October 02, 2000Greetings friends,
Fall is finally here, you can really feel it as the temperatures begin to drop, and the cool crisp air whips past your ears and down your collar while taking an evening stroll. Soon the leaves on the trees will be changing to shades of auburn, crimson, and gold, vibrantly painting the landscape all around me. It also means that the apple season is about to begin. I live in the heart of Johnny Appleseed country here in Ohio and I so look forward to the fresh apple harvest each year. I eat apples to my hearts content when they are plentiful and perfectly ripened.
I am also doing a cooking demo this weekend in Seattle, Washington, which is also well known for its delicious apple harvests. So I definitely have apples on my mind. It only seemed natural to feature the apple in this installment of recipes since they are by far my all-time favorite fruit. I have many recipes in my personal collection that feature apples, but I have chosen to showcase a few of my more unusual ones to inspire you with new ways to utilize the magnificent apple. After all, there is more to the apple than just using them for pie! Enjoy. As always, be good to one another, and remember... eat your veggies! :-)
6 cups sweet apple cider, well chilled
In a blender or food processor, combine all of the ingredients, and blend for 2 minutes. Strain the mixture through a sieve to remove any lumps. Serve as a beverage or use as a non-dairy milk substitute in your favorite recipes. Stores in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
1/3 cup walnuts
In a non-stick skillet, place the walnuts, and cook over medium heat for 3-4 minutes or until lightly toasted and fragrant. Remove from pan and set aside to cool. Meanwhile, grate the apples into a bowl, drizzle them with the lemon juice, and toss well to prevent the apples from turning brown. When the walnuts are cool, place them in a blender or food processor, and finely grind them. Add the walnuts and remaining ingredients to the grated apple and stir well to combine. Taste, season with a little salt and pepper, and add more horseradish if desired. Transfer the dip to a glass bowl. Serve with crackers, chips, sliced bread, or an assortment of raw vegetables.
Yield: 2 Cups
1 cup shallots, finely diced
In a large pot, saute the shallots in oil for 5 minutes or until soft. Add the curry powder and ginger, and saute an additional minute. Add the sherry, and stir well to deglaze the pot. Add the diced apples, vegetable stock, and apple juice, and bring the mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the apples are tender. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes. In a food processor or blender, in batches, puree the soup until smooth, and return the soup to the pot. Whisk in the soy milk, a little of the lemon juice, and season to taste with salt and pepper. If desired, add additional curry powder, apple juice, or lemon juice to the soup to adjust the sweetness or spicy flavor of the soup to your own personal taste. Serve hot or cold.
4 slices sourdough bread
Place the slices of sourdough bread on a cutting board and cut each slice diagonally in half. Transfer the bread triangles to a non-stick cookie sheet and place them under the broiler to lightly toast the bread on one side. Remove the cookie sheet from the oven, flip over the slices of bread so that the untoasted side is facing up, and allow them to cool slightly. Cut each quarter of apple into 4 slices and set aside. To assemble the melts: on each of the untoasted sides of bread, spread 1/2 t. of the mustard, place 4 slices of apple fanning them out slightly to cover the bread, lay 2 T. of the sprouts over the apples, and top with a triangle of soy cheese. Place the cookie sheet back under the broiler and broil an additional 3-4 minutes or until the cheese is well melted. Serve 2 melt triangles per person.
1 lb. firm tofu
Cut the block of tofu in half lengthwise. Turn each half cut-side down on the board, and cut through the outer edge of the block of tofu 3 times to yield 4 tofu cutlets from each half. This means that the block of tofu will yield 8 tofu cutlets. On a large cookie sheet, place a clean, lint-free towel, or a layer of natural, unbleached paper towels, then all of the tofu cutlets in a single layer, followed by another layer of toweling, and finally place another large cookie sheet on top. Place several large cans or something very heavy on top of the cookie sheet and leave tofu to sit for 1 hour. This process is known as cutting tofu into cutlets and pressing. I use this technique a lot as it makes the texture of the tofu much firmer.
In a non-stick skillet, in batches, saute the pieces of pressed tofu in a little of the oil, for 2-3 minutes per side or until lightly browned. Pat them with a natural, unbleached paper towel, or clean, lint-free cloth to absorb any excess oil. In a small bowl, combine the soy mayonnaise, curry powder, salt, and pepper, and stir well to combine. Fold the apples, celery, and green onions into the curry mayonnaise mixture. Taste the mixture and adjust the seasonings as needed. On a non-stick cookie sheet, place the slices of bread, and top each with a piece of tofu. Evenly divide the curried apple mixture between the 8 sandwiches, and spread it to cover the tofu. Sprinkle each of the sandwiches with 1 T. of the breadcrumbs and a little chopped parsley. Place the cookie sheet under the broiler, broil the sandwiches for 5-7 minutes or until heated through, and lightly browned on top. Serve 1 sandwich per person and each one may be cut diagonally in half for presentation and easier eating.
*Variation- you can also add 1/2 cups of chopped nuts or sliced almonds, or 1/2 cups seedless grapes cut in half to the curried apple salad mixture.
1 lb. navy beans, sorted and rinsed
In a large pot, combine the beans, water, and bay leaf, and bring to a boil. Allow the beans to boil for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to medium, and cook the beans for 1-2 hours or until tender. Meanwhile, in a non-stick skillet, saute the onion in the olive oil for 5 minutes or until soft and slightly browned. Add the garlic and saute an additional minute. Remove from the heat and set aside. When the beans are tender, drain them, saving their cooking liquid for making soup, and discard the bay leaf. Transfer the beans to a 2 1/2 Quart casserole dish or Dutch oven. Add the reserved onion mixture, the remaining ingredients, and stir well to combine. Cover the casserole dish with a lid or aluminum foil. Bake at 300 degrees for 1 hour, remove the lid or aluminum foil, and bake an additional 30 minutes. Serve hot or cold.
4 large russet potatoes, scrubbed well
Prick each of the potatoes in a few places and bake at 400 degrees for 1-1 1/2 hours or until soft. Remove the potatoes from the oven and allow them to cool for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, in a non-stick skillet, saute the red onion and shallots in the olive oil for 5-7 minutes or until soft. Add the diced apple and saute an additional 3-4 minutes or until the apple is tender. Remove the skillet from the heat and set aside. Lightly oil (or spray with a light mist of oil) a large casserole dish and set aside.
When the potatoes are cool to the touch, cut each one in half lengthwise, and use a spoon to scoop out the inside of the cooked potatoes into a bowl while keeping the potato skin shells intact. Place the potato skin shells in the greased casserole dish and set aside. Using a fork or potato masher, mash the cooked potatoes to desired creaminess. Add the reserved apple mixture, parsley, sage, dry mustard, salt, and pepper, and stir well to combine. Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed. Evenly divide the mashed potato filling among the potato skin shells. Using a fork, rake the surface of the filling, and then sprinkle 2 T. of the shredded soy cheese over each one. Bake the filled potatoes at 400 degrees for an additional 15 minutes or until the cheese is well melted and bubbly.
2 1/2 cups millet
In a non-stick saucepan, place the millet, and cook over medium heat for 3-4 minutes or until fragrant. Remove the millet from the pan and set aside. In the same saucepan, place the almonds, and cook over medium heat for 3-4 minutes or until lightly toasted and fragrant. Remove the almonds from the pan and set aside. Return the saucepan to the heat and saute the onion and shallots in olive oil for 5 minutes or until soft. Add the apple, ginger, garlic, bay leaf, and cinnamon stick, and saute an additional 3 minutes. Add the reserved millet, vegetable stock, apple juice, salt, and pepper to the saucepan, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until all of the liquid is absorbed. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside for 10 minutes to allow the millet to steam. Remove the bay leaf and cinnamon stick and discard. Fluff the pilaf with a fork, add the remaining ingredients, the reserved toasted almonds, and fluff the pilaf again to incorporate them. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. Serve warm or at room temperature.
3 lbs. cooking apples of choice, peeled, cored, and quartered
In a large pot, place the apples and apple juice, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until apples are tender. Add the cinnamon and nutmeg and simmer for 3 additional minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool 10 minutes. For a chunky style applesauce, mash the apples slightly with a potato masher or for a smooth applesauce, pass the cooked apples through a food mill. Taste and add more apple juice or cinnamon if desired. Serve as a side dish warm or cold, or use in baking.
Yield: 1 Quart
2 cups Fruit Juice Sweetened Homestyle Applesauce (see above) or jarred applesauce
Lightly grease a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan and set aside. In a large bowl, combine the applesauce, apple juice, maple syrup, oil, and vanilla, and whisk well to combine. In another bowl, sift together both types of flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir well to combine. Fold in the chopped walnuts. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 55-60 minutes or until golden brown and an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Place the loaf pan on a rack and allow to cool for 15 minutes. Remove the loaf of bread from the pan and allow to cool completely on a rack before slicing. Wrap the loaf in aluminum foil and store in the refrigerator or freeze the loaf for later use.
Yield: One 9x5x3-inch loaf
2 1/2 lbs. tart apples of choice, peeled, cored, and sliced
Lightly grease an 8-inch springform pan and set aside. In a saucepan, place the apples, 1/4 cups apple juice, sugar, cloves, and lemon rind, and cook over low heat for 20-25 minutes or until apples are tender. Remove the cloves and lemon rind and discard. Using a spoon or potato masher, roughly mash the apple mixture, and set aside. In a large bowl, place the graham cracker crumbs, remaining 1/4 cups apple juice, oil, and cinnamon, and stir well to combine. Place one-third of the crumb mixture in the bottom of the prepared springform pan and pack it down firmly with the back of a spoon. Spread one-half of the apple mixture evenly over the crumb layer. Spoon half of the remaining crumb mixture over the top of the apple mixture layer and press down again with the back of a spoon to pack it down. Repeat the layering pattern with the remaining apple and crumb mixtures. Cover the springform pan with plastic cling film and chill for 12 hours or overnight.
Remove the plastic cling film cover but leave the ring on the springform pan. Spread the prepared Apple Sweetened Tofu Topping evenly over the top of the cake. Return the springform pan to the refrigerator and chill an additional 30 minutes. Meanwhile, in a non-stick skillet, place the pecans, and cook over medium heat for 3-4 minutes or until fragrant and lightly toasted. Remove the pecans from the pan and set aside to cool. Remove the chilled cake from the refrigerator. Pick out 8 of the best looking pecan halves and evenly place them on the topping around the edge of the gateau. Roughly chop the remaining pecan halves. Sprinkle the center of the gateau with the chopped chocolate and chopped pecans. Carefully remove the ring of the springform pan and transfer the gateau to a platter. Use a long knife warmed in hot water to cut the gateau into 8 slices with a pecan half centered in each slice.
Yield: One 8-inch Gateau or 8 slices
1 - 12.3 oz. pkg. Mori-Nu silken style tofu, extra firm
In a food processor or blender, combine all of the ingredients and process for several minutes or until smooth and creamy. Transfer to a glass or plastic container, cover, and store in the refrigerator. Serve as a topping for fruit, pies, cakes, and desserts.
Yield: 1 1/2 cups
1 3/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
In a large bowl, place the flour, oats, oat bran, cinnamon, baking powder, and nutmeg, and stir well to combine. Finely dice 1/2 cups of the sliced apples and set aside. Place the remaining sliced apples in a blender or food processor, and puree. Add the apple juice concentrate, maple syrup, oil, vanilla, and almond extract, and blend for 1 minute. Add the apple puree mixture to the dry ingredients and stir well to combine. Fold in the reserved apple, raisins, and walnuts. Drop the batter by rounded tablespoonfuls on to two non-stick cookie sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges and on the bottom. Allow the cookies to cool on the cookie sheets for 3 minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.
Yield: 2 Dozen
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