A simple, quick Fall dinner!
Pork Loin and Apple Cider Sauce:
one small pork loin (about 1 lb.)
2 tbsp. cumin
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. coarse ground black pepper
1 cup apple cider
1 tbsp. creme fraiche (one of my favorite ingredients!)
1 tsp. chopped fresh chives
Rub the cumin, salt and pepper evenly over the pork loin. Heat an oven safe skillet on high heat. Add 2 tbsp. olive oil to the pan, allow to heat up (but be careful to not let the oil start to smoke!). Sear the pork loin on all sides to form a nice golden brown crust. Place the pork loin (in the skillet) into the oven at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes. About half way through cooking, pour 1/2 cup of the apple cider into the pan and leave it in the over to finish cooking (the apple cider will keep it nice and moist). Remove the pork when a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat reads 140 degrees. Let the pork rest for about 10 minutes before slicing.
To create the sauce, place the skillet on the stove top over medium high heat. pour the other 1/2 cup of apple cider into the pan to deglaze it. Make sure you scrape up all of the yummy little brown bits off the pan! Allow the sauce to simmer and reduce by half. Add in 1 tbsp. creme fraiche, stirring until melted, and 1 tsp. chopped scallions.
Beer Braised Cabbage:
1/2 head purple cabbage (about 1 lb.)
2 apples peeled and sliced thin
1/2 cup apple cider
1/2 bottle of Fall seasonal beer (I used Organic Pumpkin Ale, but you could use an Oktoberfest or something similar)
1/2 a medium-sized sweet onion, thinly sliced
1 tsp. celery salt
salt and pepper to taste
Core and thinly slice the purple cabbage. Heat a pan to medium high heat and add two tbsp. olive oil. Saute the onion for a few minutes, until it begins to turn translucent. Add the cabbage and saute a few minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add the apples and saute a few minutes more. Pour in the apple cider and the beer and allow it to come up to a bubble. Cover the pot ad let the cabbage cook down until it is soft, stirring occasionally.
Simple Butternut Squash Soup:
1 medium-sized butternut squash, peeled and diced small
1 small sweet onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
3-4 cups chicken stock
3 tbsp. fresh chopped chives
creme fraiche, for serving
Saute the onions and garlic in a small soup pot until the onions begin to turn translucent. Add in the butternut squash and saute for a few minutes, add salt and pepper to taste. Add about three cups of chicken stock (make sure the squash is submerged). bring to a boil and cover. Allow the soup to cook until the butternut squash is soft and cooked through. Use a hand blender to blend the soup until smooth. Add in extra chicken stock to thin out the soup if desired. Bring the soup back up to a slow bubble (if you added more chicken stock) and add in the chives. Serve the soup with a dollop of creme fraiche on top.
There you have it – a simple delicious Fall meal made from seasonal veggies. yum!
Marisa…I made the butternut soup last night–YUM! I added a splash of applejack brandy–perfect for a pre-snowy evening! I’m going to try the pork and beer braised cabbage tomorrow (seems like a Sunday dish), but I’m loving your recipes. Question–you know how you can roast pumpkin seeds and eat them…I was wondering if you know if you can do that with the squash seeds? Seems like a wasted to throw them away. Love the site–you rock!
The brandy addition sounds amazing – I am going to try it next time I make that soup! I’m not sure about the squash seeds… they probably taste similar to pumpkin seeds so I bet you can roast them. I’ll be posting about pumpkin seeds tomorrow. Thanks for reading!