Spiced Up Hard Cider: Wilson’s Orchard-Iowa City, IA
Why would you ever wait until the autumn to enjoy some top notch cider? I’m getting to the point where I’m gravitating to it during the summer months more often. Especially with all the local hard ciders popping up. One that’s close to home is brewed by the fine folks from Wilson’s Orchard near Iowa City. Their varieties are smooth, crisp, and loaded with refreshing apple flavor with every cold bottle. Obviously, its great to tip back, but they are a useful ally for your not-so secret ingredient to enhance dozens of culinary masterpieces. The Team Goodvin kitchen takes on Pork Chop night with a lot of help from Wilson’s Orchard. Let’s get started!
Prep Time: 15 Minutes Cook Time: 45 Minutes Yield: 6 Servings
For the Spiced Up Hard Cider Apple Chutney:
- 4 chopped slices of thick cut bacon
- 1 medium size white onion
- 3 pealed and sliced tart apples
- Pinch of garlic powder, chili powder, basil leaf, crushed red pepper, kosher salt, and black pepper
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 2 cups Spiced Up Hard Cider
Place chopped bacon into a medium size heavy bottom skillet. I used cast iron. Because it’s awesome and I feel like a cowboy when I cook with it. I need a friend. OK, moving on…Fry bacon until crisp and remove the majority of the rendered fat. And please for the love of your great grand-papa please save it for a future cooking project. It’s cool again. Next add the sliced onion, apples, spices, cider, and brown sugar. Be sure to have plenty of cider leftover for the meal. That’s a rule! Bring to a boil and then reduce to medium-low heat. Do not cover and cook for 40 minutes. Stir every now and then but not too much. You want to keep the apples intact. It’s tasty like that and will make your Instagram pic way prettier.
For the Pork Chops: Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- 6 America’s Cut pork chops
- 1 tablespoon preferred spice rub
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 6 tablespoons Flustaer’D Mustard Carolina BBQ Sauce
- 1 cup Spiced Up Hard Cider
You’ll want to get this part going while the chutney simmers and thinks about if it wants to play well with others. We picked up 6 America’s Cut Pork Chops for this round. Boneless, even thickness, and a great fat-cap. You can say that about chops. HR can’t touch you on that one. (No guarantees). Season the chops with your favorite spice-rub and light coating of extra virgin olive oil. Spread 1 tablespoon of Hy-Vee Fluster’D Mustard Carolina BBQ Sauce on ONE side of each chop. Place each chop, sauce side down, in a very hot saute pan, but not smoking, on high heat. Reduce heat to medium and sear each side for about three minutes. The sauce side should have great caramelization. This is when your friend you wish you didn’t invite asks if you really used caramels to cook the chops. Just sigh and move on. Place the chops in a Pyrex dish and add a cup of hard cider to the bottom of the dish and slide those daddies in to the oven uncovered. Do not discard the saute pan or what was rendered from the chops. Cook chops in the oven for about 20 minutes. Have some cider while you wait. Duh! That’s what you just said, right?
For the Kale and Corn Saute:
- 10 oz chopped kale
- Corn shucked from 4 fresh cobs
- Splash of rice vinegar, fish sauce, soy sauce, and sriracha sauce
Bring the same saute pan you seared the chops in up to high heat. Add the fresh corn, and cook for a minute tossing constantly. Next, add the chopped kale and reduce the heat to medium. Add vinegar, fish sauce, soy sauce, and sriracha sauce. Toss and reduce heat to low. Cook for about 8 minutes. Less time if you want the kale to be a little more crunchy. Add some sesame seeds for a little class if you’d like!
By this time your chutney is scream for consumption, the chops have the best suntan of their lives, and the kale is wondering why it’s not in your belly giving you all those vitamins the Hy-Vee dietitian said you needed. We made some homemade Mac-N-Cheese and sliced up some fresh cantaloupe and strawberries. And that important glass of cold Spiced Up Hard Cider. See you on our next quest, Iowa!
Be sure to read about all our other home cooked meals from the kitchen of Team Goodvin on Iowa Recipe Quest!