Vietnamese Pork Chops & Fresh Apple Salsa


Vietnamese Pork Chops  |  Fresh Apple Salsa

Intro Collage


“The city takes a breath on Sunday.  Of all that’s lost in the pursuit of what’s next, I hope we don’t lose that…” ~ Hawksley Workman


I try very hard to keep Sundays free of chores.  Cleaning, laundry, errands…these are my constant companions six days a week but on Sundays I do not entertain them.  Even the horses in our family enjoy a slower pace on this last day of the weekend, often being indulged with a long graze in the fields or a light hack along the trails surrounding the barn.  During the winter months, the fireplace is lit in the morning on Sundays and we keep it burning all day creating a warm corner in which to enjoy a book or a light nap.  Sunday afternoons on those days are spent preparing rich stews, braises or roasts and baking a treat or two to enjoy throughout the week.  But as the weather warms up and the days get longer, our attention turns outside…gardening, hiking, walking the dogs at the beach.  Sunday dinners during these warmer months become simpler, less time intensive and the baked treats, for the most part, are replaced with an abundant basket of fresh fruit which sits on the kitchen island.

Tonight’s dinner catered to a warm, sunny June Sunday.  We capped off a day filled with baseball, time at the barn and the beach with a dinner that was simple, incredibly flavorful and it all came together in less than an hour.

Vietnamese Pork Chops {adapted from Bon Appétit}

  • 2 small shallots, finely chopped
  • 2/3 cup {packed} raw cane sugar
  • ½ cup fish sauce {such as nam pla or nuoc nam}
  • 4 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 5, 1-inch thick-cut bone-in pork chops
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Lime halves {for serving}
  1. Whisk shallot, raw cane sugar, fish sauce, vinegar, and pepper in a shallow dish. Using a fork, pierce pork chops all over {to allow marinade to penetrate faster} and add to marinade in dish. Turn to coat. Cover and let pork chops marinate at room temperature, turning occasionally, 20 minutes.
  2. Remove pork chops from marinade, scraping off excess {reserve marinade for sauce}. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Lightly season pork chops with salt. Cook until browned and cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Let pork chops rest 10 minutes before serving.
  3. Meanwhile, bring marinade to a boil in a small saucepan and cook until reduced to ¼ cup, about 4 minutes.
  4. Serve pork chops with reduced marinade and lime halves.

Pork Marinade Collage



Apples and pork just go together but traditional applesauce was not what I was looking for today.  The recipe below for Fresh Apple Salsa, originally from Heidi at 101 Cookbooks, fit the bill for our Sunday dinner.  Crisp, fresh and light…the sweet & tart flavors of the apples were complemented by the savory onion and a bit of heat from the peppers.  The simple dressing of lime juice was, surprisingly, very satisfying.  I adapted Heidi’s version by adding much more than a handful of cilantro {making it more of a salad than a salsa} and substituting a sweet red pepper in place of the called for Anaheim chile, simply because that is what I had on hand.

Fresh Apple Salsa {adapted from 101 Cookbooks}

  • 1 green tart apple {I used Granny Smith}
  • 1 red apple {I used Fuji}
  • 6 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 fresh jalapeno chile
  • 1 fresh sweet red pepper
  • ½ medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2-3 large handfuls of cilantro, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup walnuts, coarsely chopped and lightly toasted
  • 2 tablespoons peeled and minced fresh ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon Lime Salt {or Kosher salt}
  1. Wash and core the apples, leaving the skins intact, and cut the fruit into ¼-inch cubes.
  2. Toss the apple pieces with the lime juice and set aside.
  3. Cut the jalapeño and the red pepper in half lengthwise and remove the seeds and white ribs. Slice them thinly. Add to the apples.
  4. Add the onion, cilantro, walnuts, ginger and salt to taste and mix thoroughly.

Apple Salsa CollageThe finished dinner plate…




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