We're on a cider kick at our house these days, rather appropriately just in time for apple harvest. Quite honestly, I'm a bit of a newby to the stuff, never having tried it much except for having the odd "snakebite" or two during my travels. For those of you who don't know, a Snakebite is a mixture of beer and hard cider.
Anyway, much like beer, there are some subtle and not so subtle differences in flavor depending on the brand and naturally also depending on the type of apples used. For example, the Angry Orchard Crisp Apple brand you see on your left is very light in color and flavor, slightly sweet with a dry finish. Strongbow in the middle is imported from the U.K. and has a darker color, almost comparable to a good bourbon. It's rich in flavor, very mellow and goes down real easy. Woodchuck Amber is just that - dark amber in color, slightly sweet but kinda' tart too and definitely says "howdy" when it goes by the tastebuds. I'd be hard pressed (if you'll pardon the pun) to choose a favorite among them.
I used Angry Orchard last night to make the brine for this pork chop recipe courtesy of myrecipes.com. Simply hard cider mixed with kosher salt and dried herbs, to be honest I was incredibly disappointed in the outcome. I have a suspicion the whole thing would have worked much better had I heated the cider to dissolve the salt, although the recipe didn't call for that particular step.
The grilled chops were incredibly tough which means either they didn't soak in enough of the brine during the 2.5 hours I had them marinating, or the pork wasn't the best, or the griller (me) messed up ...yup, believe it not I think I overcooked these puppies although they were only on the grill for 10 short minutes, total.
Anyway, along with sauteed apples rather than the grilled ones the recipe called for, the keeper was the glaze made from apple jelly, butter and Apple Jack brandy. Hit the link above for the recipe if you're so inclined. As for us, I'll not be making this one again. Just sayin'.
Two year's ago - Green Chicken Curry