Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Applesauce, Cabbage Apple Bacon Slaw

B.Y.O.P.  Bring your own pork.  Tenderloin, that is.  Preferably grilled while drinking an Oktoberfest beer.  You'll need some oink to bring this plate together.  Perfectly cooked and sliced atop a homemade savory applesauce, plated next to a lovely fall apple bacon slaw, it's autumn on a plate.  If you need a basic guide to grilling a pork tenderloin, a good one is right here.  

Grilling all summer sure is fun.  But grilling in the fall is much more comfortable as you aren't melting between the smoky heat of your grill and the blazing sun.  And now with the more frequent mild winter days, the cover gets pulled off the grill almost every month of the year.  The newest day of the year, no matter how cold, used to be marked for grilling chicken wings while the oven got it's annual cleaning.  That tradition was short-lived, does anyone actually use the oven cleaning feature anymore?  Not here.  I'm lucky if I clean under my couch once a year. 

Have your costume picked out yet?  We're approaching that time of year.  I look forward to roasting the pumpkin seeds once we carve that orange orb into something that does not look as good as imagined.  That's just not the stronger half of my brain.  The pumpkin is quite versatile in the kitchen, from a dessert treat to a savory main dish. 

If you like making slaw this time of year, this similar version is quite delectable.  There could be some cabbage slaw leftover from this recipe, which will be tasty for up to 2 days. 

Applesauce, Cabbage Apple Bacon Slaw
4 servings, as sides

1 large onion, diced
3 medium apples, peeled, cored, and diced
2 TB fat- bacon, unsalted butter, or oil
1/4 C dry white wine
shot of brandy
1.5 TB AP flour
1 C low-sodium chicken stock

2 C red cabbage
2 C green cabbage
2 TB apple cider vinegar
1/2 ts sea salt, Maldon preferred
1/8 ts pepper
2 gala apples, cored and cut into matchsticks
1 carrot, peeled and diced
3/4 C toasted walnut pieces
2 strips bacon, cooked until crisp and crumbled
2 TB good blue cheese

Render the fat from the bacon in a large skillet over low heat.  Cook until crispy and then set aside, crumble once cooled.  Add the apple and the onion to the pan and turn up the heat to medium high.  Season with a pinch of S&P and saute until tender, about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Deglaze the skillet by adding in the brandy and wine, use a wooden spatula to scrape up the tasty bits, you don't want those to get left behind.  Let the wine reduce for about 5 minutes, stirring here and there.  Sprinkle in the flour, stir for two minutes to let that cook a bit and thicken things up.  Introduce the stock and turn up the heat to bring to a boil, then back to medium to simmer for 5 minutes.  Remove pan from heat and set aside.

Once the apple onion mix has cooled a bit, add to your food pro or blender.  It will still be hot, but those devices work best when food isn't still boiling hot.  Pulse a few times until you have your desired consistency, I prefer a pretty smooth sauce so I let it go for 30 seconds.  Once blended, pour into a small saucepan and keep warm over low heat.  (If you like your sauce warm, stash in fridge if you prefer cold)

In a large mixing bowl, add the cabbage, apple, carrot, walnuts and bacon.  Mix in the oil and vinegar, season with S&P, toss well.  Taste for seasoning/acidity, adjust if necessary.  Add some small pieces of good quality blue cheese and serve with your applesauce plated with some slices of grilled pork tenderloin.  That's autumn on a plate.  Need Autumn in your glass?  

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