Southern Pork Chops & Crispy Corn Cakes with Braised Apple & Kale

Southern Pork Chops & Crispy Corn Cakes

with Braised Apple & Kale

35 MIN
4 Servings
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    From the Test Kitchen

    In this comforting dish, pork chops are seared with a coating of Southern-style spices (like paprika and cayenne), then topped with a drizzle of rich mayo mixed with hot sauce and honey. We’re pairing it with two classic sides: a quick-braised duo of sweet apple and hearty kale, and homemade, pan-fried cornbread cakes.
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    • Nutrition
      PER SERVING
    • Calories
      770 Cals (est.)
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    ingredients
    Southern Pork Chops & Crispy Corn Cakes with Braised Apple & Kale
    Title
    • 4 Boneless, Center-Cut Pork Chops
    • 2 Pasture-Raised Eggs
    • 1 bunch Kale
    • 1 Apple
    • 1 cup Cornbread Mix
    • 2 Tbsps Apple Cider Vinegar
    • ¼ cup Mayonnaise
    • 1 Tbsp Hot Sauce
    • ½ cup Buttermilk
    • 2 Tbsps Honey
    • 1 Tbsp Southern Spice Blend (Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Ground Yellow Mustard, Smoked Paprika & Cayenne Pepper)
    time-saving
    tips & techniques
    Prepare the ingredients & make the sauce
    1 Prepare the ingredients & make the sauce

    Remove the honey from the refrigerator to bring to room temperature. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Grate the apple on the large side of a box grater, discarding the core. Separate the kale leaves from the stems; discard the stems, then roughly chop the leaves. Combine the grated apple and chopped kale. In a bowl, whisk together the hot sauce, mayonnaise, honey (kneading the packet before opening), and a pinch of the spice blend. Season with salt and pepper.

    Braise the apple & kale
    2 Braise the apple & kale

    In a medium pot, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the prepared apple and kale; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until the kale is slightly wilted. Add the vinegar and 1/2 cup of water. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 7 to 9 minutes, or until the kale is wilted and the water has cooked off. Turn off the heat. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. Cover to keep warm.

    Make the batter
    3 Make the batter

    Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the cornbread mix, eggs, and buttermilk. Season with pepper. Whisk to thoroughly combine.

    Cook the pork
    4 Cook the pork

    Pat the pork dry with paper towels; season on both sides with salt, pepper, and the remaining spice blend. In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned pork. Cook 4 to 6 minutes per side, or until browned and cooked through.* Transfer to a cutting board; loosely cover with foil and let rest at least  5 minutes. Rinse and wipe out the pan.


    *An instant-read thermometer should register 145°F.

    Cook the corn cakes & serve your dish
    5 Cook the corn cakes & serve your dish

    In the same pan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Working in two batches, scoop or pour the batter into the pan to make 4 equal-sized pancakes, keeping them separate. Cook  1 to 3 minutes per side, or until golden brown and cooked through (if the pan seems dry, add a drizzle of olive oil between batches). Transfer to a plate. Slice the rested pork crosswise. Serve the sliced pork with the cooked corn cakes and braised apple and kale. Top the pork with the sauce. Enjoy!

    Tips from Home Chefs

    Prepare the ingredients & make the sauce
    1 Prepare the ingredients & make the sauce

    Remove the honey from the refrigerator to bring to room temperature. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Grate the apple on the large side of a box grater, discarding the core. Separate the kale leaves from the stems; discard the stems, then roughly chop the leaves. Combine the grated apple and chopped kale. In a bowl, whisk together the hot sauce, mayonnaise, honey (kneading the packet before opening), and a pinch of the spice blend. Season with salt and pepper.

    2 Braise the apple & kale

    In a medium pot, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the prepared apple and kale; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until the kale is slightly wilted. Add the vinegar and 1/2 cup of water. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 7 to 9 minutes, or until the kale is wilted and the water has cooked off. Turn off the heat. Taste, then season with salt and pepper if desired. Cover to keep warm.

    Braise the apple & kale
    Make the batter
    3 Make the batter

    Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the cornbread mix, eggs, and buttermilk. Season with pepper. Whisk to thoroughly combine.

    4 Cook the pork

    Pat the pork dry with paper towels; season on both sides with salt, pepper, and the remaining spice blend. In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned pork. Cook 4 to 6 minutes per side, or until browned and cooked through.* Transfer to a cutting board; loosely cover with foil and let rest at least  5 minutes. Rinse and wipe out the pan.


    *An instant-read thermometer should register 145°F.

    Cook the pork
    Cook the corn cakes & serve your dish
    5 Cook the corn cakes & serve your dish

    In the same pan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Working in two batches, scoop or pour the batter into the pan to make 4 equal-sized pancakes, keeping them separate. Cook  1 to 3 minutes per side, or until golden brown and cooked through (if the pan seems dry, add a drizzle of olive oil between batches). Transfer to a plate. Slice the rested pork crosswise. Serve the sliced pork with the cooked corn cakes and braised apple and kale. Top the pork with the sauce. Enjoy!

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