Monday, August 26, 2013

Food for Thought

Tuesday evening I played with my favorite autumn side dish: apples 'n onions.  I decided to ignore the entire way I'd been taught to make them and instead work with the ingredients as I would with the skills I have now.

Here's the result:
Caramelized Apples 'n Onions:

1 large Videlia onion, French cut
3 medium to large apples, cored and French cut (I used Kikos)
6 Tbls. butter, divided into 1 Tbls. chunks
a good pinch of Kosher salt (to taste)
3 dashes of cinnamon (to taste)
2 dashes of cardamom (to taste)
3 c. apple juice (you will need enough liquid to cover the apples in your skillet)
1 Tbls. dark brown sugar

- Melt 2 Tbls. butter in a large skillet and saute onions until a few of them begin to brown.

- Add 2 Tbls. butter and the apples and cook until a few apples start to brown.

- Sprinkle cinnamon, cardamom, and salt over the apples and onions and pour enough apple juice over them to just cover the piece.  Raise burner heat to high and bring the juice to a boil.  Cover and simmer over low heat until apples are cooked through.

- Either use a slotted spoon and remove the apples and onions from the liquid or use a strainer to separate solids from liquid, returning the liquid to the pan.

- Reduce the liquid until only 1/3 volume remains, stirring in the dark brown sugar.  Remove from heat and stir in the last 2 Tbls. butter to finish the sauce.  Pour sauce over apples 'n onions.  Enjoy!

Sometimes it's worth revisiting old recipes and recreating them using new skills and knowledge.

On Wednesday and Friday I took the apples 'n onions a step further.

I started with store bought pizza crusts... I didn't have the time nor inclination to mess with making my own.  Then I made a béchamel sauce and threw in some mozzarella cheese to make it lovely and gooey, a bit of dried chili flake for a kick, and a bit of salt.

Once the sauce was in place I added some apple and onion slices, carefully removed from their caramel sauce.  Then I added some of the smoked pork butt roast from Sunday's dinner.  I topped it off with a 12-year aged white cheddar cheese.

Wednesday's results showed us the idea was good, but it needed more coverage from the toppings.  For Friday's pizza, FH suggested that I cut the pork finer to give better coverage and spread the flavor around more.  We didn't skimp on the cheddar cheese on Friday either.

That's all for this week.  My store-bought pastry treat on Friday didn't agree with me.  To be blunt, I've been recovering from a suspected case of food poisoning all weekend.  Luckily, FH didn't share my treat and was spared being ill.  I think next time I'll just make my own dessert too.

See you next week!

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