I'm very fortunate to be living in an area where there's an abundance of varied, locally-produced ingredients. For this week's I Heart Cooking Clubs' theme "Seasonal Specialties", I chose some fairly common ones - apples, onions, carrots, potatoes - and counted on Jacques Pépin to help me transform them into something special. And he did. All of the recipes were from his book Jacques Pépin's Simple and Healthy Cooking.
Pork Tenderloin with Apples and Onions was a fairly simple dish to make but, oh, so flavourful. Onions, apples, caraway and thyme marry perfectly with pork and cooked with cider vinegar, created a delicious savoury, sweet and tangy accompaniment to the meat. I deviated a little from the recipe and instead of butterflying the tenderloin, left it whole, seared it, then pan-roasted it on the bed of apples and onions.
I wish I had discovered Pommes Boulangère sooner! This delicious alternative to scalloped potatoes was baked in the oven with broth, onions, garlic, bay leaves and thyme, (instead of cream, butter and cheese!). They were tender and flavourful but the crispy potato chip layer on the top was the best part!
Boiling vegetables is an efficient but not very exciting way of cooking them. Carottes Provençale used this method, with a twist. Only enough water was added to cook the vegetable so the pot was dry by the time the carrots were done. A pinch of sugar, salt and pepper, and some minced garlic added extra flavour to this simple preparation. It was the perfect side to complement the other dishes.
Thank you, Jacques Pépin, for three wonderful recipes that will be repeated often.
Visit here to see the seasonal dishes made by the other group members.