Pork chops with pumpkin sauce and turnip fries

This was one of those make-it-as-you-go recipes that really turned out well. Trust me, not all do. With no formal culinary training to fall back on, I often find myself crossing my fingers and hoping for the best when spending time in the kitchen. We only post the good ones! Nothing ventured, nothing gained right? Blah blah blah. Here’s a pair of winners.

Pork chops with pumpkin sauce

  • 2 – Pork loin chops
  • 2 tbsp – Butter
  • 2 tbsp – Vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup – Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/2 cup – Pumpkin purée
  • Salt & Pepper
  1. Set oven to 350° and put your frying on a medium-high heat.
  2. Pat the chops dry before salt and peppering both sides.
  3. Add the oil and 1 tbsp butter to the pan. Wait until the butter stops foaming.
  4. Gently place the chops in the pan. Cook for about 2 to 3 minutes each side to get a nice brown crust.
  5. Put the pan in the oven and let the chops get to about 150° internal temperature.
  6. Once there, remove the pan from the oven and put the chops on a clean plate and cover them with foil.
  7. Drain the fat out of the pan and put it back on the heat. Pour in the cider vinegar. Scrap the brown bits off the bottom of the pan and let them melt. Reduce the cider down about half.
  8. Add the pumpkin purée and whisk. Let the sauce reduce a little.
  9. Add the butter to finish and salt and pepper to taste.
  10. Holding the chops, pour the juice from the plate into the pan.
  11. Plate the chops and spoon on the sauce. Yum!

Turnip fries

  • 2 – Large turnips
  • 1/4 tsp – Thyme (minced)
  • 1 tbsp – Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 2 tbsp – Maple syrup
  1. Set oven to 350°.
  2. Trim off the turnip ends. Cut the turnips into 1/2″ french fry pieces.
  3. In a bowl toss the fries with the oil, thyme. Salt and pepper them well.
  4. Lay the fries out on a cookie sheet on a piece of foil and chuck ’em in the oven.
  5. After about 20 minutes they should be browning, take the pan out and turn them over. Pierce them with a fork to check if they’re getting there (read: cooked).
  6. After ten more minutes take the tray out and drizzle the syrup over the fries.
  7. Toss them around. You’ll see the syrup get runny. It should coated them all.
  8. Serve with the chops.

This awesome meal screamed Winter. We washed it down with Chardonnay and a few episodes of Dexter. The chops were tender and went so well with the thick pumpkin sauce. A great pairing. The turnips were the real surprise though. They tasted like turnip but also had that french fry quality which made them even more appetizing. When you’re done shoveling, make this!

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Trick or treat: Pumpkin seeds

I love Halloween – with the free Tootsie rolls, toddlers dressed as wild beasts and 1970s fright movies.  I appreciate the effort some people put into it, so I feel it’s only fitting to have a hand-carved pumpkin greeting the little trick-or-treaters when they come to my door. And, of course, I get all those pumpkin seeds to roast.

Roasting or toasting the seeds is very easy. First, get a pumpkin from your local market. When you’re ready to carve, cover your work area with newspaper because this is going to get messy. Now follow these steps:

  1. Set oven to 375°
  2. Cut off the top of the pumpkin
  3. Scoop out the seeds and pulp, dump them on a tray
  4. Separate the seeds from the pulp
  5. Rinse off seeds, pat dry with towel, place in bowl
  6. Add olive oil (about 1 tbsp)
  7. Add kosher salt and black pepper (to taste)
  8. Spread coated seeds on cookie sheet
  9. Roast until golden brown (about 20 minutes), mixing often so they don’t stick

Want a little kick? Add some cayenne. I love these pumpkin seeds warm out of the oven. But they’re also a great snack the next day at work.

Happy Halloween.