The latest and greatest results from my crusade to try every recipe I’ve been hoarding for the last 8 years.
Cider-Brined Pork Chops with Sautéed Apples from Sunset. While this is, in many ways quite similar to another pork chop recipe I recently posted about (Grilled Pork Chops with Brown-Sugar Brine and Onion-Peach Marmalade, also from Sunset) it is different enough to add to the collection. The sauce is what makes this so great — and the peaches were what made the other recipe so great. Peaches would not work with this sauce, so there you have it. This, believe it or not, was my first time working with crème fraîche. (I have always subbed sour cream until now.) While it can be startlingly expensive, it certainly has some appealing characteristics. It doesn’t curdle when you add it to a sauce (although, as I was just telling my dad a few days ago, I have only had sour cream curdle on me once). It has sour cream’s tang but the texture is velvety and thick and the “finish” is almost cheesy. Unf. So: this sauce. Sweet from apple juice, spicy from whole-grain mustard, meaty and brown from pan scrapings, and tangy and rich from the crème fraîche. On night #1 we had it over Philadelphia Mashed Potatoes and on night #2 over risotto. Both were excellent.
Multigrain English Muffins from Martha Stewart. On a weekday morning I could ask for nothing more than a good cup of coffee and an egg from the back yard on toast. English muffins are one of my favorite species for toasting, and the more grains the merrier my waking mouth. These are easy to make and addictive to eat. And what a pleasant surprise when I plugged the recipe into the SparkRecipes calculator and found that a batch of 12 was only 111 calories each! That’s 20 calories less than the store-bought brand I’d been getting! Tip: if you have no one to impress, or you, like me, just can’t stand re-rolling dough, skip the “cutting out” step and just use a pizza cutter to whack your once-rolled dough into as many pieces as you like. So they’re square instead of round — who cares? An English muffin (or biscuit, for that matter) in any other shape tastes as sweet.
Stacked Chicken Enchiladas from Cooking Light. This has all the ingredients you would want from mouth-watering enchiladas: shredded dark chicken, corn tortillas, onions, tomatoes, salsa verde, cheese — but without the soaking and rolling business I could never get the hang of. After the chicken, tomatoes, and onions are baked together with spices galore and shredded they and the other ingredients get layered into a baking dish lasagna-style. I don’t know if it was the intention of the recipe or just a side-effect of the super-thick homestyle tortillas I chose, but they soaked up the abundant juices in the casserole and became almost like polenta.