Skillet Pork Chops

One-pot meals are the rage these days. And there is good reason. With both parents working in so many families, and a lot of single-parent households, there isn’t always a lot of time for meal preparation.

I can relate to that. While it’s just Therese and I at our house, we take a pretty active role in the lives or my stepdaughter and grandson. They usually have at least one meal a week with us, and during the summer, it’s been more. And this summer was challenging, with my grandson playing on three baseball teams and games five to seven days a week.

Luckily, I have a lot of recipes that are easy to make and require only one pot. But I’m always looking for more.

The following, which appeared in the July-August 2011 issue of Eating Well magazine, is one that fits the mold. And I already have some of the ingredients on hand, including fresh thyme from my garden and apricot preserves.

Thyme, Pork Chop and Pineapple Skillet Supper
3 tablespoons apricot preserves or orange marmalade
3 tablespoons orange juice, plus more if needed
1 tablespoon Dijon or stone-ground mustard
½ teaspoon minced fresh ginger
½ teaspoon curry powder
4 fresh or canned pineapple rings (½-inch thick), cut in half, any juice reserved
2 teaspoons butter
4 boneless pork loin chops (about 4 to 5 ounces each and ½-inch thick), trimmed
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme, divided
½ teaspoon salt, divided
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
Thyme sprigs for garnish (optional)
If the preserves are chunky, chop any large pieces. Combine preserves, 3 tablespoons orange juice, mustard, ginger and curry powder in a small bowl; set aside. Pour pineapple juice into a measuring cup; if necessary, add enough orange juice to equal 1/3 cup total. Set aside.
In a large nonstick skillet, heat butter over medium-high heat. Add pork chops, sprinkle with ½ tablespoon thyme, ¼ teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Immediately turn them over and sprinkle with another ½ tablespoon thyme and the remaining salt and pepper. Cook the chops, turning occasionally and adjusting the heat as necessary, until browned, 3 to 4 minutes.
Add the reserved juice to the pan. Reduce heat to medium and continue cooking until the chops are cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes more. Transfer to a platter and keep warm.
Add pineapple, the reserved sauce and the remaining 1 tablespoon thyme to the pan. Cook, stirring, until hot and bubbling, 1 to 2 minutes. To serve, spoon the sauce onto the chops and pineapple.
Yield: Serves 4.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 257 calories, 28 percent of calories from fat, 8 grams fat (3 grams saturated), 25 grams carbohydrates, 22 grams protein, 388 milligrams sodium, 72 milligrams cholesterol, 2 grams fiber.