Friday, May 1, 2009

Neverending Pork Disasters

Today's dish started out easy enough: onions and apples. The recipe, from "Anyone Can Cook" (where else?), was for Pork with Apples and Onions. Pretty simple. But, as always, I realized I didn't read the recipe that closely. AFTER already cooking the apples, I noticed it said "cooking apples." What are cooking apples? Seriously?

The directions said to melt some butter, add onions and let them hang out for about 10 minutes. I did that. They turned brown pretty fast. Pretty soon, they were black. But being the stubborn person I am, I insisted on following the instructions. If they say 10 minutes, I'll do 10 minutes.

This was a fairly monumental mistake. Onions? What onions? All I see are black shreds of nasty. Already flustered by the Onion Disaster, I forgot to salt and pepper the pork. I just tossed it in the skillet with olive oil and watched the fat drip off. Seriously, that is the most disgusting part of cooking thus far.

So we ended up with overcooked, unseasoned pork on a bed of black onions and apples that Sean said absorbed too much apple cider vinegar for his taste. It was literally the first meal I couldn't finish. Sean tried to say it was still good; I tossed the last few bites. I have a strong aversion to meat that takes 40 years to chew, so this wasn't working for me. I think it's safe to say, I don't much care for this recipe.

I hope your cooking fares better this weekend! Tomorrow we're making very simple burgers from that pre-formed patty meat. Does anyone have any advice on seasoning the pre-formed patties? 


Bret said...

you most likely had the onions over too high a flame. when it says to let sweat/sit/brown for 10 minutes it means over barely any flame so they soften and sweeten but don't brown. i've made that mistake a few times.

Sarah L. said...

don't worry, Amber. i've made this mistake a thousand times. times are more like estimates in recipes because gas and electric stovetops cook at a wide range of temperatures. if you have and electric stove, shave a few minutes off of sauteeing/frying times and stir frequently because the majority of the heat is in the middle of the pan (try pushing onions to the outside). with gas, you can control heat a lot better and food tends to cook more evenly. BTW, i must say that despite the mishap, you still have excellent presentation.

Amber said...

Sarah! This is such solid advice! I wondered if that was the problem and lamented to Sean that I should have followed my instincts when they started, you know, looking like Deatheaters.

Nicole said...

Always follow your instincts when it comes to cooking! Recipes are good for guidance and amounts, but you know what's up so don't worry about following things to the T. Eye it.

Agreed about the presentation though - nice plating!

Amanda said...

I echo everyone else that praised your plating. I have a way of making good food look blah on a plate.

Also, I made a chicken/onion/apple Rachael Ray dish and my apples ended up turning to mash and releasing from their skins. Another disaster that doesn't really help you with yours, I guess. :)

Andi said...

I clicked to comment on the black onions - but everyone gave the same advice I would :) You know what they're supposed to look like - to heck with the recipe.

As for the pre-formed patties (which was my dinner this evening), I seasoned a side in the package with salt/pepper, threw it on the grill pan seasoned-side down, then seasoned the other side. When they start to bleed on the top, it's time to flip. Preheat the pan before putting the meat on. PS, If they are the frozen kind, the water that runs out will spit like crazy. Drives me crazy :)

Kate said...

Cooking apples are the apples that don't break down too much when you heat them up. They tend to be more firm, more tart and less juicy than eating applesThat's why if you make an apple pie with Fuji apples, rather than Granny Smith, you'll end up with a juicy mess instead of the gooey goodness your soon-to-be husband adores.

Here are some popular examples of cooking apples:
- Granny Smith
- McIntosh
- Bramley
- Pink Lady
- Rome
- Gravenstein

I hope this helps! That recipe really does sound good, I hope you try it again :)