Tag Archives: apples

Relish the moment, not the pickles

11 May

Relish is a condiment. Duh. But relish does not need to be a bright green, sort of sweet, sort of tangy, mushy mess from a jar. Relish can be a revelation.

I like to make relishes when I want to bring a different flare to a simple meal without a lot of hassle. You can make a relish that’s inspired by India, Spain, the Caribbean etc. and wind up with a fantastic outcome.

Last night’s dinner had a German flare. I wanted to have that classic sweet and sour combo stand out without making a huge heavy meal. So, I made an Apple Bacon Relish for over pork chops.

Apple Bacon Relish

1 golden apple, small dice
1/3 cup rendered bacon
1 cup white wine
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
1 tablespoon bacon fat
salt and pepper to taste

Heat a sauté pan and add in the bacon fat. Add the apples and cook for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and caraway seeds and cook for another 2 or 3 minutes. Add in the wine and reduce by half. Add in the bacon and season to taste. Serve over pork.

This is a new fun way of transforming that same old dinner into something exciting. Remember that a relish is usually cut small and doesn’t use dried fruits. If you did that, you’d be making a chutney. So, I guess you could say that relishes and chutneys are cousins. Just another culinary relationship 🙂

Always thinking of the next meal


If an apple a day keeps the doctor away, what does a bushel a day keep away?

21 Sep

IMG_0844This past weekend my family was in town for my cousin’s wedding. The following day we were all looking for a fun outdoor activity to do together. We took some suggestions from everyone but the winning suggestion was the surprising one from my dad. We decided to go to the Linvilla Orchards and pick some apples.

This thought was originally a good one. I mean who doesn’t love running up and down the sweet smelling aisles looking for the biggest and best apples. The bonus was the bluegrass and craft festival, and being a festival junkie, I couldn’t resist. Like I said, this was a good idea. My folks were leaving for Orlando later in the afternoon and my brother and his girlfriend were  both heading home as well. This left me and my husband with a LOT of apples. Don’t get me wrong I love apples, but the picture to the left is what we had minus 9 that were baked into pies.

So now the question is no long what should we do, but what should we do with all these apples? Since we picked golden delicious, jonagold, and courtlands, we knew that we wanted to makes pie. These varieties hold up well to the heat of the oven. They cook down slightly, making them soft to eat, but they also retain their shape so you can see the big chunks of apple in your pie. So I made 2 apple pies this afternoon with streusel topping (recipe below) and my hubby has requested apple sauce.

Still I think that there are about 100 things or more that you can do with apples. Apple butter is one of my favorites, and although I’ve never made it before, I like a good challenge. I’ve also been thinking about apple slaw, roasted apple vinaigrette, and an apple cranberry chutney. But before I get too ahead of myself, here’s the apple pie recipe:

Homemade apple pie:IMG_0845

For the filling:
8-10 large apples, peeled and sliced to 1/4 inch thickness
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 cup apple cider
3 tablespoons cornstarch

Put the apples in a large pot with the sugars and cinnamon. Cook just until the fruit starts to soften. Add in 1/2 of the apple cider and continue to cook on medium heat. Take the other half of the cider and wisk it in with the cornstarch in a separate bowl. Slowly add it to the cooking apples and allow to simmer. Watch the thickness of the syrup. If it looks too thin add more slurry, if it looks too thick add more cider. The liquid will thicken more during the baking process.

For the crust:

I used the crust recipe from an earlier post about pie

The strusel topping was unmeasured. I just combined flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and butter until the mixture looked like cornmeal and sprinkled it on top of the pie before baking.

Bake at 350 for 1 hour and let cool completely before serving

Apples are one of the fantastic ingredients that lend themselves to be sweet an savory. They pair beautifully with bacon, sausage, chicken and many cheeses and well as the obvious sweet treatments. I saw a recipe on epicurious earlier today that was kielbasa with shaved apples and onions. It sounds to me like a great fall dinner! I’m sure I’ll be posting about the rest of my apple adventures during the remainder of the week so keep checking back!

Always thinking of the next meal