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Sunday, July 27, 2014

Spiced Pickled Apples: Part I

I'm excited about this one.  Had never heard of pickled apples before but they came up in a conversation about country foods.  My friend Blair's grandma used to make them and as she sat there drooling at the memory of pickled apples, I started thinking that this would be a great post idea.  Then I started thinking about things I could do with pickled apples, like make a rustic tart. Mm-mmm.

Step 1 in this road to rustic tart scenario is actually making the pickled apples themselves so I searched around to find some recipes and then picked and chose the parts I liked best and came up with the one below.

Figured I would start them this weekend, we'll let them pickle up during the week, then next weekend, we'll tart 'em up.

Spiced Pickled Apples

2 cups apple cider vinegar
1 cup water
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar (not packed)
2 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. allspice berries
1 tsp. whole peppercorns
1 cinnamon stick
2 star anise
3 Granny Smith apples, cored and sliced

In a medium saucepan, simmer all ingredients except the apples until the sugars and salt dissolve.

Place the sliced apples in a non-conducive bowl and pour the liquid mixture over them. Let it sit until it cools to room temperature, then put in a jar with a sealed lid and let sit for a week until ready.


A lot of the recipes I looked at removed the peel from the apples before pickling, but I left mine on because I like the skin. We'll see how that works out.

If you're not familiar with whole peppercorns, allspice berries, or star anise, this is what they look like (below).

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Green (Devilled) Eggs and Ham

Since we're still in the middle of picnic food season, and feeling inspired by my earlier Seussian experiment, I had an idea for a new version of devilled eggs.  I mean, can you really have too many versions of a devilled egg?

Green (Devilled) Eggs and Ham

6 hard-boiled eggs
1/2 ripe avocado
3 tbsp. salsa verde
1 tbsp. mayonnaise
1/2 tsp. salt
6 slices prosciutto de Parma
Chili powder, for garnish

Slice the eggs length-wise and remove the yolks.

Mix the yolks with the avocado, salsa verde, mayonnaise, and salt until smooth.

Cut the prosciutto into thin strips.  Wrap one around the egg, putting the ends into the yolk hollow then pipe the mixture into the egg.

Sprinkle with chili powder and you have delicious eggs and ham, that is.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Asian Cabbage Salad

I met some friends for lunch the other day at The Nasher Museum Cafe in Durham and enjoyed a delicious salad that was so crispy and light and filling I decided that I wanted to try it at home.

I'm very happy with my final product and as an added bonus I now have a recipe for the same miso-ginger dressing that you get on your salad at a Japanese steak house. Num! All around good stuff.

Asian Cabbage Salad

2 cups shredded white cabbage
1 cup shredded red cabbage
1 cup grated carrot
1/2 cup cooked edamame
1/3 cup toasted cashew halves
1 orange, peeled, de-pithed and segmented
3-4 tbsp. miso-ginger dressing

Toss everything together in a large bowl. Serves 4.

miso-ginger dressing
1/4 cup white miso
3 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp. white wine vinegar
1 tbsp. water
1 tbsp. minced ginger
1-1/2 tsp. sugar
3 tbsp. sesame oil

Blend together all but the sesame oil in a food processor.  Slowly add the oil in as you pulse the mixture on low.  Leftovers will keep up to a week in the fridge.


You can find pre-made ginger dressings in the grocery store.  To make the dressing, I went to a local Asian market to get the miso.  Heads up, found it in the refrigerated section of the store and it was not inexpensive, but worth it.  I'll be seeing what other recipes I can come up with to use it.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Fuselli with Slow-Roasted Tomato Sauce and Edamame

When I first envisioned this post, I had an image in my head of a sexy pasta dish with photo appeal worthy of Bon Appetit or the like.  What I ended up with looks like it would be more at home on the cover of a Dr. Seuss book, but...

I thought this pasta tasted great
As I ate it off my plate.
Red and green and twisty too,
I enjoyed it, so will you!  

Fuselli with Slow-Roasted Tomato Sauce and Edamame

10 Roma tomatoes, quartered lengthwise
Olive oil
Sea salt
1/8 cup red wine (optional)
1/4 tsp. fresh-cracked black pepper
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
8 oz. (half box) fuselli pasta
3/4 cup edamame, pre-cooked
1/2 cup fresh basil

Rinse and dry your tomatoes before quartering.

Cover a cookie sheet with foil and place the tomato quarters on it in a single layer.

Drizzle the quarters with olive oil and roast at 300 degrees for 30 minutes. 

After those 30 minutes, sprinkle with sea salt and continue to roast for an additional 45-60 minutes.

Once done, place the roasted tomatoes in a blender or food processor with the red wine, black pepper, and garlic powder.  Blend until smooth.

In a large pot, prepare fuselli according to box directions.  Drain and rinse with hot water.

Place the cooked fuselli back in the pot.  Add in the tomato sauce, edamame, and fresh basil.  Mix together well.

Cook dish over low until heated through.

Sprinkle with your favorite parmesan and enjoy.


The longer you cook the tomatoes, and more shriveled they become, the more intense the flavor will be.

The first time I had slow-roasted tomatoes, they were served on crackers with spreadable cheese, like brie or goat cheese.  They are a great ingredient for creative appetizers.