(I can't help but think of The Brady Bunch and "pork chops and applesauce.")
About three hours before I cooked dinner, I decided to brine the bone-in pork chops. I combined about 1/4 cup each of salt and brown sugar with about a cup of boiling water. I stirred until the salt and sugar were dissolved.
I added 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar, 6-8 whole black peppercorns, 1/2 teaspoon of whole mustard seeds, a teaspoon of whole coriander, and a bay leaf. Then I added ice cubes and stirred them in until the mixture was cooled.
I put the pork chops and brine mixture into a gallon zip-top bag and put it back in the refrigerator to soak up some flavor.
About 30 minutes before I was ready to cook, I took the chops out of the refrigerator to come closer to room temperature.
Next I chopped one sweet onion. I chopped half of it into larger pieces to add to the pan with the pork chops and apples.
The other half, I chopped a little smaller. I also chopped 3 small zucchini into bite-size pieces for a zucchini-onion saute.
For some reason, I do not seem to be able to cook zucchini for two. Note to self: we only need 2 small zucchini and 1/4 of an onion for our dinner if we don't want leftovers.
I turned the large skillet to medium-high heat. While it got hot, I took the pork chops out of the brine and patted them dry. I salted and peppered each side.
Once they were browned, I added the apples and the onion I had set aside for this dish. I added a tablespoon of brown sugar on top of the apples and onion, along with 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and 1/4 cup of water.
I turned the heat down to medium and covered the pan.
When the oil was hot, I added the zucchini and the rest of the onion, plus salt and pepper to taste.
Incidentally, I used this cool little tool to make that job easier. I love this thing! It's called a bench scrape. I think it was designed to use with pastry, but I use it all the time to get chopped ingredients into pans without spilling them all over the place. (It's the little things in life!)
I let both the chops and the zucchini cook about 15 minutes, until both were done. (I used an instant-read thermometer to make sure they were at least 165 degrees.
I used the cook time to empty the dishwasher and fold laundry. Does anyone else hate emptying the dishwasher as much as I do? My next least favorite chore is folding laundry.
Oh well, by the time I was finished, we had a nice dinner ready!
(When I plated my dinner, I realized that next time I will slice the apples rather than chopping them, so they won't be the same size and shape as the zucchini.)
Dinner was tasty! Now on to ironing....