Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Cascading Into Fall Flavors

Sweet and Savory Fall Side Dish
Each season has its food traditions for both of us.  Fall means sweet apples, sweet potatoes, turnips, and smoked meats.  When we travel to Brown County Indiana in October, Olivia and I make it a point to travel to Trafalgar to the Apple Werks orchard.  It is a fun, extraordinary place.  Going there is such a treat because it is obvious a pilgrimage there is a family tradition for many folks.  In addition to fresh, sweet, tart and just plain delicious apples, they have cider, dumplings, doughnuts, cakes, pies, sauces, dressings, and u-pick pumpkins.  They even have a petting zoo where a kid-at-heart like myself can feed alpacas, donkeys, and sheep.  We always come home with perfect apple treats and a lot of wonderful memories.

Our local farmer's market is winding down this month so we are taking advantage of getting all the squash, turnips, sweet potatoes, etc. that we will enjoy well into November.  To add to these wonderful fall flavors, we of course use meat from our favorite butcher shop--Mattern's in Goshen, IN.  It is a family owned business that features the very best meats we have ever had.  My personal favorite is their smoked pork chops.  They are second to none and I would choose one over a steak any day (but their steaks are great too!).  Try this perfect fall side dish Olivia made with a good smoked pork chop.  Your mouth is guaranteed to water from the flavor packed, texture filled goodness!

Sweet Potato, Apple, Onion, and Pecan Mixture

Perfect Fall Side Dish

3/4 cups quinoa
1 1/4 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup pecans
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 medium sized sweet potato, peeled and diced into cubes
1 medium red onion, chopped into small pieces
1 red apple, unpeeled and diced
1 Granny Smith apple, unpeeled and diced


In a small pot, combine quinoa and water.  Bring to a boil and reduce the heat.  Simmer until the water has evaporated and quinoa is fluffy, about 15 minutes.

Remove from heat and stir in salt, pepper, and cinnamon.  Pour the quinoa in a large serving bowl and set aside.

While the quinoa cooks, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the sweet potatoes and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add the red onion and cook for another 3 minute.  Add both kinds of chopped apple and continue cooking about 3 minutes until apple is fork tender.  Add the pecans and cook just a couple of minutes longer.

Add the sweet potato mixture to the quinoa, stir, and serve immediately!  This is a  perfect side dish for just about any meat, but especially pork!

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