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Fruit in main courses

  • m

Hello! New here, just came across this site - very exciting as I'm a sahm of one who loves to cook and eat!

I've always loved the use of fruit in main dishes, they add an interesting sweet/savory flavor, texture, an element of surprise in a dish. On the lookout for recipes that involve fruit...so far I'm stuck on anything sweet n sour (pineapple), various tagines and pilafs with raisins etc.

Would love to hear about others' preferences, ideas and recipes....

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  1. Welcome to CH! If you go to the top right corner of the page and learn your way around the search function on Chowhound, you will find many of your questions already answered. Here's what the advanced search on this topic yields: http://www.chow.com/search?query=savo...

    1. I did some sausages on the Grill the other night, oh YUM! I used some nice pork German sausages from the butcher, sliced them open (not all the way thru), slathered them with Dijon mustard and then stuffed them with dried prunes or dates. I closed them up by wrapping them in bacon and used tooth pics to secure. They grilled up nicely in about 18 min. I served them with some leftover cranberry relish made with apples and oranges (all raw). Wow, was this a taste pleaser!!! We had crusty bread and a nice green salad to go with them.

      2 Replies
      1. re: JEN10

        I use the cranberry conserve I made for TD on roast pork sanwiches. Surprisinly it goes well with pesto too. Also on ham sanwiches and panini with fontina and ham.

        1. re: JEN10

          Can I come eat the leftovers?

        2. I do a stuffing for a pork loin that has bits of raisins, apricots, dried apples, and diced dates in it.

          1 Reply
          1. re: vafarmwife

            I like stuffed pork with fruit in it. My husband does not like fruit with his meat, though, so it puts a damper on how much fruit I can get away with.

          2. I like to braise red cabbage with granny smith apples and cider vinegar. It's tart and a little bit sweet.

            I've also made stir fry chicken with peaches, and an apricot and olive stuffed chicken cutlet dish.

            1. One of my favorites is pork tenderloin with roasted plums. I double the plum portion!


              1. Welcome moily!
                If you enjoy cranberry, yesterday I took a whole bag of fresh cranberries and cook them down with a bit of balsamic vinegar, vanilla bean and the juice of one pomp until the cranberries burst and were ready for a rough mash. Then I took a turkey broil (butterflied breast meat) and rubbed the entire breast with the cranberry mixture. Baked in a foil covered pan until tender. It was so delicious.

                I add the same cranberry mixture to steamed brown rice sometimes or as a side with grilled scallops.

                I keep fresh cranberry bags avail this time of year in my area in my freezer all year round.

                4 Replies
                1. re: HillJ

                  Along the same lines, I had cranberry simple syrup leftover from Thanksgiving and used it to glaze a pork loin--I love the sweet and tartness against the pork.

                  1. re: chowser

                    chowser, that sounds delicious! Did you add any other flavors to the pork or just the syrup itself?

                    1. re: HillJ

                      Yes, but let's see if I can remember them... I wing it when I cook. I think I rubbed the pork loin first w/ salt, pepper, etc. and pan seared it, removed from pan. Added onions and apples to the pan and sauteed until soft. Then I added white wine to deglaze the pan. Added the cranberry simple syrup and brought to simmer. Added the pork loin back in and rolled it in the sauce to coat. Then put in oven and roasted on low. Oh, I had extra sage and rosemary leftover from Thanksgiving, too, so added the sage while pan searing the pork and then more sage and the rosemary just before putting the pork loin into the oven. That's about the gist of it.

                      1. re: chowser

                        That sounds delicious and super simple! Love it.

                2. We like to grill crawfish sausage (any sausage will do) with pineapple and cherries. I slice the sausage and layer the fruit & meat on the skewer, grill & eat.

                  1. We loved pounded chicken breasts (w/ skin) stuffed with a mixture of breadcrumbs, fennel, onion, sausage, diced apple and pecans: rolled and tied, dredged in flour, browned, and then finished off in the oven with a bit of cider or apple juice and white wine. I also love any couscous or rice dish cooked with dates, prunes, apricot bits and almonds; and rib roast served with cranberry-port relish.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: mamachef

                      The chicken sounds great, tempted to try it out right away! Would it still work if I removed the skin, or would I end up with a too tough dish?

                      1. re: moily

                        If you are going to do skinless stuffed chicken breasts, you are better off doing them entirely in the oven, without stovetop browning. You can always remove the skin after the dish is completed. If going the oven route with skinless breasts, it's a good idea to give them SOME sort of surface fat. Butter or mayo prior to baking, or lay a strip of bacon over each breast. Hopefully there will be enough pan juices to allow a basting or two during baking. Or, bake covered for most of the time.

                        1. re: greygarious

                          Thank you greygarious! You said absolutely everything I'd have said and nothing I wouldn't have! Viva la chicken skin!

                    2. Hello and welcome!

                      I made a batch of this Chlie Blackberry Syrup from 101cookbooks yesterday:


                      It's fascinating stuff: sweet, beautiful, rich and hotter than blazes. It's wonderful over goat cheese and I think would be great drizzled over grilled chicken or pork. I'm also kind of tempted to try it over ice cream. Sweet and savory, yes; texture, not so much, since it's a syrup; surprising . . . definitely.

                      1. Lamb with roast figs--roast fresh figs next to lamb. Chicken Marbella--chicken with prunes and other wonderful things. Couscous with dried apricots or dates or prunes or figs, some herb, some nuts. Serve with a roasted or lightly sauced meat. Duck l'orange is a classic. I like duck breast with cherry sauce--I do a pan reduction sauce with dried cherries soaked in wine or other spirit. Pork with apples is a classic--you could roast a tenderloin and make a pan sauce--saute an onion, add sliced peeled apple and saute, add some white wine or hard cider or apple brandy and reduce, add broth and reduce, finish with mustard and cream.

                        for all of these, for a recipe, I would search on epicurious. Their recipes usually work.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: cocktailhour

                          I love figs in a main course. My go-to pizza for a while was fig, goat cheese, caramelized onions, prosciutto.

                          1. re: chowser

                            That's still one of my favorite pizzas, minus the prosciutto and with the addition of some thyme and fennel seed.

                        2. I agree with you. I love the sweet/savoury combination!

                          Moroccans have perfected the art of savoury dishes with fruit.

                          Here are some classic and not-as-authentic tagine pairings:
                          Lamb with dates and almonds
                          Lamb with chestnuts, saffron and pomegranate seeds
                          Lamb with prunes, apricots and honey
                          Lamb with quinces, figs and honey
                          Beef with beets and oranges
                          Chicken with harissa, artichokes and green grapes
                          Chicken with apricots, rosemary and ginger
                          Duck with dates, honey and orange flower water

                          I also experimented with rhubarb last summer. Jamie Oliver has a hot and sour rhubarb with pork:

                          I changed the pork to tofu which was really good:

                          Pork and apples go very well together as well.

                          1. Welcome, moily!
                            I do duck breast with raspberry or cherry sause, when I have fresh berries. You just glaze your pan with some Marsala or other reasonably sweet wine after you've cooked the duck breasts and you add some fruit before you reduce the sauce. Very easy and a very traditional French recipe.

                            Also, my grandmother used to add orange segments into the spinach in stead of garlic or cream. It makes a lighter and more summery dish and I use it mostly if I'm cooking from fresh leaf spinach which I cook very lightly. You can also use peaches.

                            The French use a lot of apples and pears in their cooking - my favorite is foie-gras with caramelised pears and apples... Also there are many traditional recipes with venison and wild boar - pan fried lean cuts with cranberries, cherries, plums or other red berries, slow-cooked denser and less lean cuts with apples, dried prunes and dried apricots.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: sasicka

                              Thanks sasicka. The spinach with orange sounds lovely, light and unusual and yet easy enough since the ingredients would always be on hand. I'll def try this one out asap!

                            2. one of my favorites to make is grilled swordfish with a habanero/mango salsa. it's a carribean style dish combining heat and sweet. i use fresh mango, a couple of fresh habs, scallion, cilantro, olive oil, lime juice and a bit of salt and pepper. YUM!

                              1. Others have posted many of my favorite combos, but one not to be overlooked is rhubarb with any meat, especially lamb. You may have to wait until spring to try this, but rhubarb cooks down into this pleasantly sour jam that is just heaven with lamb. I also like it with chicken.

                                1. Fruit goes very well with poultry and with brisket. A few recipes I really like are:

                                  Dave Lieberman's Apricot-Glazed Sweet & Sour Chicken With Sage

                                  Mark Bittman's Roast Chicken With Cumin, Honey & Orange

                                  Jayne Cohen's Brisket With Dried Apricots, Prunes & Aromatic Spices

                                  Also, fruit in salsas can be very good. I love this Apple, Green Onion, and JalapeƱo Salsa from Bon Appetit Magazine where they pair it with swiss chard pancakes, but I think it would be good with chicken or turkey.

                                  And of course, there are salads. Apple, jicima, asian pear, pear, citrus, blueberries or figs (fresh or dried) and many other fruits are really great in salads. After all, tomatoes are fruit too! You can make them main dishes salads with the additions of chicken and/or nuts and cheese. One of my favourite winter salads is an Apple, Endive & Gorgonzola Salad from Gourmet. http://www.food.com/352690