Use “summer’s favorite booze” to give these fat-burning dishes a sweet, refreshing tang.
Matthew Kadey, R.D 1 / 6
William and Susan Brinson
Everybody knows you can cook with wine and beer. But there’s another libation that will add a little fist-pumping, cat-calling action to your meals: hard cider. (Um, by the way, please drink responsibly.) Craft ciders are experiencing a major boom, and not just as beverages: They add an earthy sweetness to a brine or broth, to create flavorful-yet-lean pork, fish, and chili dishes. There’s no buzz (sorry), since the alcohol burns off—but then, so will the fat from your abs.
INGREDIENTS 2 tbsp sugar 1 tbsp salt 2 1/2 cups hard cider 1 lb pork tenderloin Black pepper 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed 2 garlic cloves, chopped 1 tbsp unsalted butter 2 tsp fresh thyme 1/4 tsp cinnamon 1/4 tsp chili powder 2 tbsp chopped chives
DIRECTIONS 1) Boil 1 1/2 cups water in a pot. Place sugar and salt in a container large enough for pork to lie flat and add boiled water. Stir until sugar and salt are dissolved. Pour in 1 1/2 cups cider. Place pork in container, seal shut, and chill for at least 6 hours or overnight. 2) Preheat oven to 425°F. Remove pork from brine, pat dry with paper towel, and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Season with black pepper. Roast until pork reaches an internal temperature of 145°F, about 20 minutes. Let pork rest for about 5 minutes before slicing. 3) Place sweet potatoes, 1 cup cider, garlic, and a couple pinches salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer covered for 20 minutes, stirring potatoes a few times. Uncover, raise heat to medium, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until most of the cider has evaporated and potatoes are very tender, about 10 minutes. Add more cider to pan if needed. Stir in butter, thyme, cinnamon, and chili powder and then mash with a potato masher or fork. 4) Place sweet potato mash on serving plates and top with slices of pork. Garnish with chives.
INGREDIENTS 2 (6 oz) halibut or other white-flesh fish fillets 1 1/2 cups hard cider 1 yellow onion, quartered 2 sprigs fresh thyme 1/2 tsp salt 1 tbsp olive oil 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved 2 shallots, chopped 2 garlic cloves, chopped 1 tsp fennel seeds 1/4 tsp black pepper 1/4 cup sliced basil
DIRECTIONS 1) Place halibut, 1 cup cider, onion, thyme sprigs, and salt in a large saucepan. Add enough water to completely cover the fish by about one inch. Bring to a very slight simmer with just a few bubbles breaking the surface, reduce heat to medium-low, partially cover, and cook for 10 minutes, or until fish is cooked through. Adjust heat as needed during cooking to maintain the slight simmer. 2) Place a skillet over medium heat and add the oil. Add tomatoes, shallots, garlic, and fennel seeds; heat 1 minute. Pour in cider, add a couple pinches of salt, and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in black pepper. 3) Serve halibut topped with tomato-cider mixture and basil.
INGREDIENTS 1 tbsp canola oil 1 large yellow onion, chopped 2 large carrots, chopped 1/2 tsp salt 1 lb lean ground turkey 3 garlic cloves, chopped 3 tbsp tomato paste 2 tsp dried oregano 1 tsp cumin powder 1 tsp chipotle chili powder 1 1/2 cups hard cider 2 (15 oz ) cans diced fire-roasted tomatoes 2 (15 oz) cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
DIRECTIONS 1) Place a large saucepan over medium heat and add oil. Add onion, carrots, and salt; cook 5 minutes. Place turkey and garlic in pan; heat 4 minutes. Add tomato paste, oregano, cumin, chipotle chili powder, and salt; heat 30 seconds. Add cider to pan, bring to a boil, and simmer uncovered for 5 minutes. 2) Add tomatoes, beans, and Worcestershire sauce; simmer for 20 minutes.
INGREDIENTS 1 tbsp canola oil 2 shallots, chopped 2 garlic cloves, chopped 1 cup hard cider Zest of 1 lemon 1 large bunch curly kale, stems removed and torn into 2-inch pieces 1 tbsp cider vinegar 1/4 cup chopped walnuts 1/4 tsp salt
DIRECTIONS 1) Place a large skillet over medium heat and add the oil. Add shallot and garlic; heat 1 minute. Add cider and lemon zest to pan and bring to a simmer. Add kale and heat until wilted. Season with vinegar and salt. 2) Place kale on serving plates and garnish with walnuts.
INGREDIENTS 2 tsp olive oil 1 lb lean chicken sausage, squeezed from casing 1 shallot, chopped 2 garlic cloves, minced 1/4 tsp red chili flakes 1 cup + 2 tbsp hard cider 3/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt 1 tbsp Dijon mustard 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice Salt and pepper to taste 8 large lettuce leaves 2 carrots, cut into matchsticks 1/2 cup sliced radish 1 Granny Smith apple, cut into matchsticks
DIRECTIONS 1) Place a large skillet over medium heat and add the oil. Add sausage, shallot, garlic, and chili flakes to pan and cook 2 minutes, breaking up sausage into small pieces. Pour in 1 cup cider, bring to a boil, and simmer for 10 minutes. 2) Whisk together yogurt, 2 tbsp cider, mustard, lemon juice, and a couple pinches each salt and pepper. 3) Divide sausage among lettuce leaves and top with carrot, radish, apple, and yogurt sauce.