- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 3, 2006

Say apples, and pie usually comes to mind. Apples, though, are the perfect addition to many fall dishes, so I urge you to look beyond dessert. Depending on the variety, apples can be sweet, winelike or tart. The flavor and texture dictate the use.

For example, Honey Crisp, which is true to its name, is delicious mixed with cabbage and mayonnaise in a slaw. It’s also the variety I’d choose for a Waldorf salad.

Fuji apples, which are mild to sweet, are excellent when cooked. Slice an apple, saute in butter until lightly browned and serve over pancakes or as a side to pork chops.

Russet apples have a complex flavor with hints of wine. Try this variety mixed with butternut squash in soup.

If you can’t decide what apples your recipe requires, experiment to see what you prefer.

You’ll find a wonderful array of apples, maybe some you’ve never heard of, at your local farmers market or supermarket. You can stock up even if you’re in a two-person household.

Most apples will last for weeks kept near 32 degrees in a high-humidity part of the refrigerator. Check your supply once a week, weeding out any apples that are spoiled.

When you’re ready to eat down your supply, prepare a hardy dish of pork chops with apples slices and applejack. Braeburn, Fuji or Gala are all good choices for this dish.

Smashed potatoes

8 ounces (4 medium large) red potatoes

Salt

Water

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut in small chunks

1/4 teaspoon chili powder

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Place potatoes in pot with ½ teaspoon salt and water to cover. Bring to a boil and boil for 20 to 25 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Drain well and return potatoes to pot. Add butter, chili powder and pepper. Smash potatoes with a fork until chunky. Stir well to mix in butter. Makes 2 servings.

Pork chops with apples and applejack

2 tablespoons canola oil, divided

1 small onion, thinly sliced

1 garlic clove, minced

1 large sweet apple, cored, quartered and cut into thin slices across the quarters

2 tablespoons flour

1/4 teaspoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon pepper

Salt to taste

2 center-cut pork loin bone-in chops, about 1 inch thick (about 11/3 pounds)

2 tablespoons applejack

1½ cups chicken broth

1 tablespoon honey mustard

2 teaspoons brown sugar

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large heavy-bottomed skillet. Add onion, garlic and apple. Cook over medium-high heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove onion mixture.

Combine flour, paprika, pepper and salt on a platter. Dust both sides of pork chops with flour mixture. Add remaining tablespoon oil to skillet and heat.

Add pork chops and brown over medium-high heat for 2 minutes per side. Remove pork from skillet.

Sprinkle any remaining flour mixture into skillet. Stir to mix with leftover oil. Add applejack and stir well, scraping up any browned bits in skillet. Add chicken broth, mustard and brown sugar.

Cook over medium heat 1 minute, stirring constantly, to mix and slightly thicken. Return onion mixture and pork chops to skillet.

Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes, turning pork over halfway through.

Makes 2 servings.

TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES

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