Dinner Rush! Pork Chops with Pierogi and Seared Apples

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Ready yourself for impact because that magical time of year when apples manage to sneak their way into every corner of your autumnally themed life is now. Just try and look away as their dappled red and green skins flood quaint little baskets at farmers markets. Resist the smell of freshly fried cider doughnuts? Impossible. You might as well just surrender as “25 new ways to cook with apples” overtakes your Pinterest feed.

Speaking of which, here’s a delicious dinner recipe to try using apples.

I poke fun, but the reality is that apples are great to cook with. They play well with sweet and savory flavors and give you that wonderfully satisfying feeling of being in tune with the new season. Feeling a bit overwhelmed by the myriad varieties staring you down at the store? Reach for McIntosh — they’re a safe all-purpose choice for cooking, baking or simply eating out of hand.

Pork Chops with Pierogi and Seared Apples
Total Time: 20 min
Prep: 4 min
Cook: 16 min
Yield: 4 servings
Level: Easy
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Four 6-ounce pork sirloin chops
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
Salt and ground black pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
One 16-ounce box frozen potato-cheese pierogi
2 McIntosh apples, peeled, cored, cut into wedges
1 small bulb fennel, thinly sliced
1 cup Greek yogurt or sour cream
Juice 1/2 lemon
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives

Place a large saute pan over medium-high heat with 1 tablespoon of oil. Season the chops with smoked paprika, salt and pepper, and add to the pan. Sear until golden brown and cooked to your liking, 3 to 4 minutes per side for medium. Reserve chops warm on a plate.

Wipe the saute pan out with a paper towel and return to medium heat with the remaining oil and butter. Add the frozen pierogi to the pan and cook until golden brown on one side, about 4 minutes. Flip the pierogi and add the apples to the pan. Continue cooking until the pierogi are warmed through and apples are caramelized, about 4 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and toss in the fennel.

Meanwhile, stir together the yogurt or sour cream, lemon juice and chives. Reserve.

Serve the chops with the pierogi, seared apples and a dollop of the yogurt.

Patrick W. Decker’s life revolves around food. Always has, probably always will. As a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America and past member of the culinary teams for Food Network stars Rachael Ray, Sandra Lee, Marc Forgione and Bobby Deen, he now works on digital production for FoodNetwork.com, CookingChannelTV.com and Food.com in NYC by day and develops recipes at his home in New York’s Hudson Valley by night. You can see what he’s up to by following him on Instagram or visiting his website at patrickwdecker.com.

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