Saturday, October 27, 2012

I can’t resist fall flavors.

When I read David Tanis’ article, A Taste of Fall in a Bottle of Hard Cider, I knew I would be making the accompanying recipe, (more or less,) Pork Chops with Apples and Cider.

“But now, with piles of new-crop apples at the greenmarket and a stand selling local handmade cider, too, dinner seems practically predestined. I’ll pan-fry boneless pork chops and serve them with butter-browned apples and a Normandy-style sauce made with cider and cream. And to drink, a chilled bottle of sparkling New York hard cider.”

Sutton Cellars Gravenstein Cider

Sutton Cellars Gravenstein Cider

Since we’re on the West Coast, I am using Sutton Cellars delicious Gravenstein Sonoma Apple Cider for this dish!

Rub the chops with the spice mix and allow to stand at room temperature.

Saute apples until tender.

Flour chops and brown on both sides.

Remove chopes and drain excess oil from pan. Add cider to deglaze pan. Reduce until syrupy. Add Chicken Stock and thicken slightly using corn, potato, or arrowroot starch. Check seasoning and strain out any undesirable solids. Return sauce to pan and add (IMHO not optional) Calvados. Cook off excess alcohol then add apples, chops, and fresh sage (I left out the cream in the original) and place in a hot oven until desired degree of doneness is achieved. I served the chops with some roasted winter squash and a braise of dino kale and abalone mushrooms.

You’re not going to make me get up, are you?

Bonus Monty picture!

Stone Daisy

Stone Daisy

2 oz Compass Box Great King St Artist’s Blend
Juice 1/2 Lemon
1/4 oz Rich Simple Syrup
Samuel Smith’s Organic Hard Cider
Apple Peel
Fruit, in season for garnish

Peel Apple as for Crusta and line wine glass with peel. Half fill with Cracked ice. Shake drink with ice and strain into glass. Fill with Hard Cider. Garnish with strawberry, sliced apple, and mint sprigs.

Again thinking Apple was sorely under-represented in the Daisy category, I wondered if a Daisy made with Hard Cider was still a Daisy or something else. I was tempted to make this one again with Apple Jack, but then I remembered the Stone Fence. Scotch and Hard Apple Cider, now there’s something to try…

You know how everyone writes the lemon technique in Crusta recipes always, “Peel Lemon in spiral fashion, as you would an Apple”? Being the perverse cuss that I am, I felt strangely compelled to write a recipe where the Apple would be peeled as you would the lemon in the Crusta.

The Great King St Artist’s Blend is a relatively reasonably priced Blended Scotch Whisky intended as a remedy to the slightly moribund territory of Mr. Walker and his friends. Scotch Whisky geeks disagree on whether this new expression from Compass Box quite as good as they were hoping it would be. It is an enjoyable whisky and works pretty well in this cocktail. If I had any criticism, it would be that it is priced only nominally reasonably, and for the price of the Great King St Blended Whiskey, you can get a pretty decent Single Malt Scotch. Though, of course, no one will bust your balls about using the Great King St in a Highball or Daisy.

Regarding the drink… I used an English hard cider from Samuel Smith’s. I don’t really like most English Hard Cider. I find the Samuel Smith’s Hard Cider very nearly enjoyable in the Stone Daisy, as long as you don’t use too much, and it is maybe the best English Hard Cider I’ve tried so far. The drink would be better with a nice, dry hard cider from France.