A Colorful Start to Spring

Even though we never had an authentic New England winter, no human being ever wants to endure 20 degree-weather. So now that we’re seeing the hopeful edges of spring, I wanted to whip out the grill and give it a go….yet I wasn’t really sure what it was I should actually grill. Since no inspiration was coming to mind, I made the random choice to choose a meat that was deserving more attention in my recipe archive – pork. After ruling out whole tenderloins and deciding bone-in wasn’t worth the added hassle, I made some amazing Grilled Pork chops with Blackberry-Onion Compote.
I might have lost a few of you with the compote, but bear with me – even though it looks like something out of a Muppets movie, it is an awesome complement to the dish. Fruit and pork have always been a good match, and the blackberries at the market were practically bursting – needless to say, I couldn’t resist. The result was amazing, with leftovers being scooped onto slices of bread and cheese. It can be paired with any grilled meat, and makes for a really unique spread regardless. Click HERE to learn how to make this beautiful combination.
Whenever I think of pork, I always think brussels sprouts – perhaps it’s due to the extreme aversion I held for both as a kid. Thank God I grew out of that, especially brussels sprouts. While these turned out to be quite spectacular, the recipe can be a little tricky – you are going to think that you’re burning the sprouts, when in fact the most beautifully browned crust is created. Timing is key, or else they will, well, burn. These Pan-Browned Brussels Sprouts will sink any doubts you’ve ever had about the vegetable, trust me – click HERE to see the recipe.
As my first “spring” posting, I wanted the musical pairing to be a piece acknowledging the season. I have yet to pair Vivaldi’s “Spring” on this blog, yet it wasn’t quite on par with the complexities of this particular dish. No, this was a pairing for Beethoven, and what luck that he his Violin Sonata No. 5 is also known as the “Spring” sonata! The four movements paint a vibrant illustration of the season, vacillating between moments of festive joy to gentle empathy. With such a colorful array of character and music, it was practically the perfect pairing (aside from the literal connection) for this dish. The recording below is with Igor Gubberman on violin – enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxL8tAByp2U

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