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Apple Crisp

Committee meeting working lunch 12/13/11

Adapted from Martha Stewart

Crisps are an easy and tasty way to incorporate fruit into a dessert. They’re also very difficult to mess up, so don’t worry too much about making sure your measurements are exact.

  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided between topping and apple mixture
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, cold, cut into small cubes
  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick-cooking)
  • 3 pounds firm apples (Braeburn, Gala, Empire, and Golden Delicious are good, avoid Red Delicious and Macintosh)*
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, brown sugar, 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, salt, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Add the cold butter and rub in using your fingers, until the mixture has the texture of coarse cornmeal (a few larger lumps are fine too). Add the oats and continue to clump together with your hands. Set aside.

Peel core, and chop the apples. In a bowl, toss apples with lemon juice, remaining 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, and remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar.

Place apple mixture in a baking dish (approximately 9”X13”). Sprinkle the oat mixture evenly on top.

Bake until the top is browned at the apple filling is bubbling, 55-70 minutes. Cool at least 10 minutes before serving.

*Although fruit trees can be finicky in Nebraska, apples do grow here and they can be stored well.

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Cabbage, Apple, Red Onion, and Carrot Slaw

Committee meeting working lunch, 12/13/11

Community training session demonstration and dinner, 3/12/12

This slaw very different from the mayonnaise-heavy kind of coleslaw – it’s bright-tasting and light. It’s easiest to make if you have a slicer that can cut matchsticks. If you don’t, grate the carrots and apples on a large grater.

  • ½ red onion (save the rest for something else)*
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ large head cabbage (save the rest for something else)*
  • 2 small, firm apples*
  • 4 carrots*
  • 2-3 tablespoons sugar (depending on how sweet you want your slaw)
  • 1 ½ tablespoons mustard (preferably Dijon, but any kind will work)
  • black pepper

Slice the red onion very thinly. Place in a small bowl, then add vinegar and a pinch of salt. Set aside while you prepare the rest of the slaw.

Slice the cabbage into thin strips. Using a matchstick slicer or a larger grater, slice or grate the apples and carrots.

In a large bowl, toss together the cabbage, apples, and carrots. Remove the onions from the vinegar and add them to the bowl.

To the remaining vinegar that had onions in it, add sugar, vinegar, and mustard. Whisk together, then add salt and pepper to taste.

Pour dressing over vegetables and toss to combine. Taste, and add salt and pepper as needed.

*All of these ingredients can be grown here in Nebraska and stored for extended periods.

Roasted Squash Soup

Committee meeting working lunch, 12/13/11 – served with bacon buttermilk cornbread

Once you roast the squash, this soup comes together quickly. Squash can be roasted up to a week in advance and kept in the fridge.

  • 1 butternut squash (or any winter squash, or canned pumpkin)*
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped*
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped chipotle pepper (from a can of chipotles in adobo) – you can also substitute with a large pinch of hot pepper
  • water
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1/2 cup milk, half and half, or cream (optional)

Preheat the oven to 375.

Cut the squash in half the long way and scoop out the seeds and accompanying stringiness with a spoon (you can clean off the seeds and toast them, if you want). Place the squash cut-side down on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake until a knife can slide in with almost no resistance, about 1 hour. When the squash has cooled enough to handle, scoop the soft flesh away from the skin and throw the skin away. (This step can be done in advance – keep the roasted squash in the fridge for up to a week until you’re ready to use it.)

Heat the oil in a pot and add the onions. Cook until translucent, about 7-10 minutes. Add the chipotle pepper or hot pepper and stir for another minute.

Add the squash, then add water to cover the squash by an inch or two in the pot. It’s better to add too little water than too much – you can always thin it out later if it’s too thick. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes (if using canned pumpkin, simmer for 20 minutes).

At this point, you can blend the soup in a blender or food processor or with an immersion blender, but you don’t have to. Add salt to taste and black pepper. Add water if the soup is too thick.

If you want, you can add a splash of milk, cream, or half and half once the soup is done. It’s not necessary – it just makes the soup a little richer and creamier.

*Squash and onions can both be grown locally and stored well into winter.