Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Fall Flavors

I love all things Autumn: the colors, the weather, and the sky. I also really love the foods of the season: apples, squash, onions, cabbages and cozy comfort casseroles. Tonight I decided to try a variation on a recipe that I found on Peggy Lampman's Dinner Feed Blog published on I made some revisions as always due to ingredients that I didn't have. This dinner is “Fall on a Plate” for me!

Pork Chops with Sautéed Apples and Shallots
Braised Cabbage in Mustard Cream
Roasted Red Skin Potatoes

Pork Chops

4 boneless loin pork chops
Canola oil
2 Granny Smith apples, cored, peeled and sliced into wedges (not too thick)
2/3 cup Trader Joe's Spiced Apple Cider
2 large shallots sliced
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper

Sauté the apples and shallots for around 8 minutes or so in a 2 T canola oil. You want the apples to get a bit soft and sort of lightly browned.
Remove from pan—put in some more oil (1 T)
Salt and pepper chops and sauté for 3 minutes on each side (my chops were a little less than ½ inch thick)
Remove chops and pour in apple cider to deglaze pan, whisk it around on high heat for 3 minutes or so and let it reduce.
Serve each chops with a few apples, some shallots, and the sauce

Cabbage in Mustard Cream

Slice up a half a head of green cabbage
Slice half an onion
Canola oil
Salt and pepper
½ cup of heavy cream
1 T course ground mustard

Saute cabbage and onion in canola oil until softened and getting a little brown in parts. Whisk mustard into cream and pour over cabbage, salt and pepper to taste.

Roasted Red Skins

Package of baby potatoes
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
Fresh herbs, oregano, rosemary and basil

Wash potatoes and cut large ones in half. Toss the potatoes with olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread potatoes out on cookie sheet and roast at 400 for 40 minutes or so. When ready to serve, turn potatoes into bowl, add a bit more olive oil and fresh chopped herbs.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Brine Time!

On our recent trip to Maine, the four of us dined at a wonderful small restaurant, Town Hill Bistro, on Mt. Desert Island. We all had delicious dinners there that can be viewed on an earlier post. The porterhouse pork chop that I had that night was absolutely scrumptious and when I inquired about its preparation the waiter said that the meat had been brined first. I had read about brining and it always sounded mildly complicated as well as that needing to do it hours ahead factor, too, so I’d never attempted the procedure. I decided that night that I’d give it a go when we returned home. Lo and behold, upon our return I have a gift box waiting for me from our Maine traveling companions and among other goodies in the box is…………of course, a wonderful jar of brining mix! Let the brining begin!

Here’s my mix: Victoria Gourmet Blends made in Maine

The procedure involves adding your brining mix to boiling hot water and then plunging in a lot of ice cubes to cool it right down—see pix below

Then you submerge the meat (in this case two porterhouse pork chops) in the chilled water and cover, place in fridge for 4 to 10 hours. I did five hours.

Remove the meat and pat dry and grill or pan sauté.

I made a paste of minced fresh rosemary, lemon zest, and olive oil that I spread on the chops before sautéing in a cast iron skillet and then baking briefly in the oven.

Roasted sweet potatoes and onions, green beans and fresh corn cut from the cob rounded this dinner out.

Yummy and many thanks to our most fave traveling pals for the brining mix!