Apples, our local apples, are superb in everything from apple cake to zesty apple chutney. In the last issue, sweet apple recipes were the focus. This issue, savory dishes emphasize the versatility of apples.
Apple and Cheese French Toastwiches
Apples and cheese are a combination made in heaven. This recipe is no exception and wonderful served for a quick lunch or supper with a green salad and apple ginger chutney.
8 slices day old sourdough, French or Italian bread
8 slices old cheddar cheese, or four cheese and four ham
2 apples (McIntosh or empire), cored and thinly sliced
3/4 cup (175 mL) milk
2 tbsp (25 mL) butter
Condiment: maple syrup or apple ginger chutney
Place four slices of bread on work surface and top each with one slice of cheese. Place even layer of apples on cheese, then top with second cheese slice or ham. Cover with remaining slices of bread to make four sandwiches.
In medium bowl, whisk together eggs and milk until smooth. Pour into shallow dish large enough to hold one sandwich.
In large non-stick skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Dip sandwich into egg mixture on both sides, turning to soak lightly. Cook sandwiches until golden brown on both sides, about two to three minutes per side. Cut in half and serve with apple ginger chutney or maple syrup.
Apple Ginger Chutney
You can make this chutney any time of the year. It is a tasty accompaniment to pork, egg and cheese dishes. As an appetizer, it is wonderful served with cream cheese or goat cheese on a cracker.
3 – 4 apples (3 cups/750 mL) peeled, cored and chopped
2 cups (500 mL) onions, peeled and chopped
2 cups (500 mL) brown sugar
1 ½ cups (375 mL) cider vinegar
1 cup (250 mL) raisins, washed and drained
1/4 cup (50 mL) ginger root, peeled and finely chopped
1 tsp (5 ml) dry mustard
1 tsp (5 mL) salt
In a large stainless steel saucepan, combine apples, onions, brown sugar, vinegar, raisins, ginger root, mustard, and salt. Bring to boil; reduce heat to a gentle boil and continue cooking uncovered about 40 minutes or until thickened, stirring constantly.
Meanwhile, sterilize seven one-cup (250 mL) mason jars and while still hot, ladle chutney into jars, leaving a half-inch (1 cm) space at the top. Remove any air bubbles by sliding a rubber spatula between glass and chutney. Readjust headspace to ½ inch (1 cm); wipe rim free of any stickiness.
Centre snap lid on jar; apply crew band just until fingertip tight. Place jar in canner. Repeat with remaining chutney to fill jars. Make sure boiling water covers jars at least 1 inch over tops. Cover canner; return water to a boil. Boil for 10 minutes. Using tongs, remove jars to a cooling rack; cool 24 hours. Check for seal (centre of jar should be down). Wipe jars, label and store in a cool, dark place.
If you prefer, apple ginger chutney may be stored in jars in the refrigerator for up to two months without processing in a boiling water bath.
Mushroom, Leek and Potato Frittata
A frittata is an Italian open-faced omelet, usually done in a heavy cast iron pan then finished off in the oven. For simplicity, this version is baked in a round pie plate or straight-sided quiche pan. Although this recipe calls for potatoes, it is a great way to empty your refrigerator of bits and pieces such as peppers, potatoes, cooked rice, onions, leeks, broccoli, cauliflower, olives, artichokes, or even a crust of bread! Here is the base recipe, which can be adapted to your leftovers.
2 tbsp (25 mL) vegetable oil
1 leek, finely sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups (500 mL) fresh sliced mushrooms
1/2 red pepper, diced
1 ½ cups (375 mL) grated old cheddar cheese, divided
6 eggs, beaten
1 cup (250 mL) cooked, chopped potato or cooked rice
1 cup (250 mL) diced cooked smoked ham, sausage or cooked chicken or turkey (optional)
1/2 tsp (2 mL) each, thyme and herbes de Provence
1/4 tsp (1 mL) fresh black pepper
Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Spray a nine-inch (23 cm) pie plate with baking spray; set aside. In large skillet, heat oil over medium high; cook leeks, garlic, mushrooms and red pepper, covered, about five minutes or until softened. In a separate bowl, whisk together one cup (250 mL) cheese, eggs, potatoes, meat (if using), thyme, herbes de Provence, pepper and salt. Stir in cooked vegetables; combine well and pour into prepared pan. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake 35 to 40 minutes.
Serve hot or at room temperature, cut into wedges, and serve with apple-ginger chutney. Serves four.
Jan Main is an author, cooking instructor and caterer ~ firstname.lastname@example.org