• 57°

Sweet and savory: Fall’s perfect flavor combo

By Stephanie Williams Dean

Bless Your Spoon

 

The time of year is perfect for tastes of savory, salty meats combined with hints of sweet, fresh fruit.

Whenever you can, cook with fresh fruit, but canned varieties are perfectly acceptable if that’s what you have on hand. If you’re simply in a hurry to put dinner on the table, don’t beat yourself up – you can prepare the dish either way as good taste will still be the net result.

Don’t confuse sweet and savory with the flavor of sweet and sour – although equally delicious, the two are not the same. Oranges, raisins, apples, apricots, prunes, pears, and pineapple are featured in today’s recipe selections. Because the dishes pack more than one flavor, a simple rice – your favorite – would be the preferred side accompaniment. Go simple on greens, too – hot lima beans, buttered peas, or green beans will perfectly round out your meal.

PORK CHOPS

WITH RAISIN-PEAR SAUCE

1 lb. can sliced Bartlett pears

pear syrup

water

6 pork chops

½ tsp. nutmeg

1 ½ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1 Tbsp. cornstarch

½ cup sherry wine

¼ cup dark raisins.

Drain pears and reserve syrup. Add enough water to pear syrup to make 1 cup. Set aside. In a heavy skillet, brown pork chops. Remove chops to a platter. Pour a little syrup in skillet, and add nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Add remaining syrup to skillet with sherry and raisins. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, stir in cornstarch, and simmer. Add pork chops to syrup, and simmer 30 minutes. Add pear slices and simmer 15 minutes or until meat is done. You can use slices of fresh pear but cook until soft and then follow instructions. Serves 6.

APRICOT BAKED CHICKEN

4 lbs. chicken pieces

¼ cup premium mayonnaise

1 envelope dry onion soup mix

½ cup bottled Russian dressing

1 cup apricot preserves

4 whole fresh apricots

Arrange chicken in a large baking dish. Combine mayonnaise, soup mix, bottled dressing, and preserves and spread over chicken coating each piece.  Add 1 whole fresh apricots per person. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 1 hour and baste occasionally.  When done, remove apricots, cut in half, and remove seeds before serving. Spoon some apricot-onion sauce over fresh apricot and chicken and serve. Serves 4.

MANDARIN STUFFED PORK CHOPS

4 large pork chops

1 can drained mandarin oranges

1 cup Pepperidge Farm stuffing

1/3 cup chopped onion

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper

½ cup orange juice

½ cup sherry

In a bowl, mix drained oranges, stuffing crumbs, onion, salt and pepper. Make a pocket in the pork chops, and stuff with the mixture. Put chops in a greased baking dish. Combine orange juice and sherry. Pour over pork chops. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 45 minutes. Baste and cook uncovered for 30 minutes. Serves 4.

EASY BAKED APPLE PORK CHOPS

6 pork chops

4 cored, sliced unpeeled baking apples

¼ cup brown sugar

1 tsp. cinnamon

2 Tbsp. butter

In a heavy skillet, brown chops on both sides in hot fat. Place apple slices in a greased baking dish. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon, and dot with butter. Top with pork chops. Bake in a 350-degree oven covered for 1-1 ½ hours.

PINEAPPLE SHRIMP

2 Tbsp. salted butter

1 chopped green pepper

1 chopped onion

½ cup pineapple juice

2 Tbsp. cornstarch

1 Tbsp. soy sauce

2 tsp. lemon juice

1 cup beef broth

¼ cup water

½ cup pineapple tidbits

1 ½ cup cooked shrimp

In a skillet, melt butter, Cook green pepper and onion until render. Remove from heat, and add juice, cornstarch, soy, lemon juice, beef broth and water. Cook until thickened while stirring. Add pineapple tidbits and shrimp. Serve over rice. Serves 4.

CHICKEN AND RICE WITH RAISINS

5 chicken legs

5 chicken thighs

1 ½ tsp. salt

½ tsp. freshly grated black pepper

2 Tbsp. salted butter

1 chopped onion

1 cup brown rice

2 ½ cup chicken broth

½ cup shredded carrot

1/3 cup dark raisins

Season chicken with salt and pepper. In a skillet, melt butter. Sauté chicken and onion in butter for 10 minutes on each side until chicken is brown. Add rice and chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer on low heat for 50 minutes until liquid is absorbed. Stir in carrots and raisins. Serves 6

SCALLOPS IN ORANGE SAUCE

2 Tbsp. salted butter

1 lb. scallops

2 Tbsp. salted butter

1 Tbsp. minced garlic

1 Tbsp. minced shallots

1 minced chipotle chili

¼ cup dry white wine

Juice of 3 fresh oranges

1 ½ cups heavy cream

Grated zest of 1 lemon

2 Tbsp. minced cilantro

In a skillet, melt butter until browned. Add scallops and sauté for 4 minutes and brown on both sides. Drain. Wipe out skillet. Melt 2 Tbsp. butter and sauté garlic, shallots and chili for 2 minutes. Add wine, bring to a boil, and reduce by half. Add orange juice, bring to a boil, and reduce by half. Reduce heat and add cream, orange zest, and cilantro. Cook on low for 10 minutes until it thickens. Reheat scallops in sauce until heated through.

OLAHA CHICKEN

1 chicken, cut in pieces

Salt and pepper

All-purpose flour

Salted butter

1 cup undrained crushed pineapple

1 cup barbecue sauce

1 Tbsp. cornstarch

4 tsp. ground ginger

Coat chicken in a seasoned flour. Brown in butter and drain. Place chicken pieces in a greased baking dish. In a bowl, combine pineapple, barbecue sauce, cornstarch and ginger. Pour over chicken. Bake in a 350-degree oven covered for 1 hour.

APPLE POT ROAST

4 lbs. pot roast

2 tbsp. vegetable oil

1 ½ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

¾ tsp. ground ginger

5 cloves

1 bay leaf

1 cup apple juice

½ cup red wine

4 unpeeled, cored, quartered apples

2 sliced onions

In a Dutch oven, brown roast on all sides in the hot oil. Add all seasonings and pour apple juice and wine over the roast. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 2 hours. Then add apple and onion slices to the meat. Return to a simmer, cover and cook ½ hour. Remove meat to a platter and serve with apples and onions.

SWEET LEMON & WINE CHICKEN

1 chicken, cut in pieces

Salt

Freshly grated black pepper

3 Tbsp. cooking oil

1 sliced lemon

½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 Tbsp. sugar

½ cup white wine

3 Tbsp. salted butter

Salt and pepper lightly. In a heavy iron skillet, heat oil. Brown chicken in oil. Combine and pour lemon juice, sugar, and wine over chicken. Slice lemon and place over top of chicken. Cut up butter and arrange on top. Cook in a 350-degree oven for 1 hour while covered. Serves 4.

PRUNES & PORK WITH FRUIT CREAM SAUCE

½ lb. prunes

½ bottle of dry white wine

8 pork slices or chops

2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour

Salt and pepper

2 Tbsp. salted butter

2 Tbsp. red currant jelly

1 ½ cups cream

Soak prunes over night or for at least 6 hours in wine. Simmer the prunes for 30 minutes in the wine in which they soaked. Set aside. Dredge pork in flour seasoned with salt and pepper. In a skillet, melt butter and fry meat on both sides until golden.  Cover and cook 30 minutes or until meat is done. Now drain prunes but retain juice. Arrange on a meat platter with the pork. Add the prune liquor to the meat juices and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and stir in the jam and cream until blended. Salt and pepper to taste. Pour over the pork and prunes.