Friday, December 14, 2012

Crockpot Acorn Squash with Apple-Cinnamon Pork Chops

Sometimes it is the little things that make a day worth doing...the coffee you get on the way to work. The flower you put in your hair. The dinner you know you're coming back to after the day is done. That was yesterday. Thursdays are a late work day-- I don't get home until 8-- and sometimes I a little bit dread it. But yesterday my small pupils were especially adorable, and the hours flew by and before I knew it, I was home serving up this delicious, cozy winter meal: Crockpot Acorn Squash with Apple Cinnamon Pork Chops. Oh, and bacon laced roast brussel sprouts. Have I mentioned my love of brussel sprouts? Because I love them. And I love bacon. The two together are an all star team.
Subtly sweet Acorn squash paired with savory, tender pork chops and, of course, the delicious was the perfect, wholesome, healthy ending for a full work day. Recipes for Acorn squash are PACKED with sugar typically-- so much that it pretty much negates the healthiness of the gourd. In this recipe, I used only two teaspoons brown sugar and 1 tsp honey-- and it was just enough to enhance the naturally sweet flavor the squash already has. 
Ingredients: (serves two)
1 medium sized acorn squash, halved
2 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp honey
2 tsp butter
Dash cinnamon, salt, and pepper

2 (or three if you have a husband who eats a lot) thin center cut pork chops
1/2 cup apple cider
2 tsp cinnamon chili rub (pictured below) or 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 1/2 chili powder, 1/2 tsp pepper

2 slices bacon
about 2 cups halved brussel sprouts
1 tbs apple cider vinager

First, slice one medium sized acorn squash in half and remove the seeds. 
Fill each of them with 1 tsp brown sugar, 1/2 tsp honey, and 1 tsp butter. Sprinkle some cinnamon, salt, and pepper over them and set aside. 
Boil the brussel sprouts for about 3 minutes, and then drain and run cold water over them. Slice in half (if  not already halved) and set aside. Cook the bacon until it is just browned, and remove. On a cookie sheet, toss the sprouts with a little bit of the bacon fat, the vinegar, and the salt and pepper. Roast them at 400 degrees for about ten minutes, or until they are browned and sizzling. Remove, and sprinkle the bacon over them. Since I put this meal  together in advance, I refrigerated the sprouts and reheated them before serving. However, if I'd had time after work I would have just cooked them then-- it's up to you. It's a free country.

Anyway. Drain away most of the bacon fat from the pan, then place the pork chops (well sprinkled on either side with Cinnamon-chili rub and s+p) into the remaining fat and cook until just browned. 
This rub I received from a friend at my wedding. Delicious. 
Remove the meat and place it at the bottom of the crockpot. Pour the cider over it, and a little more cinnamon. Place the squash on top, cover it, and cook on low for 7 hours. 
Then, come home from work and dig into a good-for-you comfort meal. 
There you have it. Its hard to believe that Christmas is less than two weeks away...significantly less than two weeks. I have wrapping, and package sending to do. Also laundry. Also a run. Before work. So I'm going to get moving. Happy Friday everyone!

No comments:

Post a Comment

I would love, love, love to hear from you!