We celebrated Max’s 1st birthday in the heart of October with this quintessential fall dish! Creamy mascarpone polenta warms you from the inside out and pork chops are such a fantastic tribute to Harvest Season. Sauteed onions and apples are luxuriously humble and the cider glaze brings us home. Call it “wishful thinking” but I may have a little foodie under my wing. Max loved the polenta and pork, nearly as much as we did!
- Start the Polenta. In a medium sauce pan, bring the milk to a simmer on medium. Slowly whisk in the corn meal and add the salt, cracked pepper and 3 Tbs Olivio. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer approx 30 minutes or until corn meal is tender. Be sure to stir frequently while you prepare the Pork.
- For the Pork, preheat a cast iron skillet on medium high. Salt and pepper pork chops on each side. Add 2 Tbs Olive Oil to the hot skillet and sear Pork Chops approx 3 minutes on each side or until they are a beautiful caramelized brown. Sear Pork Chops on the fat edge to render the fat off for an additional minute. Add Olivio Buttery Spread and Thyme. Using a large spoon, baste the meat in the melting butter and herbs for 2 minutes. Pull the meat from the skillet and let rest on a plate under foil.
- Add Apple Cider Vinegar to the cast iron skillet to deglaze. On medium high, add apple cider and reduce in half. This will take about 7 minutes. Return the pork chops to the skillet and simmer 2-3 minutes to reheat and absorb the delicious cider flavor.
- In a separate pan, sauté the onions in Olive Oil on medium heat for 4 minutes or until tender. Add the apples and sauté for an additional 4 minutes. Just before serving, fold in fresh spinach. I like spinach when it is slightly wilted.
- Just before serving, finish the polenta by folding in the remaining 3 Tbs Olivio Buttery Spread and the mascarpone. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper if necessary.
I like to serve this dish with a serving of polenta, layered with the onions, apples and spinach. Next, rest the pork chop on top. Don’t forget to finish the dish with a spoon of the cider glaze pan juice!