Saturday, October 9, 2010
Celebrating St. Denis, Bishop of Paris
Today we celebrate the feast of Saint Denis (or Dionsysius), Bishop of Paris, an early martyr (AD 272) who, along with his companions, was beheaded for the faith. Sent to the Gauls, Denis appears to have had much success in his missionary endeavors. He and his friends suffered under the persecution of Valerian (though it's not entirely certain which persecution). The martyrs’ bodies were originally thrown into the Seine, but they were later retrieved and buried. A couple of centuries afterwards, a church was erected over their graves which became a favorite among pilgrims.
It seems appropriate to mark the feast of this early and devoted martyr with foods typical of the Gauls, the people whom he came to convert. The Gauls were very involved in pig-farming and so the most natural foods to look at are pork products of all kinds. Blood sausage would be appropriate for St. Denis, but for the more squeamish (or those without ready access to blood sausage like most of us living in North America), pork chops, roasts or other pig-products would also make sense. As this is also apple season, I am suggesting a dish that involved both pork chops and apples (and is quite healthy, as an added bonus)!
(This recipe is taking from Cooking Light)
Pork Loin Chops with Cinnamon Apples
Cooking Light says "Warm flavors like sage and cinnamon play up the contrast between the juicy chops and caramelized apples. Tart Granny Smiths and slightly sweeter Braeburn apples both work well for this dish."
Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 pork chop and 3/4 cup apple mixture)
1 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 (4-ounce) boneless center-cut loin pork chops (about 1/2 inch thick)
1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon butter
4 cups (1/2-inch) slices peeled Granny Smith apples (about 4 medium)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Dash of salt
Combine first 3 ingredients, and sprinkle over the pork. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat. Add pork; cook 3 minutes on each side or until done. Remove the pork from pan. Cover and keep warm.
Melt butter in pan over medium heat. Add apples and remaining ingredients, and cook 5 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Serve the apples with pork.