Just brown the pork chops, then braise them in a flavorful liquid -- the whole deal takes less than 30 minutes. Adding fruit to the pan juices at the end gives you a rich, slightly sweet sauce. I love the combination of pork and pears, but apples, prunes, and dried apricots are all terrific. This method works with chicken, too, if that's what you have on hand.
Give the chops a blast of citrus by topping them with lemon juice and a sprinkle of fresh parsley.
Nothing tops a pork dish like softened, buttery shallot. Serve garnished with a sprinkle of chopped tarragon.
This variation dresses the chops with onions and red, yellow or orange bell peppers (they're meant to be sweet so avoid green). The result is a colorful spin on an otherwise classic dish.
Reduce soy sauce to a syrup-like consistency, and spoon it over pork, topped with chopped scallion. A hint of ginger and a side of rice make it a satisfying and filling meal.
Originally published in the January 2011 issue of Parents magazine.
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