Spinach Quiche with Potato Crust…in a Snowstorm

SAMSUNGDon’t hate me because I love snow!  Even this late in winter, knowing that this might be our last big snowstorm, I still love it.  Don’t get me wrong, I love warm weather too – summer is my favourite season.  But there is something comforting and cozy about a snowstorm.  I like how my workplace is quiet (many people drive, I take transit, so it’s no biggie to go in to the office anyway), how the entire city moves slower, quieter.  If you do need to pick up any last minute things for dinner, local shop owners are that much more friendly and happy to see you in a snowstorm.  Our eccentric neighbour comes by with his snowplow to do our driveway (I know full well this means I’ll be helping him with his roof this summer, but today it seems worth it). Continue reading

Sausage and Spinach Lasagna

Serving the lasagnaLike the rest of the Eastern seaboard, we were hit with a winter storm yesterday.  I’m excited – it’s that beautiful fluffy sparkly kind of snow.  With the winter we’ve had, I’m happy to have snow (not rain) and temperatures that are a little more moderate than -30 C (it’s a lovely -13 in Ottawa this morning), as it seems we’ve been seesawing back and forth between the two extremes this season.  I’m grateful for this snow, and excited to dust off my cross country skis and head outside! Continue reading

What to Eat Now: Apples!

I’ve posted a couple of desserts with apples recently (Groundcherry-Apple Pie with Red Fife Crust and Strawberry Apple Crisp) but apples can be used for so much more than dessert.  For last night’s dinner, we incorporated apples into sauce for pork chops as well as in the salad.  I love fruit in salads!

Fall is a great time of year to make salads heartier and play with unexpected ingredients – this one I topped with walnuts, dried cranberries and some amazing local cheese from Back Forty Artisan Cheese.  Their cheese is made by hand using heritage cheese making methods.  The one I used for this salad was called Bonnechere (love how they even used Ottawa Valley history to name the cheese!).  It has a colourful rind, creamy texture and sightly smoky taste that I thought worked perfectly in this salad.  Another trick I use for Fall salads is to mix different varieties of greens, including heartier greens generally reserved for cooking.  Adding a couple of leaves of rainbow chard helps the body of the salad stand up to the more rugged toppings.

Pork Chops with Apples and Onions

1 tbsp butter
1 small onion
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and cut into eighths
1/4 cup white wine (I used Trumpour’s Mill Pinot Gris – the flavour was perfect)
2 pork chops, bone-in (about 1 inch thick)
Freshly ground salt and pepper

Directions

1. Heat broiler to high; set rack 4 inches from heat. In a large skillet, heat butter over medium-high. Add onions; cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 5 minutes. Cover pan; reduce heat to medium. Continue cooking until onions are soft, about 5 minutes more.

2. Add apples and wine; cover, and cook until apples are beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Uncover; cook, stirring, until most of the liquid has evaporated and apples are tender, 2 to 4 minutes more. Remove from heat; cover to keep warm.

3. While apples are cooking, season pork chops generously with salt and pepper; place on a rimmed baking sheet. Broil until cooked through, 5-6 minutes per side (less if your chops are thinner).


Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart

Harvest Salad

1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp maple syrup
1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
Freshly ground salt and pepper
6 large romaine lettuce leaves
2 large leaves of chard, spinach or other hearty green
1/4 red onion, finely chopped
handful of grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
1 Macintosh apple, diced
chopped walnuts
dried cranberries
small amount of local cheese

Directions

1. Whisk olive oil, cider vinegar, maple syrup, mustard, salt and pepper in a small bowl.

2. Tear lettuce and chard into bite size pieces in large bowl.  Add tomatoes, apple, onions. Pour in dressing and toss to combine.

Dressing from Martha Stewart

To serve:

Pile salad on serving plates and top with walnuts, cranberries and crumbled/sliced local cheese.  Spoon apple-onion mixture over pork chops.

Serves 2.