Our life living off the land in our log cabin, breathing fresh mountain air, and getting back to basics.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Dinner with Brucie...Apple Encrusted Pork Chops, Pan Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Our good friend Brucie came for dinner this evening.  This is the first time we have seen her since Robert passed away.  There is nothing like hugging in person!  We sure did miss Robert this evening, but we know he was with us!

This is Johny and Brucie, the best pic of the evening (there weren't many, I was too occupied with the conversation and cooking our meal).  The one photo purposely taken of Brucie and I doesn't cut mustard...when I showed it to her, she said "sure, looks good, but I don't have my glasses on"...if she had her glasses on, she would not have thought it looked good.  I know you want me in pictures Brucie, but trust me on this one...I'll show you the evidence!  

The evening filled with hugs and memories, laughs and tears, more hugs and memories, laughs and tears, and good food. So let me tell you about the food...

I put a small twist on my brandied apple encrusted pork loin and made chops instead.  I served it with roasted small potatoes and pan roasted brussel sprouts.  Remember when I told you we went and harvested some brussel sprouts and I shared pictures of the dew on the leaves?  Well, now I'll share what I did with them.

This is the brussel sprout plant.  We collected 4 plants like the one below, each one having about 50 little sprouts, each less than 1 inch in diameter.  I removed all the leaves and put the stalks into a paper bag in the fridge (like like a moist cool place for storing, putting them in sand in a root cellar is preferred, but I needed to transport them).
This is 1 stalk cut in half...the photo makes the sprouts look much bigger than they are.  I'm happy to say hat the brown bag storage technique kept them very well!
It is easy to remove the sprouts from the stalk, you just push the at the point the connect to the stalk and they snap off.  There was quite a bit of waste due to little (dead or in a cold induced coma) bugs and partially eaten or old leaves (good stuff for the compost bin); I hate to admit it but I spent 2 long hours cleaning those things.  
This is what I ended up with...sure doesn't seem like much after cleaning 4 stalks, but they sure do look pretty! Now I appreciate the value of fresh brussel sprouts!!!
I decided to pan roast them because they are so small.  A little olive oil, 10 minutes in the skillet, stirring all the time, and viola, beautiful brussel sprouts...
...oooh, so delicious!  The chops were delicious too!

And for desert...cake with Grand Marnier Pumpkin Drizzle...
 ...I bought a pumpkin cake and then melted a little butter (2 tbsp), equal amounts of brown sugar and confectioners sugar, and added a little pumpkin spice seasoning.  After everything was whisked together and smooth, I took it off the heat.  Then I added a good splash of Grand Marnier and whisked some more.  I drizzled it over the cake, and this is what you end up with.  Good stuff!

It was a lovely evening.  We do miss our friend Robert. 

Thanks for reading my blog, you are the best f/f/r/s/f's, see you tomorrow,


Osage Bluff Quilter said...

Dinner looks fabulous!!!

Try sprinkling your Brussels spouts with Parmesan cheese while still warm. Taste great.

I got up at 6 AM before work and made a box pumpkin bar. The 2 packages were not labeled. One was for crust, one for pie like filling. I tried to sniff out the strong pumpkin one. Of course I was wrong and the whole thing after not baking properly was pitched in the garbage. Therefore, no dessert at deer camp tonight!

Lise said...

Patti, I'll try the Parmesan, that sounds good! When we were kids, my mom used to put Cheddar cheese sauce on them, and that was great too! We called them little lettuces of course...

Bummer about your pumpkin bar, too bad it didn't create something new and exciting rather than having to be pitched...hope no desert at deer camp ended up with a hunters revolt, LOL!

Dad/Pepere said...

Thanks for the brussel sprouts lesson. I did not know how they grew. We roasted some farm fresh B S in the oven, and they were very good also. The cake looks yummy...and my mouth is watering over the chops! Hugs!

Powell River Books said...

When I was a kid, I turned my nose up at Brussel sprouts. Now I love them. I like to oven roast them with a little thyme and olive oil, especially if I am roasting something else for dinner at the same time. I'll have to try the pan method if I don't want to use the oven. - Margy

Lise said...

Hugs back dad!

Margy, I agree, almost any time I cook something in the oven, I roast the veggies. I think roasting brings out the flavor and adds just a touch of nuttiness.

Lise said...

Hugs back dad!

Margy, I agree, almost any time I cook something in the oven, I roast the veggies. I think roasting brings out the flavor and adds just a touch of nuttiness.