Greetings all, this is recipe #19 in my quest for a year's worth of original recipes... I am calling these Peter Brady's Pork Chops and Apple Sauce Glaze Kabobs in tribute to the classic Brady Bunch episode (season 3, episode 6, called the personality Kid) where Peter asks Alice whats for dinner, and he repeats Pork chops and Applesauce in a Humphrey Bogart impression because he think his personality is dull.
And here is a bit of trivia you never possibly wanted to know. The phrase dates back to the 1930's, not as a reference to a meal, but in reference to "dressing up" a bland event or item. Basically, apple sauce was a synonym for flattery. W.C. Fields was famous for calling snooty, pretentious people, "nothing but pork chops and applesauce".
And one more bit of trivia for you... Mrs. year on the Grill and I have been together for many years. We speak often, and are our own best friends. But last night, in discussing the meal, I found out she always thought Peter was the hot one on the show. I tried, but I could not get her interested in Sam the butcher fantasies. Late at night, she still dreams of Peter... who knew?
And one last bit of info, I am using smaller photos for this post as It is going to have a lot of pictures. If you would like to take a closer look at any, just click on an image and the magic of the Internet will enlarge it.
OK, it's recipe time. I need to credit this to a couple of people... First, the idea for the recipe came from MOM's CAFE BLOG, which you can reach by clicking HERE. They have a very fun event going on right now where she and her husband use a recipe from a magazine, each with the same ingredients, and make them in different ways. One of her recent blogs was...She Said (5) - Apple Glazed Chicken Kabobs. In which she makes here kabobs using similar ingredients... But no apple sauce.
I also wanted to credit another blogger for the inspiration for an experiment I conducted. A few days ago, one of my favorite bloggers, Crazy Asian Gal (you can reach her blog by clicking HERE), wrote a blog called... Five spice Ribs, which you can reach by clicking HERE. In the comments for that page, she commented that she does not in fact own a grill. OMG! How can this be??? For a moment, I considered sending her a PAYPAL payment of several hundred dollars so that she could enjoy the benefits of grilling. Then I decided I should in fact send her a thousand dollars so she could buy a nice grill AND a smoker in order to really get the experience. Just before I clicked send, it dawned on me that I had read about using your stove as an impromptu grill. I commented to her that it was possible, but in fact, I had never tried it. So, instead of all that clutter of having to find a spot in her patio for a grill and smoker, I decided to not send her a thousand dollars, but instead, I wanted to see if you could in fact get the same experience of grilling without the grill...
Here's what I did...
First, I got all the ingredients together...
8 pork chops, cut about 3/4 inch thick
2 Granny Smith Apples (cored, cut into 8 pieces each, soaked in some lemon water to keep them from getting brown while I cut up the rest)
2 onions, cut into large @1 inch square sections)
2 green peppers (cut into the same size)
1 can of pineapple chunks
1 cup brown sugar
1cup Apple Sauce
1 cup BBQ sauce
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce.
2 teaspoons Chipotle spice
I combined the sugar, apple sauce, BBQ sauce, chipotle and Worcestershire sauce in a sauce pan and cooked for about 30 minutes on a soft boil. I stirred every few minutes to make sure it was not burning.
While that was cooking, I cut all the fruit up into equal size chunks. The pineapple was a little small. If I was making these for a party, I would probably buy a fresh whole pineapple so i could control the size, but for just me and the Mrs., this was good enough.
Then I started to put the items on the skewers. It is hard to tell n this shot, but I have fancy circular skewers that makes a round presentation piece. They look great, but I hate them. They are difficult to put the items on and very difficult to get them off. I also have a fear of driving my hand through the end of one of these torture items. So, enjoy the following photos with them, cause I think this will be the last time I use them (unless the Pope visits). I have lots of pretty, but difficult presentation items I would use if important people visit. These I will hold for when his holiness flies in from Rome (I hear he is a big fan of burnt ends).
I put a piece of apple at the beginning and the end of each skewer, and alternated the fruit pieces, filling up each skewer. In addition to the fancy curved skewers, I used 4 wooden skewers (that I had seen an earlier posting Crazy Asian Gal had used).
Next, I set up my OVEN (not grill!) for direct grilling... That is, I turned the oven on broil. Same as a grill, but the heat source comes from above, instead of below. I was not sure of the amount of heat this would put out, so I wanted to err on the side of caution. I made a boat of tinfoil, and set it on the lowest possible rack. Filled it up with four of the wooden skewer kabobs. I brushed on a layer of the cooked applesauce sauce and watched carefully. I cooked them for 10 minutes on each side, brushing more sauce on each 5 minutes. They came out perfect. The kitchen smelled of cooked apples, and I was very pleased. This experiment was working fabulous! I am now more confident, and could easily have moved the grate up a couple notches in the oven, but better safe than burnt.
This photo is of the kabobs in the boat, just as I started cooking. I used the tinfoil boat to avoid cleaning, but I am sure a roasting pan would work just fine. If you have a pan that a small grill fits into, that would be even better. Of course, there are drips, so do not put these on the grates to cook. Trust me, I have done things like that before, and it is not worth listening to your wife for hours discussing (yelling about) your cooking skills compared to your cleaning skills... Trust me!
OK, now I got to move to the comfort of my grill. I took the fancy curved kabobs out to the grill. I also had extra meat, onions and pineapple that did not fit onto a kabob. Those I put into my fancy pan with holes in it. If you should happen to own one of those pans, or ever wondered why any fool would buy a pan that leaked, these work great for making kabobs without the skewers. Meat and veggies all cook, all have a bit of that tasty charredness that only grilling makes. If I was not going to experiment, and not photographing for the blog (almost as important as cooking for the Pope), I would have cooked the entire meal in my fancy pan with holes in it. Tastes the same.
... But I digress. Cooking process was about the same. I actually only needed to cook about 6 minutes on each side for them to get done. I still brushed the sauce on at the beginning, and also after about 3 minutes. The fancy pan with holes in it took twice as long to cook, but there was twice as much meat, and the actual cooking surface is smaller... But enough about the pan with no holes, this is a blog about KABOBS...
And here is a lovely shot showing the curved kabob sticks on the grill. Another negative about the curved sticks, they take up a lot of room on the grill. If I was just cooking 4, all fits fine. If I was cooking more, I would have to do two cooking sessions. So, in order to serve everything warm, next time I use these, it would just be for me, my wife, the Pope, his date. No guests I could invite nor entourage for His Holiness, which would really piss off my priest. There would be hell to pay next confession (wait, there is always hell to pay at confession, that;s the point... But I digress)
These cooked up nicely. the biggest difference between cooking on the grill and under the broiler is that beautiful charred look that grilling gets, and that extra charred taste. That does not mean I like them burnt,, but a small amount (like in this photo) does add to the taste. Cooking over fire is best to get that, but I guess I could have done the last minute under the broiler at the highest setting for the grate and gotten the same effect. But, again, my comfort zone is on the grill, and I know when to remove them for that perfect in between taste without burning. I would have to keep a much more close an eye under the broiler.
So, here is the final project. I served one of each, and honestly, if not for the extra charring, I could not really taste the difference. The sweetness of the applesauce, combined VERY well with the extra POP of the chipotle spice. It was a nice compromise sauce that my wife (who does not care for HOT spices) and my own tastes (which lean more towards POP, POP, and a half more POP).
I can now confidently say that with a little extra thought and effort, any of the recipes I have given on this blog will work very well in your oven. I think you lose a little of the thrill of cooking over fire, but you gain back the hair on your arms.
So, in general, any of you non grill owners want to take up the challenge of cooking one of my recipes in your oven? I would love to hear about it. If you would like some individual advice about how to adapt something, let me know, happy to help.
And Thanks again to Mom's Cafe for the recipe idea, and I am sorry to Crazy Asian Gal. If the experiment had failed, I would have Paypalled a thousand dollars to you so you could set up your own all important grilling station...
really, I would have...
Have you ever been lied to by a man, of course not