19 December 2006

Tree Trimming Dinner for Six

I feel a recipe is only a theme, which an intelligent cook can play each time with a variation.
~ Madam Benoit

Between an increased workload at my 9 to 5 job, organizing an average of a party a month and the onset of preparing for Christmas both at my house and the family home, my posting ability has been effectively derailed for the past couple of months.

Speaking of parties and Christmas, I spent this past Saturday evening at my parents' with a small group of friends. Sullivan had never been down to visit so he came early to help me cut down a tree. At first, I thought that we might be able to get away with cutting one down on our property, but they were either giants or dwarfs. So we ended up driving to a tree farm and getting an 8 foot by 5 foot white pine. Poor Sullivan saw the same stretch of Caroline County several times as yours truly tried to remember exactly where Shepherd’s Hill Tree Farm was! I think he shaved off some time in Purgatory. ;-)

Lynda and Forrest had just pulled in when we got back to the house, and the gentlemen worked on putting the tree in the stand while the ladies came inside to begin dinner. Tika and Yeshua came a little later and brought a walnut bundt cake ~ heavenly with coffee. It was a nice change of pace to make dinner for 6 instead of the 50 plus parties I normally host.

Dinner was maple sausage and garlic stuffed mushrooms, Idaho and sweet potato blend and pork chops in apple cream.

I have served this style of pork before: once as tenderloin in Calvados sauce. I couldn’t find the recipe and I didn’t have Calvados this time around. As some of my regular readers know, the lack of ingredients does not phase me in the least. In fact, I consider it a challenge. Epicurous has the original recipe I used. I highly recommend it, especially if you want to impress your friends’ palates. Here is my stripped down version. Amounts are approximate ~ I usually just eyeball it. Enjoy!

½ stick of butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
Pinch of flour
Pinch of salt and pepper
10 boneless pork chops
3 to 4 cloves of fresh garlic
1 to 2 cups of apple juice
1 to 2 cups of heavy whipping cream
Garnish: Granny Smith apple slices (optional)

Melt the butter and olive oil in a large frying pan. Mix the flour, salt and pepper together and dredge the pork chops in the mixture. Chop garlic and set aside. Cook pork chops until lightly browned on each side. Take out and set aside.

Add chopped garlic to the leftover butter and olive oil. Add more butter as necessary. Add apple juice and whipping cream and stir until almost boiling. Lower the flame and put the pork shops back in the pan until sauce is thick and bubbly. Garnish with apple slices.
Post a Comment