I’m always up for trying something new, and always up for trying something new that might just be good for me too. I was recently asked by a colleague of mine at The Daily Meal’s Culinary Content Network if I might be interested in checking out her new cookbook, called Cooking with Coconut Oil: Gluten Free, Grain Free Recipes for Good Living. Elizabeth Nyland, the author, is also a blogger over at guiltykitchen.com, where she writes about her (delicious) paleo lifestyle. If you’re an avid reader of this blog, it’s pretty obvious that I don’t follow a paleo diet. That said, I like to keep things healthy, with the occasional splurge, and I’m always looking for new ways to do that. When Elizabeth asked me if I’d like to check out her book, I jumped right on board.
I’m unbelievably excited for Elizabeth. Publishing a cookbook is a HUGE deal. Publishing a good cookbook is even a bigger deal, and Elizabeth has done a beautiful job with this book. The photographs jump of the page and make me hungry to try each and every recipe in the book. The book is available starting in the new year, and you can check out more information right here.
This was the first time I have ever, in the history of my kitchen, used coconut oil. I’d heard about its many health benefits, but just hadn’t gotten around to trying it before. This was the perfect excuse, and now that I’ve tasted the results, I’ll be sure to use it a lot more. All in all, it tasted “clean”. There was no oily taste or residue. I’m a new fan!
For my first coconut oil recipe attempt, I made a delicious, updated version of pork chops and applesauce from Elizabeth’s book.
I started by dicing up a sweet onion, and two tart apples, and then mixed them in a saucepan with some honey, coconut oil, cinnamon, nutmeg, and a bit of lemon juice and lemon zest.
I stirred the mixture together, and let it cook over medium heat until the apples and onions had softened into a delicious, chunky compote. No runny applesauce here!
As the apples were cooking for about 35 minutes, I got my pork chops ready. I seasoned both sides with salt and pepper. Then, I melted a couple of tablespoons of coconut oil over medium high heat before adding the chops to the hot pan.
I seared them on the stove top until they were browned on both sides.
Then, I placed my pan into my hot oven and finished them off in there. The chops took about ten more minutes to cook through.
When the chops were done, I served them up with a hefty scoop of that warm, delicious compote on top. The pork chops were perfectly cooked, tender, and juicy. The compote added just that perfect amount of sweet and savory to the dish, and really turned the meal into something special.
I’m sure this won’t be the last recipe you see on this blog from this book! I’m looking forward to trying a lot more of them, especially as I get back into the groove after eating my way through the holidays!
PORK CHOPS AND APPLE COMPOTE
- 1 small sweet onion, or ½ large onion, peeled and diced very finely
- 2 small tart apples (I used one Granny Smith and one Gala), peeled, cored, and diced very finely
- 1 Tbsp. coconut oil
- 1 Tbsp. honey
- ¼ tsp. cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. nutmeg
- juice and zest from 1 lemon
- 2 Tbsp. coconut oil
- salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste
- 4 thick cut pork chops (loin or rib end)
- Make the compote. In a small saucepan, combine all compote ingredients and set over medium heat.
- Cook, stirring occasionally, 35-45 minutes, or until a sauce-like consistency is reached and apples and onions are soft.
- Meanwhile, make the pork chops: Preheat the oven to 400*F. In a heavy oven-safe pan, melt the coconut oil over medium-high heat on the stove.
- Season the chops on all sides with salt and pepper. Place in the hote pan and sear for 3-4 minutes per side. Transfer the pan to the oven and allow to cook for approximately 10 minutes, or until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chop reads 145*.
- Serve the compote over the pork chops.