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Pork Chops with Apples and Pancetta and Fried Banana Split

Comedy Club. Hiking. Drinks. Friends. Dinner date. 70 degree weather. 
That about sums up my fantastic weekend. 
The weather was absolutely beautiful and I am so glad I went on a hike Saturday morning. I got some beautiful pictures, exercise and had great conversation with friends. 

JJ and I ended our weekend as usual… movies and relaxation on the couch! 
I grabbed a few extra ingredients at the store and made Giada’s Pork Chops! 
The two ingredients I did not have were the brandy or apple juice. I added scotch (JJ’s decision) and extra sugar in the sauce to give it more flavor and sweetness. Without the two ingredients, it actually still came out very tasty! 
Ingredients

5 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

3 ounces thinly sliced pancetta, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon butter
2 large Golden Delicious apples (about 1 pound total), peeled, cored, cut into ½-inch-thick slices (about 3 cups)
½ teaspoon sugar
Four 8-ounce bone-in center-cut pork chops (each about 3/4-inch thick)
1 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ cup heavy whipping cream

¼ cup brandy

¼ cup unsweetened apple juice

2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1 medium onion, finely diced
+shot of scotch and extra sugar to the sauce
Directions
In a large non-stick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta and cook until crisp and light golden, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove the pancetta and drain on paper towels.

Melt the butter in the same skillet. Add the apples; sprinkle with the sugar and cook until tender and deep golden brown, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. Transfer apples and any juices from skillet to a small bowl.

Sprinkle the pork chops with 1 teaspoon salt and 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper. Add the pork chops and 2 teaspoons oil into the same skillet and brown for 2 minutes each side. Transfer the chops to a plate and cover to keep warm.

Add the remaining teaspoon of oil, the onion, scotch, sugar, cream and thyme to the same skillet and bring to a simmer. Return the apples and pork chops back into the pan and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes until cooked through. Season the sauce with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Garnish with the reserved pancetta bits.

Finished dinner off with a Fried Banana Split!
 Ingredients
 Chocolate Sauce
one 4-ounce bar semisweet chocolate, chopped
small pinch of cayenne pepper (did not do)
Bananas
 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
4 slightly underripe bananas, split lengthwise in half, then cut crosswise in half
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted
Directions
For the chocolate sauce: Combine the chocolate and 1/4 cup water in a heavy small saucepan. Stir over medium-low heat until the sauce is melted and smooth. Remove from the heat. Stir in small pinch cayenne pepper. Set aside.

For the bananas: Place the brown sugar in a pie dish or on a plate. Toss the bananas in the brown sugar until nicely coated. Melt the butter in a heavy large skillet over medium-high heat until the butter becomes golden brown. Add the bananas to the hot pan cut-side down. Turn the bananas over as soon as they are golden brown and the sugar forms a crunchy coat on the bananas, about 30 seconds per side (do not allow bananas to become soft and mushy). Divide the bananas between 2 shallow bowls or plates. Spoon the chocolate sauce over the bananas. Sprinkle with the toasted almonds, and serve immediately.

xo!
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