Serve these back-to-school inspired chops with steamed green vegetables and boiled red potatoes. This healthy meal serves as a reminder that the best gift we can give teachers are nourished students who are ready to learn. 

Maple Glazed Pork Chops with Apples and Thyme

Makes four servings.

  • 4 Boneless 1-inch thick pork chops (about 4 oz each)
  • 2 Tablespoons  plus 1 teaspoon  grape seed or canola oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 Thyme sprigs
  • 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 2 Medium apples, halved and cut into thin wedges
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 Tablespoons orange juice
  • ½ Cup unsweetened applesauce

Heat 2 Tablespoons of grape seed oil in a medium skillet until nearly smoking.  Meanwhile season the pork chops on both sides with salt and pepper.  Place the pork chops into the hot oil and allow to sear on one side without disturbing for 5 minutes.  Scatter the thyme sprigs around the searing pork (take care the leaves may cause a small spatter).  Flip the pork and allow to sear for 3 minutes before reducing heat to medium.  Mix the maple syrup and the orange zest and brush liberally on the pork chops and allow then to continue cooking for 2 minutes until just cooked through.  Allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

While the pork chops are cooking prepare the sautéed apples.  Heat the remaining teaspoon of grape seed oil and the butter over medium heat until melted and bubbling.  Add the apple wedges and season with a little salt and pepper.  Cook stirring frequently until apples are slightly golden and quite tender.  Mix in the thyme leaves and orange juice.  Adjust seasoning and serve the sautéed apples over the pork chops garnished  with applesauce.

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