Balsamic Pork Chops with Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Chick Peas

I was looking for something different tonight.. I had pork and we all know how I feel about pork, but I am trying to incorporate into our diet.. Once a month or so I will cook it.. Sweet potatoes are really a hit with Brielle, so the sweet potato recipe is a hit.. Here are the recipes that I used.. Enjoy!!!

~Balsamic Pork Chops 
5 or 6 Pork Chops
1 medium red onion, sliced
2tbsp olive oil
2/3c balsamic vinegar
1/2tbsp sugar
salt and pepper to taste

~Method
 STEP 1: Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. While the oil is heating, slice the red onion. Salt and pepper each side of the pork chops.

STEP 2: Once the oil is quite hot (but not smoking) add the pork chops and onions to the skillet. You may need to cook the chops in two batches. Let the chops brown on one side before flipping to the other side (about 5 min each side). Don’t worry if the chops seem to “stick” to the pan at first. Once they begin to brown the pan releases them. If you can not pick up the chop because it is sticking, then it is definitely too early to flip!

STEP 3: As you cook the chops, stir the onions around a bit. Once the chops have browned well on each side, remove them from the pan and place them on a clean plate. I found that the onions were almost done cooking when my first batch of chops had finished. Because I did not want to add raw chops to onions that were almost done cooking, i finished caramelizing the onions for a minute or two after removing the first batch of chops, then removed the onions from the pan before adding the second batch of chops. The onions are “done” when they are nicely browned and limp. The brown color comes from the natural sugars in the onion that have “caramelized” from the heat.

STEP 4: When all of the chops and onions are done cooking, remove them all from the pan. Add the balsamic vinegar and sugar to the pan. Stir well to release and dissolve any residue from the bottom of the pan. This technique is called “deglazing” and is often used to release flavor from the sticky bits at the bottom of the pan. Keep stirring as the vinegar solution begins to simmer and thicken (turn the heat to medium).

STEP 5: When the mixture has thickened, return all of the onions and chops to the pan. Coat the chops well with the onions and balsamic “sauce”. Plate each chop and top with some of the caramelized onions and thick sauce. Now you’re ready to go!

Recipe compliments of Budget Bytes 

 ~Roasted Sweet potatoes and Chick Peas
2 T olive oil
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained (or 2/3 C dried chickpeas, soaked and cooked until tender)
2t cinnamon
1/2 t grated nutmeg
1/4 t garlic powder
salt to taste

~Method
 
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Pour the olive oil into a roasting pan, and add the cubed sweet potato and chickpeas.  Toss to coat in the oil and add the spices, toss again.  Roast on the middle rack for 20 minutes to a half an hour, tossing again every ten minutes or so.
Recipe compliments ofA Full Measure of Happiness 

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