I was one of the winners of the Express Yourself Challenge from Gather. I received 4 sample packs of McCormick Inspiration kits, including Apple & Sage Pork Chops which I am reviewing today.
The pre-measured McCormick spices included were:
Rubbed Sage, Minced Garlic, Thyme Leaves, Ground Allspice, and Paprika
Additional ingredients include:
flour, salt, boneless pork chops, olive oil, onion, 2 apples, apple juice, and brown sugar
First, let me start by saying that I was not sure about this recipe but was willing to try it for the sake of writing this review. I try to avoid pork for health reasons (on hindsight, chicken would have been a great substitute). Also, because we are a Gluten Free household due to my Celiac Disease, we had to substitute the flour - for rice flour.
That said, Nic and I prepared this dish together and made a few mistakes. First, when we went to the grocery store we did not buy brown sugar because I was SURE we had some in the pantry. Nic thought we had some left over as well. (turns out we didn't). I'll start at the beginning, it says to mix the flour, salt, and spices in a small bowl. I did that while Nic hand washed the skillet we would be using. Then, while he heat up the skillet with the oil and browned the pork chops I sliced the onion and apples. I did not realize until we were ready to take the pork chops out of the skillet and put the onion in that he used up all of the seasoned flour and did not save any for later. OOPS! Then, while he cooked the onion and then the apples, I got out the juice and realized we did NOT have the brown sugar. So, on a panic impulse I substituted the first thing I could think of - powdered sugar.
I'm sitting here right now wondering what the real meal - following the recipe exactly - would have tasted like. I try to avoid anything with apple juice because it gives me headaches, but it did not bother me when it was cooked with this dish. We actually enjoyed it, just not to the point where we would make it on a regular or even semi-regular basis. Neither of us is a fan of sweet stuff with our meat or for dinner, and it definitely was sweet. It tasted more like a healthier dessert.
Honestly, I wish I would have thought of substituting chicken breasts for the pork chops. It would have worked just as well (maybe adjusting the cooking time? I'm not sure).
This is a love it or hate it kind of meal. If you are like us and don't really like the sweet taste or fruit with dinner and meat, then don't try this. If, however, you like those fruit jam marmalade stuff on your chicken and pork chops then go for it - you won't be disappointed.
Here's the picture of my dish when I realized I almost forgot to take a picture!