Friday, January 28, 2011

Poached Pear

I have almost completed my journey through winter produce with this Part 5: the pear.  I have to admit that I am not fond of raw pears.  When I received my box from Washington's Green Grocer this past week, I almost gave my friend who shares the box with me all of the pears.  However, I knew that my adventure through winter produce needed to include me finding a way to enjoy one. 

Wondering what I can do with one pear, I saw that I had some day or two old red wine on my counter and an tangelo in my fridge.  So I thought, I'm going to do a poached pear! I thought that the process would be difficult considering the delicate nature of the pear and how posh a poached pear sounds.  But really, the process was super simple and the leftover poaching liquid turns into a fantastic sauce.

As you probably can see by now with my cooking, I am not one for exact measurements, so the numbers below are approximations.  You can change the spices based on what you have on hand!  If you make more than one pear, just increase the surface area of the pot so that you can put all the pears in at the same time, as well as increase the liquid slightly.  To finish the whole thing off, I paired the pear with tart Greek yogurt and crunchy almonds.  It really is the perfect combination of textures, flavors, and sweet tooth satisfaction.

1 Pear
1/2 bottle dry red wine (cabernet or merlot)
1/8 cup sugar
orange zest (use a veggie peeler to get a good 1"x3" piece for easy scooping out later)
juice of orange
1 cinnamon stick (or 1 tsp ground)
1 tsp vanilla extract (the real stuff, not the artificial flavoring)
pinch of nutmeg
2 T Fage Greek yogurt (optional)
1 t Sliced yogurt (optional)

  • Put all of the ingredients but the pear in a small pot. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to medium and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • While the liquid is simmering, take a veggie peeler and peal the pear, leaving the stem on the top intact.
  • After the liquid has simmered, put in the pear and poach it for 15-20 minutes, turning every 5 minutes for even color.  You will know the pear is finished when you can stick it with a knife and it goes in easily, but is still slightly firm.
  • Remove the pear and set aside to cool. Keep the poaching liquid on medium heat and reduce the liquid by half to make a slightly thickened sauce.  This should take approximately 15 minutes.  Once thickened, remove from heat and allow to cool.
  • Once everything reaches room temperature, put the pear in a bowl or on a plate, spoon some of the sauce on the pear, and serve with Greek yogurt & sliced almonds.

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