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Walnut-Crusted Pork Chops With Baked Apples
Some things just belong together!
Simon Le Bon and John Taylor. Black eyeliner and stompy black boots. Sunbutter and 85% dark chocolate. Pork and apples. I’m currently listening to the first, wearing the second, daydreaming about the third, and sharing a shockingly delicious, surprisingly easy (but looks fancy) recipe for the last.
The pork is tender in the middle but tangy and crisp on the outside, thanks to crushed walnuts and mustard — then the roasted apples come along and sweeten the whole deal just a little bit. Match made in heaven.
Walnut-Crusted Pork Chops with Baked Apples
Serves 4 | Prep 40 minutes | Cook 15 minutes | Whole30 compliant
1 1/4 cups walnuts
1/2 teaspoon salt
pinch ground cayenne pepper
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard (check for added sugar, etc.)
4 center-cut pork loin chops
1-2 tablespoons lard, ghee, or extra-virgin olive oil
4 Granny Smith apples
2 tablespoons maple syrup (omit for Whole30; still tastes AWESOME)
2 tablespoons lard, ghee, or coconut oil
1/3 cup water
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/8 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 375F. Place the walnuts on a baking sheet in a single layer and toast in the oven until lightly browned, about 5-7 minutes. Let cool, then chop finely and place in a shallow bowl. Add the salt and cayenne; mix to combine. Set aside.
Core the apples, then cut each into 8-12 wedges. Place the apple pieces in a 2-quart baking dish. In a small saucepan, combine the maple syrup, ghee, water, lemon zest, cinnamon, ginger, and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring often. Cook until the sauce is slightly thickened, about 3-5 minutes, then pour over the apples. Toss to coat. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and place in the oven. Bake until the apples are tender, about 20-25 minutes. Stir the apples about halfway through.
While the apples are baking, prepare the pork chops.In a bowl, whisk the eggs with the dijon mustard until combined. Dip each pork chop in the egg, then into the walnuts, coating all sides to form a luscious crust. Set aside.
Heat a large, ovenproof skillet over medium heat and add the ghee. Add the pork chops in a single layer and cook uncovered and undisturbed, about 2-3 minutes. Carefully flip and cook an additional 2-3 minutes. You want the pork chops to be golden brown on both sides. Place the skillet in the oven with the apples and bake until the chops are firm to the touch, about 10-12 minutes. Keep an eye on the nut crust so it doesn’t burn!
Remove the pork chops from the oven and cover loosely with aluminum foil; allow them to rest 5 minutes before serving. To serve, place on a plate with apple wedges and drizzle both with drippings from the pans. Sprinkle with minced parsley.
You Know How You Could Do That?
Replace walnuts with pecans
Replace apples with pears
Make it all super simple: Brown boneless pork chops, nestle into the pan with the apples, and sprinkle chopped walnuts on top halfway through the baking process.