4 Granny Smith apples—peeled, cored, quartered and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch of kosher salt
3 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease the bottom and side of an 8-inch springform pan.
In a large bowl, toss the apples with the lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of the sugar and let stand for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk the flour with the cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the eggs with the almond extract and the remaining 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar at medium-high speed until thick and pale yellow and a ribbon forms when the beaters are lifted, 8 to 10 minutes. Gently fold in the dry ingredients just until incorporated.
Spread the apples in the prepared pan in an even layer, then pour the batter evenly over them. Let stand for 5 minutes to allow the batter to sink in a little.
Bake the sharlotka for about 1 hour, until it is golden and crisp on top and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer to a rack and let rest for 15 minutes. Unmold and transfer to a serving platter. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve warm.
Peel the apples and slice them thinly. Put them in a rather shallow 1-quart casserole and sprinkle them with the water. Put them aside while you prepare the crust.
Sift together the dry ingredients and cut in the butter until all is well combined. Sprinkle this mixture thickly and evenly over the apples. Don’t mix the two together.
Cover the casserole and bake at 350 degrees for 1/2 hour, then uncover and bake another 1/2 hour. The crust will be crisp on top, and will have partly seeped down through the apples,
flavoring them and binding them slightly together.
2 long Chinese eggplants, cut on an angle into large bite-sized pieces
1 large potato (about 8 ounces), peeled and cut on an angle into large bite-sized pieces
½ red bell pepper, cut into large bite-sized pieces
½ orange bell pepper, cut into large bite-sized pieces
4 tablespoons oil
1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
½ teaspoon sugar
¼ teaspoon white pepper
½ teaspoon sesame oil
Salt, to taste
First let’s prepare the following: smash and peel the garlic, chop the scallions, and mix the cornstarch with the water in a small bowl. Set everything aside.
Then wash and wipe all the vegetables dry using a clean kitchen towel (this is key!) before cutting them into large bite-sized pieces. Don’t let the cut potato and eggplant sit for too long before cooking, because they will oxidize and become discolored.
Now we’re ready to cook. Heat the oil in your wok over medium heat. Add the potato, and brown lightly for about 8 minutes until cooked through. Stir occasionally to avoid burning them.
⅛ cup caramel sauce (I use caramel ice cream topping)
In a large mixing bowl, measure flour, sugar and cinnamon and stir to combine. Set aside.
In medium sauce pan combine butter, water, and shorting. Bring to a boil. After mixture reaches a boil add it to the flour mixture and stir to combine. Add buttermilk, then baking soda, then eggs, then vanilla in that order, mixing in between each addition. Stir in apples.
Pour into a 15×13 inch greased jelly roll pan.
Bake at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes. Let cool for about 10-15 minutes.
While cake is cooling, make frosting by combining butter, and milk in a medium mixing bowl. Microwave until butter is melted. Add powdered sugar, vanilla, and caramel sauce and stir until smooth. Pour frosting evenly over cooled cake.
While the pasta is cooking, prepare the dressing. In a food processor or blender (I used my small Twister jar on the Blendtec) combine the oil (the vegetable oil yields a richer and in my opinion better taste, but the olive oil is healthier and still tastes great), apple cider vinegar, white wine vinegar, sugar, (adjust — more or less to personal preference, we like a less sweet dressing and use about 2 tablespoons) paprika, and onion powder. Pulse or blend for about 10 seconds. Stir in the poppyseeds.
Drain the pasta once it’s cooked through and immediately toss a few tablespoons of the dressing with the pasta. This helps the pasta soak in the dressing and the flavor.
Chill the dressed pasta in the fridge.
Meanwhile, combine the (washed and de-stemmed) spinach with the chopped celery in a large bowl. Add in the cranberries and a can of drained mandarine oranges.
If desired peel the apple (We like to leave on the peel!) and then slice into thin slices. Toss with lemon juice and then add to the salad.
Pour dressing over the salad and toss. Add in the completely cooled pasta and toss with the rest of the salad.
If you want to toast the pecans, place them in a single layer in a dry saucepan (don’t add anything) over medium heat. Stir constantly until the nuts are barely fragrant — just a couple of minutes. Watch carefully as the nuts are VERY easily scorched/burned.
Alternatively, you can candy the pecans if desired. Check the link in the last paragraph of the blog text for how to candy pecans.
Top the salad with the pecans and feta cheese.
Enjoy immediately. Serves: 6-8 as a side
This salad (like most) aren’t very great leftover. If you aren’t eating this immediately, keep the ingredients separate from the dressing and only toss with the dressing right before eating. Top with pecans and feta after dressing the salad.
6 slices of thick-cut applewood-smoked bacon (OMIT)
1/2 cup hazelnuts
1 tablespoon hazelnut or canola oil
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
1/4 cup minced shallots
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Light green leaves from 2 small heads of Bibb lettuce
1/2 cup Concord grapes, halved and seeded
4 ounces Gorgonzola dolce, crumbled
Snipped chives, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 325°. On a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet, bake the bacon for about 17 minutes, turning once, until browned but still chewy. Transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain, then cut into 1-inch pieces. Leave the oven on.
Meanwhile, spread the hazelnuts in a pie plate and bake for about 12 minutes, until lightly browned and the skins start to crack. Transfer the hazelnuts to a clean kitchen towel and rub them together to remove the skins; let cool. Coarsely chop the hazelnuts and transfer to a small bowl. Stir in the hazelnut oil and season with salt and pepper.
In a medium bowl, whisk the sherry vinegar with the minced shallots, lemon juice and sugar. Gradually whisk in the olive oil until incorporated. Season the shallot vinaigrette with salt and pepper.
In a large bowl, toss the lettuce leaves with 1/4 cup of the shallot vinaigrette and season lightly with salt and pepper. On a serving platter or plates, layer the lettuce leaves with the bacon pieces, chopped hazelnuts, Concord grapes and Gorgonzola dolce. Garnish with snipped chives and serve, passing the remaining shallot vinaigrette at the table.
5 cups curly kale and mustard green leaves, torn into small pieces
2 scallions,trimmed and thinly sliced on the bias
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon brown rice vinegar
Sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper
1 tart apple
1/4 cup hazelnuts, chopped and toasted
1/4 cup pecorino romano or parmesan, shaved with a vegetable peeler
In a large bowl, combine the kale, mustard greens, scallions, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Mix with your hands to really blend the dressing and rub it into the greens. Let the salad sit while you prepare the rest.
Core the apple. I like to do this with a melon baller. Thinly — like, super thinly — slice the two halves from stem to flower end. If you have a mandoline, that’s the easiest way to go. Add the apples to the salad and gently fold together so they don’t break in half. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Spread the salad on a platter. Sprinkle with the hazelnuts and cheese shavings.