Balsamic Apples and Roast Pork with Speckled Mustard

Balsamic Apples and Roast Pork with Speckled Mustard

“If we are what we eat, then I only want the best.” Ratatouille

When my husband and I started dating, we woke up every morning at 4:30am to squeeze in an early morning weight lifting session at the gym. On the weekends, we climbed mountains, ran marathons and biked until our cheeks were too sore to sit.

At one point, our living room furniture was replaced with Pilates balls and an exercise bike.

6 years and two kids later,  our running routine involves barefoot games of Sharks and Minnows and our weightlifting regimen has been replaced with tickling tournaments and kitchen dancing with two thirty pound toddlers.  We push a mammoth double stroller up steep hills while singing lullabies as the sun sets on the suburban sidewalks.

And although many things have changed over the years, 2 things will always be the same.

1. We will always love each other.

2. We will always eat great food together.

Happy Anniversary Steve, I love you and I will always make your favorite dinner for you…

Balsamic Apples and Roast Pork with Speckled  Mustard

So it’s like a grown up fancy-pants version of hot dogs slathered in mustard with a side of applesauce. Except it’s really not that fancy. It’s pretty simple, with only a few ingredients, most of which may be hanging out in your pantry.

Start roasting the pork in the afternoon while you go outback and rake leaves into colossal piles or stay at home in your jammies and build forts out of couch cushions and warm blankets and watch each others hair stand on end with static… or whatever else you do on lazy Sunday afternoons.

The Newlywed Version (adapted from Men’s Health)

1 Tablespoon olive oil or butter

2 Boneless Pork chops

2 apples, chopped

1 clove of garlic, minced

2 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar

1  Tablespoon bourbon or whiskey

Side of good quality grainy, country style Dijon Mustard

Sauté garlic in olive oil until softened, add the pork chops and cook on medium-high heat for 6-10 minutes. As it cooks, whisk together the vinegar, whiskey, and a teaspoon of olive oil. Add the mixture to the pan, filling in the spaces between the pork chops. Turn the pork chops over and stir the apples, cook for another 6-10 minutes until done.  Serve with mustard and a side salad.

The Family Version:

Pork Loin Roast, 2-3 pounds

4-5 apples, chopped

2 cloves garlic

4 Tablespoons of balsamic vinegar

5 Tablespoon whiskey or bourbon

Preheat oven to 375. Place pork loin in a roasting pan and add about an inch of water. Salt and pepper the roast generously. Cover loosely with foil and bake for 2 hours (or more, depending on the size of the roast). Whisk together the whiskey, vinegar and garlic in a small bowl.

When the pork has cooked for 2 hours, remove from oven and pour 3-4 tablespoons of the vinegar mixture over the pork. Cook another 30 minutes uncovered, or until internal temperature reaches 145 degrees with a 3-5 minutes resting time. Toss the remaining vinegar mixture with the chopped apples in a skillet and saute until tender.

Slice pork and serve with Balsamic apples and a generous portion of speckled grainy mustard.

This pairs really well with a salad made up of fresh Asian pears or apple slices and toasted walnuts all tossed in a balsamic vinaigrette.

Advertisements

One Big Apple Walnut Pancake

Would you believe I am in my third decade of life on this great earth, and I just learned the story of Johnny Appleseed? We played the Disney cartoon on YouTube for the kids, and I wept like a baby. Walt Disney has a way of doing that, you know. Making people cry during cartoons.

But I was the only one in tears. I think it was something about Johnny traveling the country barefoot that got to me. I once camped in Lake Michigan for a week without shoes, and to this day I am never completely comfortable unless my feet can feel the ground.

 

So I know we are all ready for something cleansing and healthy after a night of candy collecting and sugar sampling.

So this Apple Pancake is just the ticket for a fresh start. October apples are so full of flavor, I always feel guilty hiding them under piles of sugar pies and butter crisps. So here things are kept straight and simple with just a sprinkle of sugar, a dotting of butter and just enough milk and flour to keep them together.

One Big Apple Walnut Pancake

Ingredients:

3-4 medium apples, cored and sliced

1 Tablespoon butter

½ cup all-purpose flour

½ cup milk or almond milk

1/3 cup applesauce

Pinch of salt

For the topping:

3 Tablespoons sugar

3 Tablespoons chopped walnuts

¼ tsp. ground cinnamon

Cast Iron Skillet Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a cast iron skillet, saute apple slices in butter until softened, about 5-7 minutes. While they are cooking, whisk together the flour, milk and applesauce in a bowl. In a separate small bowl, combine the sugar, cinnamon and walnuts. Pour the liquid batter directly onto the apples in the cast iron skillet. Sprinkle the sugar-walnut mixture on top. Transfer to the oven and bake 15-20 minutes.

Baking directions:

In an ovenproof dish, such as a pie plate or Quiche plate, arrange the apples in the dish and dot with the butter. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until softened. While the apples are baking, whisk together the flour, milk and applesauce in a bowl. In a separate small bowl, combine the sugar, cinnamon and walnuts.  Remove the apples from the oven and pour on the batter. Sprinkle the sugar-walnut mixture on top. Return the dish to the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes.

Serve warm.