January 28th, 2010 |

Pretty Pears

Sunset Magazine has a great feature on pears this month.  Light, refreshing and perfect for an early Spring party, these recipes will add a nice new assortment to your repertoire!  They offer up 6 ideas (and each one is more irresistible than the other!):

Pear Sidecar
This sweet (but not too sweet) drink should be made one at a time in a cocktail shaker. Energetic shaking and a proper drink-to-ice ratio ― possible only in a shaker ― are key: The ice dilutes and softens the “edges” of the cocktail, encouraging the otherwise sharp flavors to meld together.

Caramelized Pear and Sage Crostini
Sweet pears and sharp blue cheese create an exciting yet homey appetizer. Serve them with the pear sidecar cocktail (recipe precedes), sparkling wine, or a slightly sweet white wine.

Braised Pork with Pears and Chiles
The gentle heat of the dried chiles is highlighted by the sweet pears, which become soft and a bit savory while cooking in the pork juices. With a side of greens, this is one of our favorite fall dinners.

Asian Pear, Fennel, and Walnut Salad
The quality of the walnuts can make or break this dish, so be sure to taste them first (farmers’ markets are an excellent source of fresh nuts; store in the freezer after buying).

Pear Upside-Down Cake
A rich flavor and soft crumb made this cake a favorite in our test kitchen.

Pear Sorbet
Light and refreshing, this sorbet is a delightful way to end a heavy meal. If you want to serve sparkling wine with the sorbet, choose one that’s sweeter than the one in the sorbet.

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