Thursday, January 01, 2015

New Year's Day Pork Chops & Sauerkraut, January 1, 2015

When I was a kid, I always loved New Year's Day at my grandparents' house. We would walk in to the mouth-watering smell of pork and sauerkraut. My grandmom served her pork chops & sauerkraut with mashed potatoes and I do the same, to this day. As the child of vegetarians, this down-home, meat & potatoes meal was especially a treat. It's still one of my favorites. Every once in awhile, at my wife's behest, I will make kielbasa and kraut, instead, but most January 1sts, you'll find this simmering on my stove. It's very simple. I usually serve it with a green salad, too. Some years, I throw in some black-eyed peas that have been cooked with a dime, for good measure.

Pork Chops & Sauerkraut
4 bone-in pork chops, patted dry
1 large bag or can of sauerkraut, well-drained
Salt & pepper

Season the pork chops with salt & pepper. Sear well on both sides, in a very hot skillet. Top with sauerkraut, turn heat down to medium-low, cover, and cook about an hour, until pork chops are cooked through. Serves 4. 

Bubbles is very fond of sweet, sweet drinks. Soda, sweet tea, you name it, if it's sweet, she loves it. She also adores apple juice and cider, so she's a great guinea pig for my many hot cider experiments. Tonight, it was this one, which she loved and I liked better than many I've tried. Really, I'm fairly certain that I like plain old hot cider with cloves and cinnamon and nothing else added. But, this was fairly tasty and if you like sweet and citrus, you will dig it. The added water sounds weird, but it helps cut the cloying sweetness. You can also omit the molasses, but it does add a nice depth of flavor. 

Molasses Orange Spiced Cider
4 c. cider
1 c. water
3/4 c. orange juice
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 tbsp. whole cloves
2 tbsp. blackstrap molasses

Bring to a boil and simmer 10-15 minutes. Serves 4-6. 

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