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Caramel Apple Pork Chops and Melting Pot Mac and Cheese


So tonight I wanted to make something different for dinner.  I had a package of pork chops thawed, so I knew I needed to use them.  I also had odds and ends of several different kinds of cheese in the ice box.  After thinking for a minute or two, this is what I came up with....

I boiled about half a box of elbow macaroni, and drained it in the sink.  In the same pot, I melted a couple of tablespoons of butter over medium high heat, then added an equal amount of all purpose flour. I stirred that around for a few minutes, then added about a cup and a half of half and half (that looks weird, huh?).  Then I added a splash of heavy cream- can you tell I was cleaning out my refrigerator?  :)
As it began to heat and get near a simmer, it began to thicken up.  I added a little milk, and kept stirring.  Next I added a little hot sauce, some freshly grated nutmeg and lots of black pepper.  I took it off the heat and added grated fontina, parmesan, cheddar and the end of a wheel of brie.  I stirred until all the cheese was melted and the sauce was smooth, then I added the macaroni.  After combining it, I put it over low heat and covered it.  I mixed some panko bread crumbs with some melted butter, chopped fresh herbs and lots more black pepper.  When I served the mac and cheese, I sprinkled the bread crumb mixture on the top for a little freshness and crunch.

For the pork chops, I made a dry rub of brown sugar, cayenne, garlic powder, salt, black pepper and cinnamon.  I packed it liberally on each pork chop and covered them in the ice box until I was ready to grill them.  I had 2 granny smith apples that were going downhill fast, so I skinned, peeled and cored them.  I chopped them into relatively small pieces and sauteed them in butter in a skillet over medium high heat until they were very brown.  I sprinkled cinnamon and brown sugar and a little salt on them and let the brown sugar melt for a few minutes.  Then I added a splash of half and half.  I turned them on low and covered them.  After grilling the pork chops, I poured the caramel apple sauce on them.

I served the above with peas and pearl onions.

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