If youre looking for an alternative to turkey for Thanksgiving dinner or just on the hunt for some festive autumn entrÃ©e ideas check out todays three recipes. I enjoy flavouring cranberry sauce in all sorts of ways. In my first recipe, I did so Asian-style by making a sweet-and-sour creation accented with five-spice powder, an aromatic mix containing Szechuan peppercorns, star anise, cloves, cinnamon and fennel seeds.I didnt serve that sauce with turkey; I served it with salmon fillets that I simply baked topped with a little butter and orange juice. The sauce and the fish were a fine combination that you could serve with rice and a simple, but colourful, mix of stir-fried vegetables. The next recipe features a rack of pork a pork loin roast with the rib bones still attached. When its cooked, you carve the meat in between each bone into ample, chop-like servings, with each containing one of those succulent, meat-coated rib bones.Before roasting the meat, I slathered it with a mustard and sage mixture. Apples are in season and go well with pork, so, after the roast cooked a while, I surrounded it with pieces of apple tossed with a touch of spice.When the pork is cooked and sliced, and the apples hot and tender, you combine the two on the plate and drizzle them with a jus spiked with apple cider. Its a lovely autumn dish you could serve with small boiled or steamed mini potatoes tossed with butter and parsley, and a green vegetable, such as green beans or zucchini.My third recipe is a meat-free one that involves rolling flaky phyllo pastry into single-serving parcels filled with a rich-tasting spinach, yam and feta mixture. There is a bit of preparation required to make the phyllo parcels. Youll need to cook, drain and chop spinach; bake, peel and cut a yam; make the filling; layer the phyllo; and then make the parcels. However, I think the tasty end result is worth the effort and there is good news. The phyllo parcels can be made a few hours before needed, covered and refrigerated until ready to bake and serve. Once baked, the hot and flaky phyllo parcels are served with cool tzatziki sauce for dipping. Try serving this dish with a green salad adorned with a fine mix of sliced raw vegetables.Wine pairings for todays recipesWhile at my neighbourhood wine store (Wine Guys at 2579 Cadboro Bay Rd.), I asked the manager and wine guru, Ame De Paoli, what B.C. wines would pair well with todays recipes. She made some fabulous suggestions.For the roast pork and apples, she suggested Poplar Grove 2009 Chardonnay. This wine will work well here because of its similar baked apple flavours, De Paoli said. It also has good crisp acidity to cleanse the palate and is partially barrel fermented, so its lush, but clean.If you wanted to serve red wine with the pork, she suggested See Ya Later Ranch 2010 Pinot Noir, noting the weight and taste of the wine will pair well with the meat. For the spinach and yam phyllo parcels, she suggested Ex Nihilo 2009 Pinot Gris.This wine is on the lighter side, but it also has wonderful lemony notes, De Paoli said. With so many flavours in the phyllo parcels, it will reset the palate so you are able to taste each individual ingredient.Another wine she thought would work with the phyllo parcels is Le Petit Paille 2011 Sauvignon Blanc. The wine has herbal flavours that will pair well with the spinach and bright, crisp acidity for the oils from the cheese in the filling.For the salmon with sweet and sour five-spice cranberry sauce, she suggested Cassini Ma Ma Mia 2011 Pinot Grigio. Pinot Grigio and salmon is a classic match. This one is a little bit richer with sweet fruit flavours that will stand up to the five-spice but not overpower the dish, De Paoli said.If you wanted to serve red wine with the salmon, she said to try Lake Breeze 7 Poplars Pinot Noir. Opposites attract, as will this wine and salmon. It has medium weight and is fairly fruit forward and will stand up to such strong flavours, De Paoli said.Roast Salmon with Sweet and Sour Five-spice Cranberry Sauce Rich and flaky salmon served with an intriguing, sweet- and sour-tasting cranberry sauce.
Preparation time: 20 minutesCooking time: About 35 minutesMakes: 8 servings
For the sauce:
1/3 cup packed golden brown sugar1/2 cup orange juice2 Tbsp soy sauce1/2 tsp five-spice powder (see Note)1/2 tsp cornstarch1 (300 gram) bag fresh or frozen cranberriesPlace all ingredients, except cranberries, into a medium-sized pot and whisk to combine. Mix in cranberries. Set pot over medium, to medium-high heat. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook until the cranberries begin to just fall apart, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature. Transfer to a tight-sealing container. Sauce can be made a day before needed.
For the fish and to serve
8 (5- to 6-oz.) salmon fillets2 Tbsp orange juice2 Tbsp butter, meltedn salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste8 mint sprigsPreheat oven to 425 F. Set salmon on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Drizzle each piece of fish with a little orange juice and butter. Season fish with salt and pepper. Bake 15 minutes, or until just cooked through. Set the fish on individual plates, or present on a platter. Serve with the cranberry sauce and garnish with mint sprigs. Note: Five-spice powder is sold in the bottled herb and spice aisle of most supermarkets.
Roast Rack of Pork with Sage, Mustard, Apples and Cider JusPork and apples are always a wonderful combination. A rack of pork is a pork loin roast with the rib bones still attached. Its sold or could be ordered at some supermarkets and butcher shops.
Preparation time: 20 minutesCooking time: 90 minutesMakes: 6 servings
1 (6-bone) rack of pork (about 3 lbs.)2 Tbsp Dijon mustard2 Tbsp whole grain Dijon mustard1 Tbsp chopped fresh sage n salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste3 medium red apples, such as Fuji, Honey Crisp or Royal Gala (see Note)1 Tbsp olive oil1 Tbsp lemon juice
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