“A fragrance always clings to the hand that gives you roses.”
Tohun, my sister-in-law, came from humble beginnings and worked her way up the career ladder after leaving university in the 1990’s. We are kindred spirits, as our lives have followed similar paths, except she continued to work whilst bringing up her children. We both straddle two cultures; she between British and Nigerian and myself with Italian. Our mothers are very similar; strong, independent women and both having brought up children on their own.
On holiday, Tohun doesn’t cook. In fact, I am not sure Tohun ever cooks. Paul, her husband, does that. However, she does do all the tidying and is brilliant at cleaning! In 2008, we went to Normandy, but no-one can remember where it was! Which is OK, as we shan’t be going back – the house was filthy. That year, Tohun spent two days of the holiday cleaning it. The house was cleaner and fresher when we left. I think she went back to work for a rest!
This quick and easy recipe is ideal if you don’t cook.
4 x 200g (7oz) pork chops, trimmed * 55g (2oz) butter * 2 dessert apples, cored, each cut into 8 wedges * ½tsp sugar * 1½tbsp olive oil * 45ml (1½floz) Calvados * 2 shallots, finely chopped * 250ml (8 floz) dry cider * 125ml (4 floz) chicken stock * 150ml (5 floz) double cream * salt & freshly ground pepper
Melt half the butter in a frying pan, add the apple wedges and sprinkle with sugar. Cook over a low heat, turning occasionally, until tender and glazed. Heat the oil in a frying pan and sauté the pork chops until cooked, turning once. Pour the excess fat from the pan, add the Calvados and flambé by lighting with your gas flame or a match. Transfer the pork to a plate and keep warm.
Add the remaining butter to the pan and cook the shallots until soft, but not brown. Add the cider, stock and cream, bringing to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes, or until reduced enough to coat the back of a spoon. Season the sauce, add the pork and simmer for 3 minutes to heat through. Serve with the apple.
N.B. Safety first – stand well back when you light the pan and keep a lid handy for emergencies.
I have collated all my favourite recipes into one book FOOD FOR ALL OCCASIONS.
There are more recipes in the section THE FRENCH COLLECTION, a selection of authentic French recipes.
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