I can't believe I'm saying this already, but we're heading into our third season in our new home, at least I am. Big Guy's lagging behind a touch since he didn't get here until the beginning of summer but I can brag about spring, summer and now fall at the Oregon coast. It's blissful, especially with a stormy weekend on the way. I can't wait to batten down the hatches and cuddle in.
We really love exploring and last weekend we drove 16 miles upriver to Old Strawberry Farm to take a gander at their running ducks, geese, sheep and such and to pick apples. What a fabulous place it is!
We came home with several different kinds of apples (a mystery all) and 3 went into last night's garnish on some panko fried thin cut pork chops. I simply melted a quarter cup of butter in a non-stick skillet, added a quarter cup of sugar and when it was all bubbling, threw in 3 apples, peeled, cored and cut into wedges. Medium high heat and 8 to 10 minutes of coaxing and there you go. After they cooled for a minute, I added a dash of vanilla, a touch of sea salt and that was it.
Their tart/sweet flavor and interesting textures really complemented the pork chops but you know, I could have changed 'em up a bit more by adding black pepper, or cinnamon or both instead of coarse salt and vanilla, and the very same preparation would be fabulous on ice cream, or topping a gingerbread cake or even in an apple galette.
Next time you've a hankering for apple sauce, go one up and caramelize some instead. The key to success is to make sure you've a variety of Eve's favorite fruit because they all cook differently. Some soften and almost disappear, some remain crunchy when cooked and some are sweet while others tart. Just experiment to find the ones you like best. I got lucky with last night's version and can't wait to try it again.
A year ago - Sausages, Peppers and Cheesy Grits
Two year's ago - Tomato Cobbler
Three year's ago - Oxtails Braised in Red Wine