Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Pork with golden beets and black apples

This is perfect for a beautiful fall dinner, when it's cold outside and you want something pretty to look at on your plate. The golden beets are mildly sweet and nutty--perfect with crisp-cooked black apple slices. The whole thing is kind of like applesauce with porkchops but slightly more sophisticated, like it got dressed up for company. I put it all over a bed of wild rice but you can skip that or use something else you like--quinoa, couscous, brown rice, etc.Start with one golden beetroot. Red beets will make everything pink so you may want to avoid that type. You only need to use half of a big one so do that or just get one small one. In this case I just roasted the whole big one and saved half the quantity for a beet-goat cheese salad the next day.Peel and slice the beet into half moons about 1/2" thick...Add salt and pepper and a drizzle of olive oil. Roast in the oven at 400 for about 40 minutes, or until soft. Here's half the beet, after cooking:Now find some really nice apples. These are Arkansas black apples, one of the crispiest types available. Aren't they gorgeous?You can use any type you like, as long as they're pretty crisp so that they don't fall apart into mush while cooking and are able to provide a nice textural counterpoint to the softer beets. Slice up one apple and set aside.Also cut one small onion into paper thin slices. You should now be ready to go with cooked beets, apple slices, and onion all prepared.Now get two boneless porkchops and season well with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat up 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium high heat until sizzly and add your chops to the pan. Give them about 3 minutes per side--you want them to be nice and browned. Don't worry about cooking them through--they'll finish up later on. Just try to get them a nice golden brown. Remove the chops to a plate, add your onion and begin to saute.After it is soft and a nice golden color from all the delicious pork goodness (about 5 minutes), add in your apple slices and 1 tablespoon butter. Turn them around so they get well cooked throughout.Add in your beets.Doesn't this just say "fall" to you? It does to me. Something about the colors, I guess.Add in 1/2 cup of white wine, stir well, then place your chops on top of the vegetables to finish cooking, or simply to reheat, if they are already done inside.Beautiful. Place each chop on a nest of the apples and beets over a small scoop of wild rice.

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