Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Claret & Gold

Cotolette di Maiale alla Salvia, Pera con Coriandolo & Cavolo Rosso con Ginepro, Semi di Finocchio e Gin
Pork Cutlets with Sage, Pear Slices with Coriander and Red Cabbage with Juniper Berries, Fennel Seed and Gin

Autumn. Much as everyone else seems to love the Summer, this is one of my favorite seasons of the year. Along with Springtime, at no other time of year do we get such beautiful changes of color in our surroundings! And yes, it is getting colder, and the vegetables are getting their first taste of colder temperatures... but that only does the cabbage good and makes it sweeter... and the pears plump and golden and juicy and waiting to be picked and enjoyed...

...maybe even together in a dish like this one! Very simple and quick to prepare, this has so many great things going for it! You will love the way the flavors compliment each other and as for the colors! Well, surely we don't need to talk about them!

Obviously, the cabbage was the thing that required the longest cooking time here, but even that was not too long. I didn't want to make one of those traditional red-cabbage sides that boil away for hours, delicious as they may be. Nope! It's all about being different in my kitchen! So I made mine like this...

I chopped the cabbage up finely and added about a third the amount in finely chopped shallot. I sautéed these for 2-3 minutes in a pat of butter, then added about 1" worth of finely chopped ginger, 2 ground juniper berries, another 2-3 whole berries, a good pinch of fennel seeds, salt and pepper. 

Next came the juice of half a lemon and a tablespoon of honey. I stirred these together well, kept the heat high and once the moisture had almost disappeared from the pan, I deglazed it with a generous splash of gin- yum, yum, yum! I stirred in the gin, added a little water, put on the lid and let it simmer away whilst I prepared the rest...

The pork was simply fried in a little butter with salt, pepper, a slice or two of garlic, a couple of sage leaves. Whilst it was sizzling away, I peeled, cored and sliced the pear, flipped the meat over and added the slices to the pan. Whilst they began to soften and brown and pick up the flavors of the meat juices, I ground about half a teaspoon of coriander seeds and sprinkled them onto the pear slices.

I added just a tiny splash of water to deglaze the pan and turned over the meat, added a little more salt and pepper, flipped the pear slices over once and was ready to serve! It was that quick and easy! But of course it is the combination of these simple flavors that makes the result so special!

The cabbage wet onto my serving dish first, the pork on top and the pears, last but not least, as a golden, shining finish to this miniature feast! And a feast it was- for the eye and for the palate as well! And if you decide to give this a go- it will be a feast that you were invited to, too!

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