Pork Chops with Star Anise, Sauerkraut and Apples

Pork Chops with Star Anise, Sauerkraut and Apples
It’s time again for those New Year’s commitments – eating healthy, working out, prepping for a 10K, speaking 365 days of loving and grateful words. Yeah, right. By cupid’s day, resolves have crumbled and imploded- poof. No major pledges from me, though. Instead of one promethean declaration that won’t last the month, I’ve decided on a few bite-size ones scattered throughout the year.

My first? I’m committing to lovelier mornings. No more sleeping an hour past the alarm; no more rushing out the door, unfed and unkempt. I’m giving myself morning white space. I’ll rouse my bod (incrementally) earlier, play with the kitties and sip a steamy latte (recently upgraded thanks to a Nespresso machine). I will savor breakfast and drink a glass of water, as the “experts” instruct.   And I want to take morning walks again. That’s it; nothing more – awake earlier, eat breaky, hydrate, play with kitties, and take a 20-minute jaunt. Doable, right?

Today was my first day on the new plan. I woke up early – well, actually a little too early; 3:00 a.m. be exact. Four hours early – yikes. I ate a warm and leisurely breakfast, emptied water glass and latte mug, and spent some quality time with “Mr. Mousy” and the kitties. That kept me busy until 5:30 at least – ugh.  After that, I wrapped up some work and started this post. “Refreshed” is not the word I’d use right now. I’m groggy, achy, fighting a headache, and wishing my head could hit my pillows for a few hours’ sleep.

Welcome to 2016, Phoren.

Last night, I made my first “official” 2016 meal (carb-loaded bread and pastries don’t count). Nostalgic, yes, but not your momma’s pork chops. Dinner for one, please. The recipe makes enough for my dinner and a night of leftovers, but it’s easy to double or triple for a family.

Pork Chops with Star Anise, Sauerkraut and Apples
Serving size: 2

Ingredients

2 Thick cut pork chops
2 teaspoons butter
1 Gala or Fuji apple, peeled, cut in half, cored and thinly sliced
½ Onion, cut in half and thinly sliced
3-4 Star anise pods
2 cups Sauerkraut, drained
½ cup Wheat beer
Salt and Pepper

Directions

Season chops with salt and pepper. In a large, heavy skillet, heat olive oil over high heat. Once the oil is smoking, add the chops and cook without turning about 5 minutes each side. Set chops aside.

Reduce the heat and melt butter in the pan, add the apple, onion and star anise. Cook until the onion is caramelized, about 10 minutes. Deglaze the pan with beer and add sauerkraut. Cook about 2 minutes until flavors meld, stirring occasionally. Return the chops and any accumulated juices to the pan and cook, turning once, for an additional 6-8 minutes until the chops are just cooked through. Don’t over-cook.

Season with salt and plenty of pepper.

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