This menu, as comforting as a blue plate special or a meal Mom would make, improves on familiar, hearty dishes: pork chops, home fries and apple pie. Thick, succulent chops, slathered with a spicy-sweet glaze, are seared, then baked in the oven. The foolproof home fries are made with parboiled potatoes that are crisped in a mixture of butter and oil; they brown faster and are tastier than potatoes fried only in oil. Watercress, usually dismissed as a garnish, is sautéed for a minute or two and served as a savory side dish. For dessert, the flaky caramelized apple pizza is easily assembled--just top store-bought puff pastry with sliced apples, butter and sugar, and pop it in the oven.
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