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Originally published Tuesday, July 10, 2012 at 3:01 PM

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Recipe: Sweet Skillet Pork Loin Chops

This recipe uses pork loin chops.

Detroit Free Press

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Inspiration for today's recipe struck when I found individually wrapped pork chops tucked in the back of the freezer.

Awhile back I bought a good-size hunk of pork loin for a recipe I needed to test. Pork loin is an economical cut of meat, providing plenty of options for several meals.

I knew I didn't need that big of a pork loin — they can average 4 to 5 pounds. I weighed out what I needed for the recipe and cut the remaining roast into about 1-inch-thick chops. (Some stores may slice the whole pork loin for customers — be sure to ask). I figured I'd use them sometime down the road.

Sure enough, a few weeks ago amid the hustle and bustle of the season, I found myself without a dinner plan.

That's when I came up with this skillet pork chop recipe.

Boneless pork loin chops are perfect for a quick meal. And using thin chops means they cook even quicker. I took the ones I had in the freezer and, once almost thawed, sliced them in half horizontally. Slicing them while just barely frozen makes the process easier.

Place the pork chop on a flat work surface and place your hand firmly on top. Slice evenly through the pork away from you to make two pieces. If you want even thinner pieces, gently pound the slices between plastic wrap.

This recipe serves two, with two pieces of pork per serving. If there are any leftovers, the thin pieces of pork are good for sandwiches. Save any leftover sauce to serve on the sandwiches, too.

Another good thing about this recipe is the sauce. You make it in the same skillet in which you cooked the pork, making clean up a breeze.

A simple pan sauce can enhance the flavor of chicken or pork. Sometimes it can even save a piece that is overcooked.

In the summer, fruit-based sauce works well. It just seems to fit the season. For this recipe I used apricot preserves — a staple in my pantry. It's easy, flavorful and goes with many things.

For a side dish, serve a simple saute of sliced celery, red pepper and onion seasoned with salt and pepper. A crisp riesling also suits the meal.

Sweet Skillet Pork Loin Chops

Makes 2 servings

Buy thin, boneless pork loin chops for this recipe. Or cut them yourself from a whole pork loin.

4 thin pork loin chops, about 1/4 — to 1/3-inch thick

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon Morton Nature's Seasons Seasoning Blend

2 teaspoons canola oil

2 teaspoons unsalted butter

1/4 cup white wine

1/3 cup apricot preserves

1/3 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth

1. Pat the pork chops dry. Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper. In a shallow dish or pie plate, mix together the flour and seasoning blend.

2. Dredge each pork chop in the flour mixture, making sure to coat all sides. In a large skillet, heat the oil and butter together, swirling the pan so the oil coats the bottom.

3. Add the pork chops and cook until nicely browned, about 3 minutes. Turn and cook on the other side about 2 minutes more or until cooked through. Time will depend on the thickness of the meat. Thicker pork chops will take longer.

4. Remove the pork chops to a plate, cover and keep warm.

5. In the same skillet, add the white wine. Bring to a boil while stirring and scraping up any browned bits on the bottom. Reduce the heat to medium and add the apricot preserves and chicken broth. Stir and cook until the sauce is thickened and reduced some.

6. Use 2 pork chops per serving, drizzled with sauce.

From and tested by Susan M. Selasky in the Free Press Test Kitchen.

510 calories (33 percent from fat), 18 grams fat (6 grams sat. fat), 47 grams carbohydrates, 36 grams protein, 695 mg sodium, 99 mg cholesterol, 1 gram fiber.

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