Vegetables for Feasting at Grandma's House
Happy Holidays, Produce Porters and Culinary Curators alike!
Though the weather does not quite reflect that it is so, the holiday season is upon us. It is time for bundling up against bitter winds, venturing out to gather with loved ones, and spending relaxed hours indoors baking together, getting cozy. It is time for the artistry of comfy, for creating the smells and tastes of that which warms us and brings us close together. This season is about the art of nurturing and for it, we all give thanks.
We all give thanks for delicious food: for roast vegetables, and heaping plates of mashed potatoes, for hot soups, and most importantly, for pies. Lately, all my friends have been going nuts for these rosette apple pies, which look gorgeous and impressive and will knock the socks off Grandma when you bring it to her house. And when we make things pretty, the people who enjoy them feel loved, which is what this is all about (that, and feeling smug maybe). This rosette pie my friend Jess made with a bourbon glaze definitely left her feeling smug. The bourbon helped too. Try it out:
Rose Apple Pie with Bourbon Glaze, courtesy A Cozy Kitchen
1 lemon 7-8 apples (weighing: 1 1/2 pounds ), cored and quartered
1/4 cup light brown sugar
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cubed
2 tablespoons bourbon
1 tablespoon water
9-inch tart shell or 9-inch pie pan
Squeeze the lemon into a medium bowl. Using a mandolin (set on the second setting), slice each quartered apple into 1/8-inch slivers. As the apples are sliced, transfer them to the bowl and toss them in the lemon juice; this will prevent them from browning. (Reserve one quarter of an apple for the center - we're going to slice that later). Repeat until all the apples are sliced and in the bowl. To the bowl, add the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Toss until evenly coated.
Roll out your pie crust and place it in a 9-inch pie pan or 9-inch tart shell. (I chose the latter.) Arrange the apple slices side-by-side, starting closest to the edge of the tart shell. For the second layer, arrange the slices, overlapping them in concentric circles. As you get to the center, you'll need apple slivers that are very thin. Slice the reserved quarter of an apple very thinly (on the mandolin's first setting) and arrange it until the gap in the center is completely closed.
Transfer the pie to the freezer and freeze until firm, about 1 hour. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Brush the edges of the crust with egg wash and place in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, checking on it at the 20-minute-mark to make sure all is ok, until the apples are lightly golden brown and the edges of the crust are browned. Allow to come to room temperature on a cooling rack.
Meanwhile, let's make the bourbon glaze. In a heavy-bottomed medium, placed over moderately high heat, pour in the sugar. Cook until the sugar begins to melt and turns a light golden brown around the edges. Using a silicon spatula, begin to stir until the sugar melts completely and turns a lightly golden brown. Cook for an additional 30 seconds or so until the sugar turns a golden brown color. Immediately take the pan off the heat and stir in the butter. Once the butter has melted, pour in the bourbon and water. The mixture will bubble up, not to worry - this is normal, just keep stirring until smooth. If the mixture seizes, place the mixture over very low heat and keep stirring until it becomes smooth. The mixture should be thin.
Brush the apples liberally with the warm glaze. Serve. Feel smug.
We hope you've enjoyed the season and would love to hear from you about your experience and how we might improve in the future.
The vegetarians among us aren't particularly fond of the traditional Thanksgiving turkey or the wild and bizarre Turducken
for that matter, and Tofurkey is awful. Luckily, there's the Squaleeto for these folks to give thanks with. Inspired by the disturbing Turducken trend, the Squaleeto embraces the humble winter squash, the delicate leek, and the hardworking sweet potato to subvert the meat-eaters paradigm and show gratitude with the flavor of fruit.
6 cloves garlic
1 large yellow onion, roughly chopped
3 red bell pepper, stems and seeds removed, roughly chopped
1/2 cup olive oil
2 cups fresh flat-leaf parsley, loosely packed
1 cup fresh sage, loosely packed
2 tablespoons fresh thyme
4 cups breadcrumbs
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and ends cut off
3 medium leeks, rinsed and halved lengthwise
1 butternut squash or similar
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Bake sweet potatoes until softened. Meanwhile, finely chop garlic, onions, and bell peppers together. Saute in 1/4 c. olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Finely chop parsley, sage and thyme together. In a large bowl, combine with the breadcrumbs, broth, onion mixture, salt, black pepper and remaining olive oil.
Trim the ends from the squash, and then slice in half lengthwise. Scoop out seeds and any loose fibers using a large metal spoon. Make a stable bottom by slicing about 1/2 inch from one of the halves.
Press about 2 cups of the onion stuffing into the cavity of the bottom squash, making a hollow space in the center.
Line the hollow with 3 leek halves, cut-side up, pressing firmly into the stuffing. Cover the leeks with a thin layer of stuffing, pressing to create a hollow for the sweet potatoes. Lay the sweet potatoes into the hollow and cover with a thin layer of stuffing. Arrange the remaining leeks, cut-side down, over the stuffing. Cover the leeks with another layer of stuffing, pressing into a mound about the size to fit into the remaining squash cavity.
Cover the stuffing with the remaining squash half, pressing firmly to set in place. Transfer to a baking sheet and bake for about 1 hour, covering loosely with foil if it browns too quickly. It's done when a wooden skewer slides easily into the center. Let sit for 10 minutes before transferring to a cutting board. Cut into 1 1/2-inch-thick slices. Cut each slice in half into a semicircle and serve.
When you find yourself on the other side of Thanksgiving, having exhausted yourself with all your buying nothing on Buy Nothing Day and all that traveling via horse-drawn sleigh, make use of the red cabbage in your share with our Stuffed Cabbage Soup. It will melt your nose and toes after all that stinging and biting they suffered from the merciless blowing wind.
"Stuffed" Cabbage Soup
In a stockpot, saute celery, carrots, onion, and garlic in olive oil until onions are softened - about 5 minutes. Add cabbage, bay leaf, and stock. Simmer until tender. Add tomatoes and beef. Simmer ten more minutes. Serve. Feel your toes and nose melt.
- 1 medium head cabbage, chopped
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1 cup chopped carrots
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1-1/2 tsp. olive oil
- 2 quarts beef stock
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 teaspoons pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- 1-1/2 pounds ground beef or stew beef, browned and drained
- 2 cans tomato sauce, or diced stewed tomatoes or fresh tomatoes
Don't forget - there's still time to sign up for our December Holiday Share! These come in Family Share size only to make sure you've got all the supplies you need for your traditional holiday side-dishes: things like potatoes, sweet potatoes, winter squash, Brussels sprouts, and value-added items like apple butter. They'll be available on limited days and locations, so be sure to find what works best for you!
Join us on Instagram and Twitter to show the City Fresh community the meals you'll be employing to give thanks!
Peace and veggies,
Anna Kiss Mauser-Martinez