Pork with Roasted Grapes and Onions

Filed under: — Aprille @ 6:51 pm

This is a recipe I adapted from one I found online for quail with grapes and onions.  I made it as indicated, but I found that the quail were the least interesting part of the dish, and kind of a pain to deal with, so I have adapted it.  This is easy to double; measurements below serve 2.  I generally serve it with couscous and some sort of vegetable.

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp bouquet garni blend, divided
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1/2 pound pork loin
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups red seedless grapes
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • S&P
  • olive oil

In a small saucepan, combine vinegars, 1 tsp bouquet garni, and honey.  Boil until reduced to about 1/4 cup, about 5 minutes.  Set aside.

Heat oven to 475F.  In an oven-proof pan (I like cast iron), sear the pork over medium-high heat in a little olive oil until browned on all sides.  Set aside.  Remove pan from heat, and add sliced onions, remaining tsp bouquet garni, butter, S&P.  Stir to combine.  Roast in oven for 10 minutes.

Remove from oven drizzle vinegar mixture over onions.  Add grapes and pork, stirring to coat.  Return to oven and cook until pork is to temperature, 145F-150F.  Let pork rest a few minutes before thinly slicing.  Top with grape/onion mixture.



Filed under: — Aprille @ 4:44 pm

Last night I made my old favorite Pork with Grapes and Onions.

Tonight I’m getting a bit more ambitious and making this lasagne.  I have tomato sauce in the freezer (well, actually it’s simmering on the stove right now, but until recently it was in the freezer) from last summer’s tomato harvest, so I substituted that for the canned tomatoes and omitted the basil and salt, since those were already in the sauce.

There are a few unusual things about this recipe that I like:

  • Fresh mozzarella instead of aged
  • Goat cheese
  • A genius technique for noodle management that involves soaking the pasta in hot tap water.  This is so much easier than boiling an enormous pot of water for the lasagne noodles, fishing them out and burning your fingers in the process.  And yet, it yields better results than any no-boil technique or product I’ve tried.

I’m hungry already.


Key limes and quail

Filed under: — Aprille @ 8:32 am

I got a bug up my butt to cook a fancy dinner last night.  It turned out pretty well, except that it’s hard to nibble the flesh off tiny quail with a grumpy baby in the high chair.  Don’t ask me why he wasn’t satisfied with mushed-up peas and Teddy Poofs.

Here’s the recipe, adapted from Gourmet (and epicurious.com). I didn’t take any pictures of this because it was my first time making it and I wasn’t confident about the beauty aspect.  I did, however, make a key lime pie for dessert, so the photo you see is evidence of that process.

QUAIL WITH ONIONS AND RED GRAPES (serves 2, can be doubled)

  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons dried bouquet garni blend (could also use fresh thyme)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion (I like Peru Sweets), cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 4 whole quail (5 to 6 ounces each), cleaned and necks and feet removed  if necessary
  • 1.5 cups red seedless grapes
  • salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 475°F.In a small saucepan boil vinegar, honey, and bouquet garni over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until reduced to about 1/4 cup, about 5 minutes. Pour glaze through a fine sieve into a small bowl, discarding herb solids, and reserve. In another small bowl stir together 1 tablespoons reserved glaze and 1 tablespoon melted butter.

Heat a flameproof roasting pan (I used my cast iron) in oven 10 minutes. In heated pan toss onions with remaining tablespoon butter, remaining teaspoon bouquet garni, and salt and pepper to taste and roast in upper third of oven, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.

While onions are roasting, prepare quail. Rinse quail and pat dry. Season inside and out with salt and pepper. Brush quail inside and out with about one third glaze-butter mixture and tie legs together with kitchen string (I didn’t do this and I wish I had, because they looked a little pointy).

Add grapes to pan and toss with onions. Arrange quail, breast sides down, over onions and grapes and roast 15 minutes. Turn quail over and baste with about half of remaining glaze-butter mixture. Roast quail, basting with remaining glaze-butter mixture, 10 minutes more, or until juices run clear when fleshy part of a thigh is pierced (I suggest checking them a little sooner, as mine came out a bit dry).

Discard string from quail and transfer to a platter. Arrange grapes and onions around quail using a slotted spoon and keep warm.

You can use the remaining glaze to drizzle around the plate; I also used some to make a little vinaigrette salad dressing.

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