Since calvados is itself an apple brandy, any side dish containing apples is a perfect complement to pork loin calvados. Aged anywhere from one year to 40 years, Calvados is also used for chicken and veal dishes. The longer you cook the calvados sauce, the more alcohol will evaporate, with 75 percent of alcohol remaining for a brief flambe and 35 percent remaining after food bakes for 30 minutes.
Most any fruit pairs well with pork with calvados. Apples, cored and quartered, need about 30 minutes of baking, while apple slices sauteed in a skillet cook in about 10 minutes in butter and cinnamon. Prunes and figs can also be cooked with a pork loin in the oven or poached with a cinnamon stick, cloves, lemon or orange zest and honey and served alongside the pork with the calvados sauce drizzled over both the fruit and the pork.
Potatoes go with most any main course, but they work especially well with pork and calvados sauce because they can soak up some of the sauce. Serve them mashed or cut into two-inch cubes tossed with oil, salt and pepper and roasted in a 400 degree Fahrenheit oven for about 40 minutes. For an unusual side dish, serve either a corn-based spoon bread or savory bread pudding made with butternut squash.
Tangy red cabbage sauerkraut provides a visual, textual and flavor contrast to the sweet calvados sauce and mild pork. Slice it either thinly or in thick strands and cook it in a skillet with a splash of vinegar and chicken stock for about 20 minutes. Other vegetables that also provide a visual contrast include green beans, sliced carrots, broccoli or broccoli rabe or spinach. All these vegetables cook quickly sauteed with oil and seasoned with salt and pepper.
Your pork meal turns elegant with a butter lettuce salad with thinly sliced fennel and orange slices. Both orange and fennel add a distinctive and acidic contrast with the calvados sauce. Dress the salad with an orange or mustard vinaigrette. Or, give the meal a more down-to-earth feel by serving a potato salad made with whole grain mustard and plenty of parsley or a chewy, whole-grain salad made with barley or bulgur wheat.
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