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Posts tagged ‘apples’

Basic Hummus And A Vegan Apple Tart

This recipe is from Ottolenghi’s cookbook “Jerusalem” it calls for dried chickpeas rather than canned. I always stayed away from recipes where you have to cook the beans/peas and rather opt for canned because it’s easy and I guess I am a bit lazy. Well, have to say there is a difference, a big difference in flavor and texture when you use freshly made chick peas. I love just about anything from any of the cookbooks by Ottolenghi or the team of Ottolenghi and Tamimi. The books are beautiful to look at, the ingredients they use are always fresh and the recipes are simple but creative and everything so far that I have made has been absolutely delicious. Like chocolate chip cookies there are thousands of recipes out there for hummus. It’s not rocket science and is made easily and quickly and has always been welcome as an appetizer or part of the main meal. It’s a wonderful recipe and if you are hesitant to use dried chickpeas, it takes a little more time and effort but the results are well worth the effort. The only change I made when making this recipe is that I use half the garlic indicated, I am not a big fan of raw garlic, the garlic is flavor is definitely there but is more subtle with 2 cloves, of course if your garlic cloves are very small use more.

I am bringing the hummus and tart to Fiesta Friday #191, this week, the co cohosts are Judi @ cookingwithauntjuju.com and Antonia@ Zoale.com thank you ladies for co hosting and as always a big thank you to Angie for putting this party together every week!

Basic Hummus

Serves 6 or more

1 1/4 cup dried chickpeas

1 tsp baking soda

6 1/2 cups water

1 cup plus 2 tbs light tahini

4 tbs lemon juice freshly squeezed

4 cloves garlic crushed (I used 2 cloves)

6 1/2 tbs ice cold water

The night before put the chickpeas in a large bowl and cover them with cold water at least twice their volume. Leave to soak overnight.

The next day, drain the chickpeas. Place a medium saucepan over high heat and add the chickpeas and baking soda, cook for about 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the water and bring to a boil. Cook, skimming off foam and any skins that float to the surface. The chickpeas will need to cook between 20-40 minutes, depending on the type and freshness, sometimes even longer. Once done, they should be very tender, breaking up easily when pressed between your thumb and finger, almost but not quite mushy.

Drain the chickpeas. You should have roughly 3 2/3 cups. Place the chickpeas in the food processor and process until you get a stiff paste. Then with the machine still running, add the tahini, lemon juice, garlic and 1 1/2 tsp salt. Finally, slowly drizzle in the ice water and allow it to process for 5 minutes until you get a very smooth and creamy paste.

Transfer to a serving bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 30 minutes before serving, you can also refrigerate until needed. Make sure to take it out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before serving. I drizzle the hummus with olive oil and sprinkle some sumac.

Delicious with fresh veggies and pita

I recently heard from friend I used to work with, it had been years since we have seen each other and I invited him over the other day to catch up, he is vegan and specifically requested pastry.  This tart is vegan,  has very little sugar, only about 2 tbs and is drizzled with apple cider cinnamon reduction. It couldn’t be simpler and it’s so beautiful. The pie crust is from the Crisco package and is one my Mother used for her pies, she didn’t even know her pie crust was vegan, I sliced the apples hasselback style, sprinkled with a little sugar, flour, cinnamon mixture, dotted a little earth balance and baked.

Simple, beautiful and delicious and it’s vegan

Flaky Pie Crust (Vegan)

Recipe on Crisco Shortening- makes single 9 inch pie crust

1 1/3 cup flour

1 tsp salt

1/2 cup vegetable shortening

6-8 tbs ice cold water

Whisk flour and salt together, add the shortening and with a pastry cutter combine until it resembles moist crumbs. Add water and stir with a fork. Gather together into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and flatten into a disk and refrigerate for at least an hour. Roll the dough on floured work surface and line your tart pan. Refrigerate.

While dough is chilling, cut the apples in half, skin on, core and slice thinly keeping each half together, it’s easier to lift the sliced apples and place in pie shell. Heat oven to 400 degree’s. Mix 2 tbs sugar, 1 tbs flour, 1/4 tsp cinnamon in a small ramekin and set aside. Arrange the apples in the cold pie shell and sprinkle with the sugar, flour, cinnamon mixture. Dot with butter or vegan butter. Line a baking sheet with parchment and bake the tart until golden brown approximately 40-45 minutes.

Apple Cider Reduction

1 cup apple cider

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 tbs sugar

Place everything in a non reactive heavy bottom saucepan and boil on medium high until it reduces to a syrup. Approximately 30-40 minutes.

Served with Vegan salted caramel ice cream.

 

Fall Harvest Salad And Meeting A Friend

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I honestly didn’t know what to call this salad. The name is sort of an accurate description. I saw this amazing Fall Panzanella salad on Susan Pridmore’s blog The Wimpy Vegetarian. I immediately knew I had to make it it just sounded so good, kale, butternut squash, bread, apples, onions. I fell in love, then I had lunch at Speedy Romeo’s, a fantastic restaurant in my neighborhood that makes the most amazing brick oven pizza in incrediblely creative ways.  They also have some awesome salads,  I ordered a kale, apple, pomegranate, goat cheese salad that rocked my world. I have to add that I went there with Patty Nguyen, she is an very talented photographer and has a beautiful blog of the same name that I have been following for several years now. This is not the first time we met, whenever Patty comes to NYC we get together. I had the pleasure of meeting her family this time and we had a wonderful time.

Pizza with Patty and family at Speedy Romeo's Brooklyn

Pizza with Patty and family at Speedy Romeo’s Brooklyn photo by Patty Nguyen

Back to the salad as I explained Susan’s Fall Panzanella grabbed me and then the salad at the restaurant was incredible, they have similar flavor profiles. I need to eat more salad, but for me it has to be super flavorful and very interesting. Lettuce and tomato are great (on a BLT) but not that interesting. I decided to take both salads and take a little from each, add my own touch and see how it comes out. It had to have kale that was a must, I wanted it to be seasonal so I added butternut squash that was roasted in the oven, apples,  some toasted pumpkin seeds and pine nuts and grated aged Asiago cheese.  I used Susan salad dressing which is made with apple cider vinegar, maple syrup and apple.  I massaged the kale for a long time, a good 15 minutes I wanted it to be really relaxed, 10 minutes with a little olive oil and another 5 minutes with dressing, added chopped apple, butternut squash,nuts, seeds and grated cheese, another splash of dressing, season and voila, a delicious, nutritious fresh salad, bursting with flavor.

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Fall Harvest Salad

1 head green curly kale cleaned, leaves torn from stems and chopped chiffonade

2 apples cleaned, cut into bite size pieces

2 cups cubed butternut squash

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds toasted

1/2 cup pine nuts toasted

approximately 1/2 cup grated Asiago cheese

Pre heat oven to 375 degree’s. Place butternut squash pieces on sheet pan lined with parchment, drizzle with olive oil and toss to make sure every piece is covered in oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast in the oven for approximately 30 minutes or unti squash is tender and lightly browned.

Remove the squash and set aside, place the pumpkin seeds and pine nuts on the same piece of parchment and toast in the oven for about 15 minutes watching carefully so they do not burn. Remove nuts and set aside.

Grate cheese and set aside.

Place chiffonade kale in large salad bowl, drizzle on a little olive oil and massage the kale really well, I worked on it for about 10 minutes. Add some of the dressing and massage another 5 minutes. Cut the apple into bite size pieces and toss into the kale, add the squash, nuts and seeds, toss to combine, add the grated cheese, season with salt and pepper, add more dressing if you like (I did). You can serve immediately but this salad keeps really well in the refrigerator for hours so it can be made ahead of time.

Dressing- Apple Vinaigrette

Recipe by Susan Pridmore- The Wimpy Vegetarian

1/2 apple peeled, seeded and diced

3 tbs apple cider vinegar

1 tbs maple syrup

3-4 tbs olive oil

1/4 tsp kosher salt

Mash the apple in a small food processor, if you don’t have a small processor heat in the microwave for about a minute and mash using a mortar and pestle. Whisk mashed apple into the vinegar, salt, maple syrup and olive oil.

Halloween/Samhain And A Triple Layer Apple Cake

Decorating for Halloween

Decorating my mantle for Halloween

I love Halloween/ Samhain, it’s huge in my neighborhood. Children walk en masse trick or treating, there are theatrical productions, music like the Dead Zombie Band playing on the street. Everyone dresses in costume here and has a wonderful time. We have a doggie costume contest called The Great Pupkin at Fort Greene Park (I miss dressing the pugs), people decorate their homes. I kid you not when I say Halloween is huge in Clinton Hill see this article in the Daily News.

My stoop

My stoop

All month horror films (mostly not very good ones) are shown on TV, some of you who know me are aware that I am a fan of horror films, always have been and I look forward to seeing some of my favorites on Halloween.  Two I love!

Mia Farrow-Rosemary's Baby

Mia Farrow-Rosemary’s Baby-Polanski is genius

Bela Lugosi Dracula

Bela Lugosi Dracula

To celebrate the end of the harvest and the beginning of winter or the dark months, the literal and original meaning of Samhain, I made an apple cake. I know, there is a plethora of apple recipes out there right now along with pumpkin but thats ok, right, it’s apple and pumpkin season. This cake has been in my repertoire for years, it is the simplest and best apple layer cake recipe I have found. It is from Martha Stewart. The cake is shown with a brown sugar swiss meringue buttercream (yum) but I am making a cream cheese frosting. I have made this cake many times and vary the way I use the apples. Sometimes I follow directions grating 2 and dicing 2, sometimes I make applesauce from all 4 apples or at times I will grate all 4. For this cake I made applesauce which is my favorite way of prepping the apples for this cake. It is nicely spiced, moist and has a wonderful texture, I love it with either the Brown Sugar Buttercream or Cream Cheese Frosting any way you make it it is a wonderful way to celebrate apple season.

Apple cake

Apple cake

Three Layer Apple Cake

Martha Stewarts Everyday Food with John Baricelli

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

2 cups all purpose flour

2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground ginger

3/4 tsp salt

2 cups packed light brown sugar

2 large eggs

4 apples peeled and coursely grated (or you can grate 2 and dice 2) If you make applesauce the yeild is about 1 1/2 cups from 4 apples)

Directions:

Pre heat oven to 350 degree’s. Butter 3 8 inch round cake pans place parchment round in each butter again and dust with flour.

In medium bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and ginger and salt. In large bowl whisk butter, sugar and eggs until well combined, fold in the grated apples. Add the flour mixture and mix just until combined Divide batter among the prepared pans.

Bake for 35-40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool the cakes in the pans for 20 minutes before inverting onto cooling rack. Cool complettely before frosting.

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Cream Cheese Frosting

8 oz cream cheese softened to room temperature

8 oz unsalted butter softened to room temperature

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

3-4 tbs half and half or whole milk

3-4 cup confectioners sugar

Beat butter and cream cheese until creamy and completely incorporated, add 2 cups of the confectioners sugar the vanilla and 2 tbs of the milk or half and half and beat. Add another cup of confectioners sugar and more milk continue to beat adding sugar and milk as needed until it reaches spreading consistency.

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Apple Pie

Apples

Apples

I felt the need to post a dessert recipe, it’s not earth shattering or different it’s as American as apple pie, well, it is apple pie. Simple and delicious, a touch of Americana. The recipes I have posted lately have been wholesome and healthful and thats really good, I love that, but my real love is baking and I have not really been doing that lately. Maybe when the weather turns cooler I will feel more inspired to crank up the oven and bake something. To inspire myself I just got the new cookbook from Zoe Nathan, Huckleberry, it’s beautiful, droolworthy and yes, very inspiring. I hope to share some recipes from the book with you, I have already chosen several to make immediately.

Every year when apples hit the green market one of the first things I like to make is apple pie. It’s an American classic and is still one of my all time favorite desserts. Buttery flaky pie crust and sweet/tart apples scented with warm spices, cinnamon and nutmeg. Served warm with a scoop of ice cream I am in heaven. There’s a million and one recipes for apple pie, it a classic dessert and this is probably no different than most but I wanted to post as a tribute  or an homage to Fall and apple season. I use several different types of apples in my pie, cortland, honey crisp, winesap,macoun,ginger gold,pink lady and always one granny smith, I don’t use Macintosh or apples with a similar texture they tend to turn mushy. Honestly, I forget what I got this go around but they looked good and I am sure they will make a great pie. Cut the apple slices fairly thin but not so thin that they will turn to mush but I do want them soft and well done. I like to use both granulated and brown sugar, a pinch of sea salt, some flour to thicken and a splash of apple cider. it’s not aggresively spiced just enough for a hint of cinnamon and nutmeg. I use 6-7 apples for a deeper pie dish and 4 or 5 apples for a normal size pie dish.

Juilia Childs Pastry Dough

Makes enough dough for a double crust 9 inch pie

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup cake flour

1 tsp salt

6 oz cold unsalted butter cut into tbs size pieces

4 tbs shortening or leaf lard cold ( I weighed and used 2 oz of shortening or lard)

1/2 cup ice cold water

You can make this either by hand or in the food processor. To make by hand, put flours, salt, butter, lard or shortening into mixing bowl, use pastry cutter to combine until it resembles pea size crumbs. Add water mix with fork, gather with your hands, divide dough into a 2 discs and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Your dough may be pretty moist, thats ok don’t add more flour.

In Food Processor, add the flours, salt, butter and shortening or lard into the bowl of the processor. Pulse a few times until the mixture resembles pea size crumbs. Add the water and pulse a few times until it becomes a cohesive dough. Divide dough into two discs and wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour.

about this thickness

about this thickness

My apple peeler

My apple peeler

Apple Filling:

6 apples, I like an assortment and always have 1 granny smith in the mix – peel, core and slice

1/3 cup brown sugar firmly packed

1/3 cup granulated sugar

3-4 tbs flour (You can also use cornstarch or tapioca)

juice of half a lemon

Note: Try to get the apple slices about the same thickness, doesn’t have to be perfect but if most of them are it cooks more evenly in the pie.

Add everything to a mixing bowl, stir gently to combine and set aside. Add the lemon juice to the apples as you slice, it will keep them from turning brown. You can adjust the amount of sugar to your personal preference.

Ready for the oven

look closely you can see the little pieces of butter in the dough, makes it extra flaky!

Making the Pie:

Have your 9 inch pie dish ready, take out one disc of dough and roll out to a thinish round, make sure your work surface is well floured as is your rolling pin. Roll dough onto the rolling pin and gently lay into the pie dish. Add the apples and put a few dots of butter. Roll out top crust following the same procedure and lay on top of the apples. Crimp the edges, cut a few vents, decorate if you like, brush with egg wash or cream and sprinkle with some sugar. Bake in a pre heated 375 degree oven for 45-50 minutes or until it’s golden brown and bubbly. Note: leave the overhanging dough on the bottom crust, trim after you lay top ccrust on and fold under then crimp, This will give a good seal so that most of the juices stay in the pie.

Apple pie right out of the oven

Apple pie right out of the oven

The pie was wonderful but I could have added a bit more flour to the filling. The apples were really juicy and the juice was not thickened quite enough. It’s almost impossible to gage really. You could do the Julia Child method and let the apples rest in a bowl and whatever juice comes off drain before baking. I didn’t do that and had quite a bit of excess juice, but I never really do that for apple pies. The flavor was great and the crust was so flaky and tender.

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2 Recipes Eating Clean And Special Walnuts For Fiesta Friday #33

Fiesta Friday

Fiesta Friday

Eating clean, I’ve heard the term but never really grasped what it means, it’s quite simple really, read about it here in an article on Cooking Light, in a nutshell you eat unprocessed whole foods, nothing new really we should all eat like that, the term is new but not the concept.  I receive emails from Martha Stewart living and really love some of the recipes from her site, I always have admired Martha’s business acumen and respect how she has built her empire and she also has some amazing recipes. This particular email had recipes that focus on eating clean, the recipes are always simple and are prepared on video by Shira Bocar.  The salad contains Tuscan Kale (use tuscan its more tender when eaten raw), apples, beets and walnuts with a dressing made from avocado, white wine vinegar,  dijon mustard and oil. I don’t have a mandolin which is what you are supposed to use to cut the beets paper thin, so as a result my beets were a bit too thick and raw beets really need to be thin, next time I will roast my beets for a little while and then slice,or get over my mandolin phobia and get one of those.

In the same email there was a recipe (I guess you can call it that) for broiling broccoli rabe and chick peas. This was a revelation for me, I always steamed it and the florets become overcooked while the stems are still hard and stringy, I wanted to give this a try, the key is for the broccoli rabe and chickpeas to be dry so plan in advance and let your vegetables and chickpeas drain and dry completely. I must say I love Martha’s clean eating video’s here is the one with the broccoli rabe. Shira serves with some fresh ricotta drizzled with olive oil and a sprinkling of red pepper flakes.

The walnuts in the salad were a gift from Patty Nguyen, I love her blog, she is a photographer and a great cook, she also has the most adorable little dog. She came to NYC to visit her brother and we met at the Brooklyn Flea, These walnuts (Chandler walnuts)  were hand cracked and are amazing, fresh and delicious.  I told Patty I would use them in a recipe and post it, so Patty,  here it is. Thank you for the delicious walnuts and I so enjoyed meeting you.

Chandler walnuts

Chandler walnuts

I am bringing both of these healthful vegetable dishes to the party, Angie@The Novice Gardener is hosting this gathering of friends and great cooks, imagine the line up with so many great and talented cooks preparing the food, The co hosts this week are Andrea @Cooking with a Wallflower and Sylvia @Superfoodista enjoy the clean food my dear friends.

Creamy kale salad

Creamy kale salad

Creamy Kale Salad

Ingredients
1 ripe avocado, halved, seed removed
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar (You could also use lemon juice) I added an extra tbs of vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons walnut oil or extra-virgin olive oil (I used walnut oil)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 bunch kale (8 oz.), stemmed and coarsely chopped
1 small red beet, peeled and thinly sliced (I used a golden beet also)
1 sweet, crisp apple, cored and cut into thin wedges
1/2 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
Directions
Combine avocado, vinegar, mustard, and oil in a food processor. Pulse until smooth. (It will be thick.) Season with salt and pepper.
Combine kale, beets, apple, and walnuts in a large bowl. Toss with avocado dressing. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately. Suggestion: Add Farro, freekeh or some whole grain to the salad, it will be filling and delicious.

salad

salad

ready for the broiler

ready for the broiler

Broccoli Rabe and chickpeas

1 bunch broccoli rabe cleaned and trimmed (Be sure to keep the leaves, they crisp beautifully in the broiler)

1 can chick peas drained and dried

6 tbs olive oil (If you use 2 small sheet pans 3 tbs per tray)

thinly sliced garlic 2 cloves

salt

Really important to make sure your broccoli rabe and chick peas are dry, moisture is the enemy for this dish Place dry broccoli rabe on sheet pan, don’t over crowd. Add the chickpeas and garlic. Spoon or drizzle oil and massage into the broccoli rabe and chick peas, sprinkle with salt and place in heated broiler for 2 minutes, take out of the oven and turn the broccoli and place back in the oven for another 2 minutes. Remove from oven and serve.NOTE: I washed and dried my broccoli rabe and chickpeas the day before I made the dish, just bagged and refrigerated and they were perfectly dry. I think it depend on your oven how long you leave in to broil. I found that after the prescribed 4 minutes in the broiler the broccoli rabe was still quite raw a bit too crunchy, it is probably my oven, I’m sure in the Martha Stewart test kitchen they have commercial grade ovens that have more BTU’s than mine. So I put it in an extra 6 minutes. It was done perfectly, a little toothsome but still tender. So the cooking time will vary.

ready to eat

ready to eat

Applesauce Mini Loaves

Applesauce Mini Loaves

Applesauce Mini Loaves

I am still working on edible gifts for friends and family and as usual I am behind. Most of these will be hand delivered but some will be getting theirs after Christmas. These loaves are a variation of the banana bread recipe that I love so much, the only substitution is that I used homemade applesauce instead of banana’s. I also added some spice and finished with a cream cheese drizzle and some toasted walnuts.

Makes one regular sized loaf or 3 mini loaves

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature

1 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs at room temperature

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1 heaping cup applesauce (homemade or commercially prepared-unsweetened)

1/2 cup sour cream (full fat)

1 tsp vanilla extract

Pre heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter or spray the bottoms of loaf pans or pan.

Cream butter and sugar until fluffy, add eggs and mix using either stand or hand held mixer until the eggs are completely incorporated and its smooth and creamy.

Mix flour, baking soda, salt and spices in a bowl and add to the butter mixture. Mix just until its combined. Add the applesauce, sour cream and vanilla and mix until completely combined.

Divide evenly into loaf pans if making the mini loaves or scrape into loaf pan. For mini loaves bake 35-40 minutes or until toothpick or tester inserted in the middle of the loaf comes out clean. If making a large loaf bake 60-70 minutes.

Allow to cool in pans for 10 minutes then invert onto rack and let cool completely, Drizzle with icing and sprinkle walnuts on top. Refrigerate until drizzle becomes hard (it’s important if you are going to package the loaves) Put approx 1/4 cup walnuts in food processor, pulse a couple of times, place on piece of parchment into the 350 degree oven for 5 minutes or until you can smell the walnuts. Remove and let cool.

Icing

2 tbs softened cream cheese

1 tbs butter at room temperature

1/3 cup powdered sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla

Mix until smooth, add a few drops of water it its too thick. Drizzle onto loaves and sprinkle with the walnuts.

Featured Recipe- Kale and Apple Salad

For this weeks Featured Recipe I wanted a fresh and delicious salad. We all need our fresh vegetables and fruits every day and I am always searching for a tasty recipe. I love salads and my new best friend is Kale, it’s packed full of vital nutrients and whether you eat it cooked or raw your body will thank you for it. This salad is a meal in itself, think about it, kale, apples, cabbage,fennel, wild rice a delicious citrusy dressing, your taste buds will do the dance of joy. I love this salad on it’s own, but it can accompany a protein also, there are so many different things you can add to this if you want, some grilled chicken or tofu would be fantastic. I am making this salad again with some Himalayan Red Rice instead of wild rice, quinoa would also be a wonderful addition. Try it in pita bread and take it to work or school.  The possibilities are endless. Check out Hannah’s beautiful blog Blue Kale Road, its packed full of healthful delicious recipes that are family friendly and in my opinion are a celebration of fresh, natural foods.

Photo by Blue Kale Road

Kale and Apple Salad
Inspired by PCC’s Emerald City Salad
Serves 4-6

1/4 – 1/2 cup lemon juice (depending upon taste and amount of kale)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 large crisp apple, diced (my favorite variety is honeycrisp)
3/4 cup fennel, thinly sliced and chopped
1 cup red cabbage, chopped
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
1 bunch organic kale (lacinato or curly green – I like to use a combination of both), ribs removed and finely chopped
1 cup cooked wild rice

Whisk 1/2 cup lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and salt in a large bowl. Add remaining ingredients to the bowl and toss (use your hands – it’s fun and will distribute the dressing more evenly). Taste for additional lemon juice, salt or pepper and add as desired.

The salad can be made a couple of hours ahead and chilled.