Apple & Pork Pasta
In late August, I drove to Boston after a wonderful visit with Hurricane Irene in New York. The plans for sailing, picnicking, and hiking were shot, and my long-awaited reunion with Matt was forced indoors. Romance on the river was cut short; in lieu of obligatory candlelit evenings spent cooking all the meat in the fridge before it went rotten. Needless to say, Matt and I were ready to go back to school.
After unloading all of Matt’s things into his new digs, we spent the next few days collecting unwanted furniture from Allston curbsides and arranging and rearranging his living room setup. What I was most relevantly gracious for was his new kitchen. With window shades depicting Italian chefs carrying trays of various liquors, a dyslexic faucet, and a spice rack furnished by an impromptu foreclosure, this tiny space would become pantry number two on my raiding mission.
But none of this explains why my blog hasn’t been updated with all the wonderful recipes concocted in said kitchen.
Emerson College is singlehandedly responsible for the plight of my social life. I’ve morphed into a Grade-A overachiever, complete with a Technicolor iCal, an illegible Moleskin planner, and very little time in my day to even make it to class. After a summer of blogging, I had a vocational epiphany: journalism, not marketing. And of course I couldn’t just go with my gut, I had to prove it to myself. But then again, I couldn’t put all my eggs in one basket! Hence, this semester has been packed with every single journalistic and marketing extracurricular offered on campus, leaving me with an email signature that reads like an abstract and very little time to devote to this here blog.
Forgive me. The recipe you’ll read about today was discovered and tweaked back in September, before I had articles due each week and meetings to plan on the daily. Back in my glory days of early fall, I had time for the simple pleasures in life, most of which involved food. In a leggy dress and a high ponytail (god I miss those days), I visited the Boston Local Food Festival, and boy was I in for a treat. Table after table offered me free samples of wholesome, locally produced food in bite size packages. A burly man demonstrated how to butcher a pig, struggling with his swiney fingers to keep his microphone around his ear. Time and time again the microphone would fall into the bloody mess on the cutting board and he’d pick it out and put it back on his ear, stroking his lumberjack beard in on the way. There was even a musical performance…although the young mothers and affluent hippies at the festival weren’t too keen on the “fuck da police, fuck da white man” lyrics rapped Nicki Minaj (ish) style by the woman wearing grillz on stage.
Kate Demase of The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread, a food blog out of Boston was all dolled up in her chef garb at the festival as she taught us the pièce de résistance. Her platform is to offer recipes for “feasts under five dollars,” music to any college student’s ears.
Concocted during the week of Rosh Hashanah, I celebrated the holiday like the Hebrew School Dropout I am: with apples(!)…and pork. After I spoke up in class on one of my last days in Sunday School, the student next to me said to his friend “I’ve never seen her before.” “We’ve been in the same class for six years,” I thought to myself, and then promptly enrolled in Catholic High School. My temple days ended moments after I practically leapt off of the bema upon completing my Torah Portion. Since then, I consider myself Jew…ish. In correct Jew…ish form, I celebrate the holidays without the hours spent in temple. If I had known this trick beforehand, I probably could’ve saved myself many hours spent with cassette tapes recorded by my Cantor. Anyway, Rosh Hashanah is great. Apples and honey! I’m so not complaining. I’m not too sure how that Cantor of mine would feel about apples and pork, but I won’t tell if you won’t.
This recipe is simple, rich, and flavorful. It’s the perfect hearty meal for a crisp fall evening spent with good company. For me, this means chowing down with Matt and his roommates, who were extremely grateful for a non-PB&J dinner for once. The dish serves 4, and in true Sliced Bread fashion, should cost only 20 bucks to prepare! Enjoy with a mug of three-buck chuck, for pure collegiate class.
· 1 lb Boneless Pork Loin
· 1 ¼ cup chicken broth
· ¾ cup apple cider
· 2/3 cup heavy cream
· 1 tablespoon fresh sage
· 3 cloves garlic
· ¾ stick salted butter
· Salt & Pepper to taste
· 1 lb short pasta
· 1lb Courtland apples
Start off by slicing and peeling your apples. The slices should be thin, and don’t forget to remove the skin and seeds!
In a large pan, melt half of the butter. Sauté the apples in the pan until they are browned and tender. This should take about 8 minutes.
Once the apples are ready, set them aside. Melt the rest of the butter in the pan. While it’s melting, slice your pork loin into thin slices. Season with salt and pepper, making sure to use your hands to cover all parts of the meat. Cook the slices for less than a minute on each side in the buttered pan. At this point, you’ll want to start boiling water for the pasta. (I’ll assume you know how to make pasta, and my instruction will end here. Proceed as necessary.)
Set the cooked pork aside and cover with foil to keep it warm.
To the same pan, add the apple cider. Stir it in, scraping the bottom of the pan to prevent glaze. Then mince your garlic and chop your sage.
Add them, along with the chicken broth, to the concoction and whisk all the ingredients until they are boiling. Turn the heat down to a simmer to allow for reduction. Then add the cream, bring it to a boil, and simmer for ten more minutes.
Drain the pasta and pour the sauce over it. With a wooden spoon, incorporate the two.
Place a few pieces of pork and apples on each plate and garnish with some fresh sage.