Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Sunday Dinner

I have taken over Sunday dinner. Actually that sounds like I was proactive when in fact I was told I was in charge of Sunday dinner and I have tried to do my best to create meals that will be well rounded, complete and delicious.

During the week I now wade through my magazines, cookbooks and clippings (and also peruse the web) for recipes I want to make on Sunday (or for entertaining or experimentation). I write down the name of the recipes, the source & page number in a journal for future reference. This whole process weirdly enough fills me with a sense of profound satisfaction and fills my need for organization, planning and order (yes, I do have deep, although often ignored anal-tendencies).

The last two weeks I had two head of cabbage I needed to use. The first Sunday I made a cabbage and apple salad (a cold salad with the addition of dates and a cider vinegar dressing--I will try to post the recipe later) and then this week I cooked red cabbage with apples--similar ingredients, but different products. Since one vegetable is not enough and I have been craving white beans, I chose a Warm Bean Salad as my second side dish. For the star of the meal I had pork chops to work with and I found a peach glazed grilled pork chop recipe, but since I had no peaches nor do I grill (yet) I had to improvise. I did have dried apricots and another recipe that had directions for how to pan cook pork chops. I am going to share my improvised recipe, but as fair warning the amounts of dried apricots, lemon juice and water is approximate.

Sunday, October 21, 2007 Dinner
Red Cabbage with Apple
Warm White Bean Salad
Apricot-Glazed Pork Chops


(from Everyday Food October 2003)

Preparation: 10 minutes Total: 1 hour
Serves 4 to 6


  • 2 slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch strips
  • 1 small onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 small head red cabbage, cored, quartered, and thinly sliced
  • 1 green apple, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • coarse salt and ground pepper


  1. In a Dutch oven over medium heat, cook bacon until browned, about 10 minutes.

  2. Add onion; cook until soft, about 5 minutes.

  3. Add cabbage, apple, vinegar, and 1/4 cup water. Cook, stirring, until cabbage wilts, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

  4. Cover; cook, stirring occassionally, over medium-low heat to desired softness (if sticking, add water), 45 minutes to an hour. Serve.


For the Red Cabbage with Apple I had half a red cabbage and half a green cabbage and so I just used what I had and although it wasn't the jewel bright ameythst of all red cabbage it was a pretty medium shade of purple as red cabbage's color bleeds onto surrounding foods (green & red cabbage have the same taste). I also decided not to peel the apples--most of the nutrients and flavor is in the apple peel. I did not have green apples, so I used the pink lady variety instead (and I used two apples). Another change I made to the recipe was that I used far more vinegar than it called for because I had so much cabbage and I prefer a more of a bite to my food. The final product was much better than I thought--the cabbage was infused with the flavors of the vinegar, bacon, apple and onion with the result that the cabbage was savory with a slight sweet undertone and a nice lively tart twist. 5 out of 5 would eat it again & 2 raved about it.



(from Everyday Food May 2005)

Preparation: 15 minutes Total: 25 minutes


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 small red onion, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, ribs and seeds removed, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, slivered
  • 1 can (19 ounces) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice


  1. In a small saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and carrots; cook, stirring frequently, until onion is lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add bell pepper and garlic; cook, stirring, until pepper is crisp-tender, about 3 minutes.

  2. Stir in beans, lemon zest, and 1 cup water, and season with salt and pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer; cover, and cook until beans have absorbed most of the liquid, about 10 minutes. Stir in lemon juice; season again with salt and pepper. Serve.


I used a yellow onion as I did not have a red onion (I don't believe this changes the character of the salad all that much) and used more lemon zest and lemon juice than asked as I personally love lemon. This salad was another winner--it was colorful, healthy, tasty, fresh tasting (thanks to the lemon) and added some more vegetables. 4 out 4 who ate it would eat it again & 2 out of 4 raved about it.



(adapted from Peach-Glazed Grilled Pork Chops, Cook's Country August/September 2007 & Garlic-Rosemary Pork Chops, Cook's Country October/November 2007)

Serves 4


  • 1 cup apricot preserves
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup - 1 1/2 cup dried apricots
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 4 bone in rib or center-cut pork chops, about 1 inch thick
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • salt and pepper


  1. Simmer preserves, vinegar, thyme, and cayenne in saucepan over medium heat until reduced to 1 cup, about 3 minutes. Reserve 1/4 cup glaze. Add apricots and 1/4 cup water to saucepan with remaining glaze and simmer until apricots are soft and glaze is slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Off heat, stir in mustard. Cover and keep warm.

  2. Pat chops dry with paper towels and season well with salt and pepper. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Cook chops until well browned and meat registers 145 degrees, about 5 minutes per side. Brush with reserved glaze on both sides of the chops and cook about 1 minute per side. Transfer pork chops to platter and let rest 5 minutes. Transfer apricot mixture into the pork chop skillet with the drippings and lower heat, adding lemon juice and water as needed. Stir and cook until drippings incorporated into apricot mixture. Pour apricot mixture over chops. Serve.


These pork chops came out full of flavor, moist and the apricots paired wonderfully with the pork. Next time I am trying cherry. 4 out 4 who ate it would eat it again & 2 out of 4 raved about it.

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