Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Apple & Pear Sauté

Slivers of unpeeled pear and apple skin add a festive note.
What side can I bring?  Add a recent potluck, our hostess added sauteed apples to a group dinner whose center piece was pulled port.  It was a hit that's inspired me to create a simple and fast Apple & Pear Sauté to accompany all kinds of pork over the holidays.  The key is to create a savory bridge from the fruit to the meat.

Use firm apples for cooking like Macoun, Winesap, Pink Lady or  Granny Smith varieties.  Pears tend to be less firm than apples so you will put them in the pan second but check your pears and if they are quite firm, add all the fruit at once.  Bosc pears are generally a firm pear and you can also use Anjou or Bartletts.  At this time of year, we are often the lucky recipients of sweet Comice pears which are  terrific paired with a tart apple variety.

Herbs like thyme and a little balsamic vinegar provide the savory bridge.  Try to use fresh herbs in this dish.  If you do not have thyme, try a small amount of fresh sage. Oregano would also work.  A drop of honey and butter bring it all together. 

Apple & Pear Sauté
Serves 4

1 apple, partly peeled, cored and sliced
1 pear,  partly peeled, cored and sliced
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
salt & pepper
1 tablespoon fresh thyme

  1. While your roast rests, melt butter in a wide skillet over medium heat.  Add the apples and cook until they are beginning to soften. Gently stir with a wide spatula.  This will take 3-5 minutes.
  2. Add the pears and continue to cook, stirring gently to turn fruit.
  3. Add balsamic vinegar, honey, salt and pepper.  Stir to combine.
  4. Lower the temperature and cover the skillet.  Cook for a few minutes more, until fruit is soft but not breaking down into small pieces.  The slices should keep their shape.  
  5. Just before serving toss in fresh thyme.  
 Serve immediately as a side to pork dishes.  

Any leftovers of this quick fruit sauté pairs nicely with cheese.  Serve
at room temperature in a small bowl next to the cheese platter.