4 chicken thighs
salt and pepper
1 1/2 cups apple cider
1 apple, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes (I used a Greening)
1 shallot, diced
1 tsp sage
1 TBSP balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted
Warm cider over medium heat in skillet. Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper. Braise chicken in covered skillet for 25 minutes, turning halfway through. Remove chicken and cover to keep warm.
Add apple, shallot and sage to same skillet. Simmer uncovered 10 minutes until nearly all liquid is reduced. Add balsamic vinegar and simmer one minute more. Serve over chicken sprinkled with toasted pecans.
Notes: It was a bit more balsamic tasting than I had planned, so I'd pull that back next time or add it earlier. Overall, though, I really liked how this came out. And I got use up another apple from the orchard trip. Only 20 or so to go!
Pastry Cups with Blue Cheese and Apples
1 package Athens pastry cups
2 oz. cream cheese
2 oz. blue cheese
1 green apple, diced
walnuts, roughly chopped and toasted
Blend cream cheese and blue cheese with electric mixer until whipped and smooth. Place one dallop in bottom of pastry cup and cover with apple and sprinkle with walnuts.
Cinnamon Apple Chips (adapted from a recipe in Gourmet, August 2001)
3 TBSP confectioners sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 medium Green apple
Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Line baking sheet with baking pad or parchment. Sift together sugar and cinnamon twice to evenly incorporate. Sift half of cinnamon/sugar onto baking sheet. Cut apple crosswise into very thin round slices, about 1/16th of an inch. Arrange slices nearly touching each other and evenly sift remaining cinnamon/sugar over slices. Bake in middle of oven until golden and beginning to crisp, about 1 1/2 hours. Cool on rack.
Notes: This was an experiment for Bear's birthday party. They were supposed to go with the sauteed apples (see below). But the didn't turn out as crisp as they were supposed to and so it all got eaten separately. The chips were just good by themselves (there were none left) and the sauteed apples made a good topping for icecream. I'm not sure why these weren't as "chippy" as I wanted -- it's been suggested that when I try them again, I use a higher temperature. At least I got to play with the mandoline.
from Bon Appetit, September 2005
3 TBSP butter
4 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 TBSP golden brown sugar
1 TBSP honey
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp grated orange peel
Cook butter in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until beginning to brown. Add apples and saute until tender, about 9 minutes. Add all remaining ingredients, stir to blend. Cool. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and chill.)
2 small Cornish hens, about 1 pound each
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 garlic cloves
1 TBSP tarragon
3 TBSP olive oil
1/2 TBSP rosemary leaves
1/4 cup white wine (or vermouth)
1 1/2 TBSP maple syrup
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
1/2 TBSP chopped sage leaves
1/2 TBSP thyme leaves
1. Pat the birds dry and season them inside and out with salt and pepper. Cut the lemon into quarters and squeeze the juice from 1/2. Place 1 lemon quarter inside each bird along with 1 garlic clove and 1/2 TBSP tarragon. Truss the birds and place in a dish or on a platter.
2. Mix 2 TBSP oil with the lemon juice and the rosemary and pour over the hens, turning so they are well-coated. Season them with salt and pepper and leave to marinate at room temperature for 20 minutes.
3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Pour the remaining TBSP of oil into a roasting pan and add the birds, breast side up, along with the marinade. Roast, basting them every 10 minutes with the pan juices, for 35 to 45 minutes, or until golden and the thigh pieces run clear when pierced; the temperature of the thigh should register 165 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer.
4. Transfer the birds to a warmed platter, breast side down and keep warm, loosely covered with aluminum foil. Discard the fat from the roasting pan, set pan over medium-high heat, add the white wine/vermouth and bring to a boil, deglazing the pan by scraping up the browned bits from the bottom. Boil to reduce the wine by half, add the maple syrup, mustard and any juices from the birds and continue to boil until syrupy. Taste the glaze, adding a little more lemon juice and/or maple syrup if necessary. Remove from the heat and add the herbs.
5. Place the birds, either whole or cut in half, on dinner plates, and brush with the glaze.
Notes: OMG good. That is all.
This year made...
.... Lamb Pitas
.... Grilled Pork with Pineapple Salsa
.... Steak with Spicy Cilantro Sauce
(note to self: there is no blender available in a gaslit location)
.... Boursin and Fennel Seed Risotto
.... Special Fried Chicken