Tag Archives: apples

Mulled Cider

What could be better the day before Thanksgiving than a nice hot steaming mug of mulled cider with a healthy dose of bourbon??  This is a great drink to savor when you get home from work (hopefully early) and before you start all the prep for the big day – or maybe to settle yourself right before all the guests arrive.  Even better make several batches and keep it warm in a slow cooker so people can help themselves throughout Thanksgiving.  Either way it’s a great drink to have in your arsenal.  I am super thankful this year for the support of my friends and family, especially Patrick,  as I have undertaken this adventure.  I hope everyone has a delicious Thanksgiving!

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Mulled Cider (printable version at the end of the post)

Inspiration:  sitting and sipping around the fire pit
Special Equipment:  none

  • 4 cups apple cider
  • 1 orange, sliced
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 whole star of anise
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 6 ounces bourbon (optional)

In a saucepan combine everything but the bourbon over medium heat.  Let the flavors combine for at least 15 minutes before serving. (or leave in a slow cooker set on warm)  Divide the bourbon if using among the mugs and top with the hot cider.

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Mulled Cider

  • Servings: 4 to 6 drinks
  • Print

Special Equipment:  none

  • 4 cups apple cider
  • 1 orange, sliced
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 whole star of anise
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 6 ounces bourbon (optional)

In a saucepan combine everything but the bourbon over medium heat.  Let the flavors combine for at least 15 minutes before serving (or leave in a slow cooker set on warm).  Divide the bourbon if using among the mugs and top with the hot cider.

Individual Apple Crisps

MMmmmmmm…baking apples with sugar and cinnamon is 100% guaranteed to make you and the rest of your family happy.  Even better is that putting these crisps together takes about 2 minutes and they can be made ahead.  This is a great recipe for apples with some fun additions (pecans and cardamom really make them special) but really you could do pears if you wanted (or peaches in the summer).  Please don’t forget the ice cream though – the cold hot thing is one of the best parts of a fruit crumble.  Make these a couple days before thanksgiving and totally forget about them until you have finished digesting and then you can just pop them in the oven.  Even the most stuffed guest won’t be able to resist once they smell these.

Individual Apple Crisps (printable version at the end of the post)

Special Equipment: ramekins and a food processor (though not necessary)

  • 3 apples, cored and chopped into bite size pieces (I like Gala or harder to find Macoun)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 12 tablespoons butter, cubed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup oatmeal
  • 1/4 cup pecans, chopped
  • ice cream for serving

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees (if baking right away).  In a large bowl combine the apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, cardamom, orange zest, orange juice and 2 tablespoons flour.

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In your food processor pulse the sugar, butter and salt until the butter is in little pieces (if you don’t have a food processor just use a mixer on low to combine the butter in with the sugar).  Put the butter mixture in a bowl (if its not in one already and stir in the oatmeal and pecans.  Use your fingers to smoosh it all together – it should be like wet sand.  Fill the ramekins with the apple mixture.  It’s ok to overfill them, as the apples will slump when cooked but just make sure you don’t fill them so high you cant get the topping on.

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Press handfuls of the topping on each ramekin (you may have some excess) covering the apples.  Place the ramekins on a lined sheet pan (parchment paper or tin foil are best).

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At this point you can store these in the fridge for a couple of days and then just bake them straight out of the fridge.  When you are ready to cook them bake them at 350 degrees for 50 minutes until bubbling at the edges and the topping is browned.  Let them cool off for a minute and then serve them with a scoop of ice cream.

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Individual Apple Crisps

  • Servings: 4
  • Print

Special Equipment: ramekins and a food processor (though not necessary)

  • 3 apples, cored and chopped into bite size pieces (I like Gala or harder to find Macoun)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 12 tablespoons butter, cubed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup oatmeal
  • 1/4 cup pecans, chopped
  • ice cream for serving

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees (if baking right away).  In a large bowl combine the apples, brown sugar, cinnamon, cardamom, orange zest, orange juice and 2 tablespoons flour.  In your food processor pulse the sugar, butter and salt until the butter is in little pieces (if you don’t have a food processor just use a mixer on low to combine the butter in with the sugar).  Put the butter mixture in a bowl (if its not in one already and stir in the oatmeal and pecans.  Use your fingers to smoosh it all together – it should be like wet sand.

Fill the ramekins with the apple mixture.  It’s ok to overfill them, as the apples will slump when cooked but just make sure you don’t fill them so high you cant get the topping on.  Press handfuls of the topping on each ramekin (you may have some excess) covering the apples.  Place the ramekins on a lined sheet pan (parchment paper or tin foil are best).  At this point you can store these in the fridge for a couple of days and then just bake them straight out of the fridge.  When you are ready to cook them bake them at 350 degrees for 50 minutes until bubbling at the edges and the topping is browned.  Let them cool off for a minute and then serve them with a scoop of ice cream.

Apple and Cheddar Risotto

Last day of apple week – I hope you guys enjoyed it.  Today’s recipe is inspired by a dish I saw on a menu years ago.  My brain is full of half baked ideas like this, that I glean from long forgotten sources.  I do remember thinking how unusual cheddar sounded in a risotto but now I am sad I didn’t try it earlier!  The tradition is parmesan of course, but cheddar has the same salty, nutty goodness and melts well right into the rice.

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To add some crunch I sprinkled the top with toasted walnuts which keeps the whole thing from tasting like baby food.  Also the apple sauteed in with the shallots adds some sweetness and heft to the dish.  If you have forgotten the risotto rules they are right here –  but go ahead and break some for good measure.  I did here when I already had some chopped onion and used that instead of the shallot.  We had this with a nice green salad (and ate all 4 portions between the 2 of us!) but I think it would make a really nice starter for a fall dinner party, then it would likely serve 6.  Have a great long weekend!

Apple and Cheddar Risotto (printable version at the end of the post)

Special Equipment:  none

  • 6 cups of chicken or veggie stock
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 shallots, chopped
  • 1 apple, chopped (small dice)
  • 1 cup aborio rice
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts, toasted

Add the stock to a small saucepan and warm over low heat.  In a high sided skillet melt the butter over medium heat, then add the shallots and apple and cook for 5 minutes.  Add the rice and stir it around until all the grains are coated in the butter.  Reduce the heat to medium low.  Splash in the wine and use your spoon to stir the rice.  Once almost all of the wine has cooked off you can start ladeling in the stock.

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Add 1 ladelful at a time, stirring near constantly.  Once the rice starts looking dry add in another ladelful.  After about 25 minutes I start checking the doneness of the rice but usually it will take closer to 30 or 35 minutes to cook.  Once the rice is done (its tender with just a little bit of bite to it) take it off the heat and stir in the cheddar.  Check for seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed.  Top with chopped walnuts and serve immediately.

Apple and Cheddar Risotto

  • Servings: 4
  • Print

Special Equipment:  none

  • 6 cups of chicken or veggie stock
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 shallots, chopped
  • 1 apple, chopped (small dice)
  • 1 cup aborio rice
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts

Add the stock to a small saucepan and warm over low heat.  In a high sided skillet melt the butter over medium heat, then add the shallots and apple and cook for 5 minutes.  Add the rice and stir it around until all the grains are coated in the butter.  Reduce the heat to medium low.  Splash in the wine and use your spoon to stir the rice.  Once almost all of the wine has cooked off you can start ladeling in the stock.  Add 1 ladelful at a time, stirring near constantly.  Once the rice starts looking dry add in another ladelful.  After about 25 minutes I start checking the doneness of the rice but usually it will take closer to 30 or 35 minutes to cook.  Once the rice is done (its tender with just a little bit of bite to it) take it off the heat and stir in 3/4 cups of the cheddar.  Check for seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed.  Top with chopped walnuts and the remainder of the cheddar and serve immediately.

Chicken with Apples and Leeks

Post two of apple week features a great fall weeknight meal.  This is one of those rare comfort dishes that comes together really quickly – thin chicken breasts cook in no time and the rich sauce only takes a couple of ingredients but packs real flavor.  Paired up with our apples are leeks to add a nice savory element.  If you haven’t cooked with leeks before, fall is a great time to start experimenting with them.

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They are the huge green onion looking things at your grocery store.  They have a really soft onion flavor that doesn’t overwhelm.  The only barrier to using them is learning how to clean them.  All of those lovely layers of leek trap dirt when they are pulled from the ground so you definitely want to be careful to clean them, otherwise you are going to end up with grit in your dish.  The best way I have found to clean them is first to lop off the tough and inedible top dark green parts.  Then cut them lengthwise down the middle making sure not to cut through the root so it can still hold the leek together.

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Then run the halved leek under cold water, using your fingers to spread out the layers and rinse in between them, getting rid of any dirt caught in between.  Now you can slice like normal, safe in the knowledge that you have dirt free leeks.

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The leeks are great with the apple, and then the addition of dijon and apple cider give the sauce some nice bite while cream helps smooth everything out.  I like to serve this with rice or rosemary polenta and some roasted veggies but it would also be great over egg noodles like a stroganoff.  Make sure to check back Friday for the last apple recipe of the week (spoiler alert – there is cheese involved).

Chicken with Apples and Leeks (printable version at the end of the post)

Inspiration:
Special Equipment:  none

  • 4 chicken breasts, thinly cut or pounded thin
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 leek, cleaned, halved and sliced
  • 1 apple, cored, quartered, and thinly sliced
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced or grated
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup apple cider
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary
  • 1/2 cup cream

In a large skillet heat the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter over medium to medium high heat.  Dredge the chicken breasts in the flour, shake off the excess and add to the pan.

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Cook them 4 minutes without disturbing them and then flip them and cook for 4 more minutes.

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Remove the chicken and set aside, then add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter to the pan.  Add the leeks, apple and garlic and cook for 6 minutes over medium until the leek and apple have softened.

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Return the chicken to the pan and add the dijon, cider and chicken stock.  Let simmer for 5 minutes to finish cooking through the chicken and allowing the flavors to come together.  Stir in the rosemary and cream and cook for 2 more minutes.

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Chicken with Apples and Leeks

  • Servings: 4
  • Print

Special Equipment:  none

  • 4 chicken breasts, thinly cut or pounded thin
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 leek, cleaned, halved and sliced
  • 1 apple, cored, quartered, and thinly sliced
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced or grated
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup apple cider
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary
  • 1/2 cup cream

In a large skillet heat the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter over medium to medium high heat.  Dredge the chicken breasts in the flour, shake off the excess and add to the pan.  Cook them 4 minutes without disturbing them and then flip them and cook for 4 more minutes.  Remove the chicken and set aside, then add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter to the pan.  Add the leeks, apple and garlic and cook for 6 minutes over medium until the leek and apple have softened.  Return the chicken to the pan and add the dijon, cider and chicken stock.  Let simmer for 5 minutes to finish cooking through the chicken and allowing the flavors to come together.  Stir in the rosemary and cream and cook for 2 more minutes.

Fennel and Apple Salad

So we were going to go apple picking this weekend but Hurricane Joaquin had other plans.  Luckily I was still able to get my hands on some good local apples at the super market without all the mud and decided to dedicate this week to all things apple.  I know it’s tempting just to go the pie or apple sauce route if you have a lot of them, but there are so many more ways to use apples.  This week I will walk through 3 totally different recipes that really show the apple’s range.  This first dish is inspired by a terrific tapa at a Spanish restaurant called Jaleo, here in DC.  It’s been on their menu for years and while I haven’t been able to get it 100% perfect, this is pretty close to the real thing.  Raw apple is tossed with raw fennel, salty manchego cheese and nuts to create a great, crunchy fall salad.  Experiment with different ways of cutting the elements of this salad – sometimes I do the apple, fennel and cheese all in baton shapes, sometimes I slice them thinly, and sometimes I do them in different shapes.  The exact same ingredients take on a different personality depending on how you present them, from rustic to sophisticated.  Hope you enjoy apple week!

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Fennel and Apple Salad (printable version at the end of the post)

Inspiration:  a dish at Jaleo, Jose Andres’s flagship restaurant in DC
Special Equipment:  none

  • 1 large head of fennel or 2 small, cored and sliced thinly (some fronds reserved for topping)
  • 1 granny smith apple, cored and sliced thinly
  • 4 ounces manchego cheese, cubed or cut into batons
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/3 cup marcona almonds

In a large bowl toss the fennel, apple and manchego together.  In a smaller bowl crease a dressing by whisking together to the sherry vinegar, olive oil and salt and pepper.

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Toss the veggies with the dressing then spread out the salad on a nice platter.  Sprinkle with the almonds and reserved chopped fennel fronds (the green leafy parts) and serve.

Fennel and Apple Salad

  • Servings: 4
  • Print

Special Equipment:  none

  • 1 large head of fennel or 2 small, cored and sliced thinly (some fronds reserved for topping)
  • 1 granny apple, cored and sliced thinly
  • 4 ounces manchego cheese, cubed or cut into batons
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/3 cup marcona almonds

In a large bowl toss the fennel, apple and manchego together.  In a smaller bowl crease a dressing by whisking together to the sherry vinegar, olive oil and salt and pepper.  Toss the veggies with the dressing then spread out the salad on a nice platter.  Sprinkle with the almonds and reserved chopped fennel fronds (the green leafy parts) and serve.

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