Cider-Braised Pork Chops with Apples

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Healthful Cooking
Serves 4

Ingredients:
-1 teaspoon dried oregano
-1/2 teaspoon five-spice powder
-1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
-1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
-1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
-4 thin boneless center-cut pork loin pork chops, about 1 pound total weight (trimmed of all visible fat)
-4 teaspoons canola oil
-1/3 cup fresh apple juice or apple cider
-2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
-1 small apple, peeled, cored and cut into 8 wedges
-1 cup reduced-sodium, fat free chicken broth
-1/4 cup evaporated fat free milk

Method:

Make the spice rub for your chops by stirring together the first five ingredients.

Coat the pork chops evenly on both sides with the spice rub. Set meat aside to rest for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large, deep, frying pan over medium-high heat, warm 2 teaspoons of the canola oil. Add the onion and saute until lightly browned, about five minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Add the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil to the pan and return it to the medium-high heat. Add the pork chops and sear until lightly browned on the bottom, about 4 minutes. Turn and brown the meat on the other side, 3-4 minutes. Transfer the meat to the plate holding the onion.

Return the pan to medium heat and pour in the apple juice (or cider) and vinegar. Using a wooden spoon, scrape up all the brown bits from the pan bottom. Return the meat and onion to the pan and place apple wedges and onions on top of the meat. Pour in the broth, cover, and simmer until the pork chops are opaque throughout, about 10 minutes, reducing the heat as the liquid begins to boil.

Transfer the chops, apple wedges, and onion to a warmed platter. Pour the milk into the pan, raise the heat to high, and boil until the liquid is reduced by one third, about five minutes. Pour the sauce over the chops and serve immediately.

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