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Food: Feast Under $5 Remodel – Pasta with Apples, Pork, and Creamy Cider Sauce

October 3, 2011

that's me, SB!

One of my favorite meals from the past year has been my Pasta with Apples, Pork, and Creamy Cider Sauce, so I wanted to remodel it for Feasts Under $5, and for my demo at the Boston Local Food Festival with Local In Season last Saturday (Thanks Jon and Patrick for a great opportunity, and thanks to everyone who came out to watch and support local food). The original recipe was close to $10/serving, but with a few ingredient substitutions and general tweaks, I got it to a total meal cost of $20.14.

The biggest difference was switching from pre-sliced pork cutlets to boneless pork loin chops – you have to ask your butcher to slice these for you. There may be a strip of fat on these slices – you should trim this off before cooking.

I eliminated the stone ground mustard in the recipe, since it’s not one of our pantry staples. I also ditched the parsley- it wasn’t really in the recipe for flavor. I reduced the amount of chicken broth, making it possible to buy just a can, instead of a quart. I increased the amount of cream to make up for the loss of liquid, but I did reduce the amount of butter by 1/4, to help with fat content. Truthfully, you could probably reduce the butter further, to only 1/2 of a stick, or use olive oil instead – but where’s the fun in that?

Another big money savings came in switching from Harpoon Hard Cider to regular, local cider. You only use 1 cup, but buying a six pack of hard cider runs you $8.99, while buying a quart of regular cider is much cheaper. And, I used local Cortland Apples from Davidian Brothers Farm in Northboro, MA. Not quite as tart as Granny Smiths, these still have a good structure and hold up well, adding a good crisp and acid to the sauce.


Financial Analysis:

Original Recipe   Cost Feasts Under $5 Cost
1 lb Pre-Sliced Pork Cutlets 9.99   1 lb Boneless Pork Loin 7.49
1 lb Apples 1.99 1 lb Apples 1.99
1 1/2 cup Ch. Broth (need qt) 2.39 1 1/4 cup Ch. Broth (1 can) 1.49
1 c. Hard Cider (6 pk)           8.99 3/4 cup local cider (1 quart)  2.00
2/3 cup heavy cream 2.49 2/3 cup heavy cream 2.49
1 tbsp stone ground mustard 1.99 eliminated 0.00
1 tbsp fresh sage 2.69 1 tbsp fresh sage 2.69
3 tbsp fresh parsley 0.25 eliminated  0.00
1 lb pasta 1.99 1 lb pasta  1.99
3 cloves garlic pantry staple 3 cloves garlic pantry staple
1 stick butter    pantry staple 3/4 stick butter pantry staple
Total $32.77   $20.14


SB at the BLFF!

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