good thing because Kevin went back for seconds, after cleaning my plate!!
Maple Bourbon Pork Chops and Whipped Potatoes with Apples and Onions
3 1/2" inch center cut pork loin chops
1/4 onion, minced + 1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 strips of bacon, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 strips of bacon, chopped
4 tablespoons butter, separated1/2 cup bourbon
1/4 cup Maple Syrup (can add more if you want a sweeter sauce)
1/4 whole grain mustard
salt and pepper
2 large Idaho potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
2 apples (I used honey crisp), peeled, cored, and chopped into chunks
1/4 cup Greek yogurt (if you want a bit of tang in the potatoes)
1/3 cup corn starch
1/3 cup warm water
Place chopped potatoes apples and onions in a large pot and add enough water to cover them. Boil until potatoes are fork tender. Drain in a colander and return the potato mixture back to the hot pot. Add 3 tablespoons of butter and whip the mixture with a hand mixer until smooth. Salt and pepper to taste. Add the Greek yogurt if desired.
Meanwhile, salt and pepper chops and set them aside. Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat until the fat renders. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Cook the pork chops in the skillet, about 3 to 5 minutes per side depending on the thickness of the chops and the doneness you desire(we like our chops a bit pink in the middle now that it is safe to do so). Remove chops to a plate and tent with foil to keep warm.
Add 1 tablespoon butter to the pan and once it has melted add the minced onion. Cook onion until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook another minute. Return the bacon back to the pan and continue to cook another minute or so. Add the bourbon to the pan (remove pan from heat while adding then return to heat), then add the maple syrup and mustard. Mix completely and bring the sauce to a simmer. Adjust seasoning adding more syrup if desired.
Stir the cornstarch into the warm water and pour into the sauce. whisking until the sauce thickens. Remove from heat. Carefully place sauce into a blender or use and immersion blender to blend the sauce and break down the onions, garlic, and bacon.
Place a scoop of potatoes on a plate, top with a pork chop and pour sauce over them both.