Foodie Fridays: Southern Pig Out

On the menu: cornbread stuffed pork chops, collard greens, sweet tea and for dessert apple bacon fruit pizza.

I bet you’re wondering: “What in the hell is apple bacon fruit pizza?” Don’t worry, that’s for dessert. I’ll tell you when I get there.

The sweet tea is the easiest part and should be made well before hand to allow time to cool. I used Lipton iced tea and made it according to directions. The only difference is that when steeping the tea, I put 2 cups of sugar (per gallon or 1/2 cup per quart) into the container where the tea would steep. Once you pour the boiling water in over the tea bags, stir it up until the sugar dissolves completely into the water. This is the only way besides boiling the sugar with the water itself that makes genuine sweet tea, not that crap they pass off as packets of sugar dumped into already cooled sweet tea. To cool the tea faster, add ice instead of cold water after the tea has steeped.

Cornbread stuffed pork chops. This is as simple as it sounds… and more delicious. You just have to make the cornbread as usual, taking it out just before it’s fully cooked. It’s going to get baked again later when it’s stuffed in the pork chops. Season it lightly with parsley, celery seed and cinnamon.

I cut a hole in the side of the pork chop with a fillet knife then dug almost all the way through, leaving a pocket roughly the shape of the pork chop itself. This is where you stuff the cornbread into. Once they’re all stuffed, I bread the pork chops with more of the cornbread and season it with some more cinnamon.

I bake it on low heat for a few hours before turning it up to normal baking temperature. This helps bring out the flavors and keeps it from drying out, which pork chops are known to do when baked.

Meanwhile, in a large pot (5 quart or so) I put a few hamhocks and just enough water to cover most of it. Bring that water to a boil and then reduce the heat and simmer, covered for about an hour. This gives a nice base for the pot liquor that the greens will cook in.

I also add brown sugar, ground mustard, paprika, hot sauce, salt, pepper and a little seasoned salt to the water. After stripping and cleaning the collard greens and cutting them up, I put them in the pot to simmer for anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour until the viens become tender.

Finally, the fruit pizza. The crust is made from a simple sugar cookie recipe rolled out on a cookie sheet. That gets baked until golden brown and then smoothed out and patted down with a spoon to create a nice even bed to put the “sauce” and “toppings” on.

I add a layer of cream cheese (the “sauce”) and then on top, I add a layer of Granny Smith apples (skinned and cored) that were cooked on the stovetop until slightly tender in brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. I top that off with thick sliced bacon. And there’s no need to do anything with the bacon besides fry it up and chop it into small chunks.

The whole thing goes back in the oven for just a bit.

What you get is a meal full of pork products and it tastes delicious if your palate (and arteries) can stand it. Bon appetit!

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