Posts Tagged ‘apples’

Pork Chops with Apples, Onions and Mushrooms

Saturday, January 25th, 2014

Eating local in the dead of winter can have it’s challenges here in Ontario. That said, while we may not have strawberries we have plenty of Ontario apples, mushrooms grow year round, onions store well and we planned ahead this year and split a whole pig with friends ensuring a well-stocked freezer. When a gorgeous basket of Empire apples showed up on the door step from the Ontario Apple Growers I knew exactly what to make for dinner.

DSC_9451

This recipe for pork chops and apples is Ryan’s favourite dinner these days.
We serve it with mashed potatoes and there are never any left overs.

Pork chops with Apples, onions and cider www.cubitsorganics.com

Ingredients
2 pork chops
2 yellow onions
3 large empire apples, cored and sliced into thick wedges
8 small mushrooms cut in half
Salt and Pepper
Olive Oil
2 table spoons unsalted butter
1.5 cups/1 bottle of hard apple cider

Brining pork in apple cider www.cubitsorganics.com

We brine our pork first which ensures we never have a dry chop.  Loosely following Shana’s brining instructions I combine more apple cider, juniper berries and salt along with some thyme and a bay leaf.  Depending on how organized I am, I aim to brine the pork in the fridge first thing in the morning but have done it for as little as one hour.

When it’s time to make dinner, preheat the oven to 350° and remove the pork from the brine, give it a quick rinse and pat dry.  Then sprinkle them generously with coarsely ground salt and pepper.

Heat a cast iron frying pan on high heat for a few minutes, you want a really hot pan to start. Add the olive oil and butter. lay the pork chops in and wait 5 minutes without touching them to ensure a nice sear.

Chop apples and onions www.cubitsorganics.com

Chop your onions, apples and mushrooms while the pork is searing.

Flip your chops and add the apples, onions and mushrooms and cook them on the stove top for another 10 minutes until the apples and pork have browned. Stir occasionally, adding the cider 5 minutes in.

cast iron www.cubitsorganics.com

Transfer the pan to the oven for another 15 minutes. Check pork temperature with meat thermometer and remove from oven when it reads 140°.

Serve with apple, mushroom and onion mixture over mashed potatoes.

Pork Chops in cast iron www.cubitsorganics.com

Pork Chops with Apples, Onions and Mushrooms

Pork Chops with Apples, Onions and Mushrooms

Ingredients

  • Ingredients
  • 2 pork chops
  • 2 yellow onions
  • 3 large empire apples, cored and sliced into thick wedges
  • 8 small mushrooms cut in half
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Olive Oil
  • 2 table spoons unsalted butter
  • 1.5 cups/1 bottle of hard apple cider

Instructions

  1. Brine your pork in apple cider, juniper berries and salt along with some thyme and a bay leaf.
  2. Aim to brine the pork in the fridge first thing in the morning.
  3. When it's time to make dinner Pre heat the oven to 350° and remove the pork from the brine, give it a quick rinse and pat dry. Then sprinkle them generously with coarsely ground salt and pepper.
  4. Heat a cast iron frying pan on high heat for a few minutes, you want a really hot pan to start. Add the olive oil and butter. lay the pork chops in and wait 5 minutes without touching them to ensure a nice sear.
  5. Chop your onions, apples and mushrooms while the pork is searing.
  6. Flip your chops and add the apples, onions and mushrooms and cook them on the stove top for another 10 minutes until the apples and pork have browned. Stir occasionally, adding the cider 5 minutes in.
  7. Transfer the pan to the oven for another 15 minutes. Check pork temperature with meat thermometer and remove from oven when it reads 140°.
  8. Serve with apple, mushroom and onion mixture over mashed potatoes.
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Wordless Wednesday: Hard Apple Cider Pressing Time Lapse Video

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

Here’s a fun time lapse video showing all the apples and our process from yesterday’s apple cider pressing post.  Hope you like it!

Pressing Apples and Pitching Yeast; the Hard Cider is Bubbling

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011
One night back in August, our good friend Devin came over for dinner and a few drinks. We were probably talking about the barn or some other happiness and he must have forgotten who he was talking to, as he said he’d really like to make some hard cider some day.  
Well, I am incredibly impulsive and Ryan is a very good sport. So while Devin was still talking cider, I was online researching, being egged on by Well Preserved, firing off emails to arrange to go apple picking at the farm and had found a press on craigslist that we drove to pick up two nights later. Phew.

So jump ahead a month from our lovely and impulsive drive to Keswick, Ontario. We bought our amazing press from an Italian wine maker with a killer vegetable garden and now we’re at the farm.  Sigh.  The farm and its amazing apple trees that are having an amazing season in Prince Edward County.  Sigh.


We came home with 8 bushels of apples.  Home to Toronto, the racoon capital of the world. We stored the apples out on the deck so they would benefit from the cold temperature at night.  Every morning I woke up and opened 8 giant rubbermaid tubs of apples and every night I tried to remember to close them back up. Hilarity, with much broom shaking at racoons and squirrels.

Two days before cider pressing day, piles of gorgeous crab apples showed up from our old Leslieville dog park friend Susan.

Then the organic cranberries went on sale post Thanksgiving. So I bought 8 pounds.  Now we’re on to something.

So on a nice chilly Thursday morning in October, while the neighbours were all at work, Devin, Ryan, and I ate some apple crisp, set up the camera (we did all meet in film class) and started cutting apples.

So many apples.  6 bushels went towards cider, so 250 pounds in all.

Honestly, we didn’t have a clue what we were are doing despite two months of research now and a bad test run in September. 

 

After a ton of trouble shooting, we have the first real flow of cider!

drip, drop.

It’s pink!


It flows!

Most importantly, it’s freakin’ fantastic!

We had a hard time for the first little bit.  We needed to chop things much finer than we had thought. Next year we’ll build a grinder contraption. My poor poor food processor.  At least we had help.

Another mistake I made was that I had froze some chopped apples to protect them from the beasts.  The cold is supposed to help with the taste but they really needed to thaw before we pressed them,  Frozen apples turn into hard masses that are colder than the universe when you press them. It’s dreadful.


After some trouble shooting we finally hit on a combination of cheese cloth, pressure, non napping toddler, and unfrozen apples that led to beautiful flowing cider.

And a good time was had by all!




So after a taste, it all went in my grandfather’s carboy along with some camden tablets.  Two days later we added a champagne yeast starter and things are bubbling away happily.

The idea that started in August, led to a bunch of fun in September, is well on it’s way to fruition in October, for bottling in November, to hopefully drink and share in December. All because Devin wanted some cider.

We’ll be writing a little more about our actual process and organic / non GMO home brewing in the next few weeks but in the meantime here’s an another time lapse:  


This 3 minute video covers 8 hours of apples.  My favourite part is the oozing of apples from the first press (this should not have happened). Others like how the toddler keeps getting more clothes, how the dog is eating way too many apples and how we clearly stopped to eat lunch and dinner. What’s your favourite part?  And is there anything you want to know?

Apples and Honey; An Inspired Apple Crisp

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011
Almost a year ago I,  along with a few other bloggers were contacted by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs to participate in some short Foodland Ontario videos featuring our blogs and small businesses.  It was a pretty great experience, and one of the best things about it was being introduced to some other fabulous bloggers.  The garden pretty much looks the same right now; All beets.

One of the other Ontario bloggers featured was Dallas of South Western Ontario Foodie. Her video includes this awesome apple crisp, check it out:


We haven’t met in person but after a year of chatting and cooking her recipes I’m ready to share the best crisp recipe out there and then the Cubit’s version inspired by apples and honey.  


Here is how we do Dallas’ Recipe; A perfect mix of maple syrup and cranberries really liven things up:

4 apples unpeeled and chopped into thin slices
1 cup of fresh or frozen cranberries
1/3 cup almond flour
1 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup melted butter

Preheat the oven to 375F. Put the apples and cranberries at the bottom of a pie pan. Mix the other ingredients together but not too long or they will clump. Sprinkle the mixture over the fruit and pat it down. Bake for 20 minutes. Serve warm or cold.
This is seriously the best thing I have ever tasted and we make it weekly during apple season.

Sometimes you need a little variation.  So let me introduce you to the wonder that is apples, honey, raisins and cinnamon. We’re using these lovely little apples from our heirloom apple adventure.  These ones keep their shape and colour while cooking and we think they are Chestnut Crabs or a close relation.

4 apples unpeeled and chopped into thin slices
1/2 cup of raisins
1/3 cup almond flour
1 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup melted butter

Preheat the oven to 375F. Put the apples and raisins at the bottom of a pie pan with half the brown sugar and the cinnamon mixed in. Mix the other ingredients loosely together, but not too long or they will clump. Sprinkle the mixture over the fruit and pat it down. Bake for 20 minutes. Serve warm or cold.
Now I make one of each every time. It’s so easy and I have two pie plates so why not?  

Both versions are excellent for desert either alone or with some ice cream, or for breakfast, sometimes with yogurt.  I’ve made us some to eat while we press the cider tomorrow.

project365: week thirty seven September 17th, 2011 – September 23rd, 2011

Saturday, September 24th, 2011
Whoa! Week 37 of project 365 and the blog has been going strong for a whole year.  Thanks everyone!
September 17th, 2011 Self Portrait while Apple Picking! (this print is now available in my shop)

 September 18th, 2011 Golden Swiss Chard at the farm. (this print is also available for purchase).

 September 19th, 2011 Back in the city enjoying a drink in a bar.

 September 20th, 2011 Spent my birthday taking pictures of apples and pears.

 September 21st, 2011 Hydrangeas from the garden dried for Becca’s bedroom.

 September 22nd, 2011 Beans from the garden for dinner.

September 23rd, 2011 Beetscarrots and mint from the garden for dinner.