Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Autumn goodness!

Often times I think of the fall, and automatically I think of leaves falling to the ground, watching football, the weather getting nippy, pulling on a sweater, but I also think of those hearty traditional meals whether it be something like Beef Stew, Chili and cornbread, or Chicken & Dumplings. While I am a traditionalist in many ways I also love to push the edge w/ my cooking where I can incorporate unusual items to make extraordinary meals.  Tonights meal is a prime example.

Tonight I made Caramel-apple pork chops along w/ wild rice, and cognac roasted carrots (which happen to be a repeat offender)

Let me tell you that I did make some changes to the recipe.  First off - the pork chops NEED seasoning and it will not happen from the caramel sauce.  I used a chop house seasoning blend that is meant for steaks (oh sue me) and all I can say is that it imparted a subtle smokey flavour that was only enhanced by the caramel sauce.   The caramel sauce is a whole different story.  I usually am pretty spot on w/ cooking and seldom have trouble...but this caramel sauce tested my patience!  After not one but TWO batches, I finally started a third batch before I achieved perfection.  The secret?  I cheated :-)  There I said it *hanging head in shame* I used all the ingredients for the caramel sauce, MINUS the brown sugar...instead what I used in place of the brown sugar was...you guessed it, store bought caramel syrup *gasping* Egads!  I also added about 1 Tbsp milk - result, perfectly creamy caramel sauce...a handful of toasted pecans and voila! Perfection :)

The cognac roasted carrots I've made before b/c they were SO good - so I won't review them again, and well the wild rice was a convenience food that rounded out my meal.

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