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!

Preparation

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

Anna's Notes

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!