Tonight I had to stop at the grocery store on my home from work so it was close to 7:00 when I pulled in the driveway. Far too late to cook anything time consuming. A very cold storm front was on its way out and I shivered in the 49F air as I carried the groceries into the house. Brett was in the shower; no doubt trying to get warm. The temperature in the house wasn't much better: 54F. Brett doesn't want to be bothered with tending the wood stove so while I'm at work he just deals with being in a cold house. After unloading the groceries and changing into my sweats, I lit a fire. Priorities.
I set the oven to 425, pulled out my small roasting pan, drizzled it with olive oil and slid it into the oven. While it was warming up, I cut up red and white potatoes into quarters. They cook quicker if they are in small pieces. I tossed them in a bowl with more olive oil, salt, pepper and some grated Parmesan cheese.
I dumped them onto the hot roasting pan in the oven where they made a very satisfactory sizzling sound as I spread them out into a single row. The potatoes would take the longest to cook, 20-30 minutes, so they went first.
Next, I chopped up three apples and put them in a saucepan with about an inch of water. I brought the water to a boil and cooked the apples until they were soft.
The pork chops only needed five minutes per side so I killed about ten minutes folding sheets in front of the fire. Back in the kitchen, I seasoned the pork chops with Seasoned Salt. My mother always seasoned her pork roasts with Seasoned Salt and I it's still my favorite pork seasoning.
I put my cast iron pan on the stove and let it preheat on medium high for a few minutes. I added a splash of peanut oil (it does well with high heat) and put in the pork chops. Cast iron pans are inexpensive and nothing puts a beautiful sear on meat in quite the same way. Five minutes per side. Perfect. The final trick? Add a tablespoon (or two) of butter to the pan at the very end and when it has melted, use a spoon to baste it over the meat.
I pulled the potatoes out of the oven, nicely browned and soft (check by poking with a butter knife). I mashed the apples and added a spoonful of brown sugar and a generous sprinkle of cinnamon. Brett poured the wine while I plated our food.