Our first Readers Gathering

Posted by Guy Pringle, 13th October 2010

More to come shortly but to start here's Kaye's recipe for Normandy Pork Chops, preceded by Vivienne's verdict:


    ‘We had all quickly come to appreciate Kaye’s culinary skills and sense of humour, and looked forward to her car pulling up each afternoon.  But on Wednesday my heart sank.  Pork chops. This has never been my favourite, but never mind, there was trifle for pud!  However, Kaye’s Normandy Pork Chops were out of this world – the cider and apples converted something I usually eat reluctantly into something I would gladly eat again (and in fact have – my husband Steve cooked his version last night).  Just as well, really, as the trifle – NOT prepared by Kaye – was the only disappointment of the week, as well as the cause of great merriment!’ Vivienne Jarvis

Kaye's Recipe - Normandy Pork Chops
'I’m not one for writing recipes with quantities and cooking times – the secret of good meals is tasting as you go along – if it tastes good to you, your guests will probably enjoy the meal too – so here we go…
Sprinkle a little salt and nutmeg on your pork chops and fry them in hot butter in a heavy based frying pan  – the butter should be starting to go brown but not black. When the chops are golden brown on both sides and their juices are running clear, remove them from the pan and set aside in an oven proof dish..
Core and slice some eating apples into fat chunks (leaving skin on) and fry them in the pork juices until the apples are also golden brown on both sides – remove from pan and place over chops.
Now for the tricky bit – add a generous amount of dry cider to the pan with a chicken stock cube (If you live in the UK, you’ll probably be able to get a pork stock cube – here in France, it has to be chicken) reduce the liquid in the pan and make sure the stock cube is completely melted. (The amount you use will depend on how many chops you are cooking – but that’s not rocket science!!!)
Add a good dollop of Crème Fraiche to the pan – if you can’t get Crème Fraiche, use double cream and add a bit of natural yoghurt to it – turn the heat down and let the sauce simmer. When it’s thickened up, pour over your chops and apples and place in to a hot oven to get back to the required temperature to serve.
You have to taste this dish as you go along – you may find that if  your cider is too dry, you have to add a bit of sugar to the sauce – but DO TASTE IT FIRST!
(At the point you add the cider, you can also add some Madeira or Marsala which will give the dish a whole different flavour.
Serve with anything you like – mash, rice, pasta – it’s delicious.
Over and out for now and good luck.

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