Apples in Autumn

Ahhhhh….what a fabulous time of year? I love waking up with the fresh, crisp clean air raging through our house. We may have put the heat on once last week, post the 90 degree days, but have once again turned it off to be able to feel the change in the air. Fall reminds me of so many memories in life. Changing out my wardrobe, pulling out the cute boots, comfy sweaters, fall cook books, visits to pumpkin patches & apple orchards and replenishing heartwarming spices in my pantry. However, one major thing that reminds me of fall in Michigan are APPLES. There are so many different kinds of apples and so many ways to use them…Honey Crisp, (my favorite) McIntosh, Fuji, Green, Red Delicious, Jonagold, Cameo…and the list goes on.

Sietsema Orchard & Cider Mill
Sietsema Orchard & Cider Mill

The fruit has been evolving for centuries: “Modern” apples have been cultivated  for qualities such as shape, taste, and high production yield, but also for their resistance to pests and disease. In 1892, there were about 735 different  varieties; now fewer than 50 are mass-grown. Read More http://www.epicurious.com/articlesguides/seasonalcooking/farmtotable/visualguideapples#ixzz2f3eMloLd

Apple Activity

Below are just a handful of ideas on how to incorporate your “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” dose of the delicious apple.

  • Apple Crisp
  • Apple Sauce
  • Apple Cider
  • Apple Orchards
  • Apple Pie
  • Roasted Chicken with Apples
  • Pork Loin Stuffed with Apples
  • Carmelized Apples

Pork & Apple Pot Stickers

  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup scallions, green and white parts, sliced 1/8″ thick
  • 1 cup Gala apple, small diced
  • 1/4 cup apple chutney
  • Kosher salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 egg
  • 1 package round dumpling wrappers
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil

To make the filling, fill a large bowl with ice. Set a medium bowl into the icefilled bowl. In the smaller bowl combine the pork and soy sauce and mix. Fold in the scallions and chutney and season with salt and pepper.

To form the pot stickers, in a small bowl mix the egg with 2 tablespoons of water. Lay 5 wrappers on a work surface. Place 1/2 tablespoon of the filling in the center of each wrapper. Avoid getting any filling on the edges of the wrapper, which would prevent them from sealing properly. With a finger or pastry brush, paint the circumference of the wrappers with the egg mixture. Fold each wrapper in half to form a half-moon shape. Seal by pressing between the fingers and, starting at the center, make 3 pleats, working toward the bottom-right corner. Repeat, working toward the bottom-left corner. Press the folded edges of the dumplings gently on the work surface to flatten the bottoms and help them stand.

Heat a large, nonstick lidded sauté pan over high heat. Add the oil and swirl to coat the pan. When the oil is hot, add the pot stickers, flattened bottoms down, in batches of two or three rows of five, and cook without disturbing until brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Add about 1/2 cup of water and immediately cover the pan to avoid splattering. Lift the cover and make sure about 1/8 inch of water remains in the pan; add a little more if not. Steam until the pot stickers are puffy yet firm and the water has evaporated, 8 to 10 minutes. If the water evaporates before the pot stickers are done, add more in 1/4-cup increments. If the pot stickers seem done, but water remains in the pan, drain it and return the pan to the stovetop to evaporate any remaining liquid.

Continue to cook over high heat to allow the pot stickers to recrisp on the bottom, 2 to 3 minutes. Be careful not to burn them. Transfer the pot stickers to a platter and serve with the dipping sauce in individual small ramekins.

pork-potstickers

Delicious Dipper

  • 2 tablespoons traditional spicy sambal or store bought sambal
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/2 cup LS soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil

Mix all ingredients together in small bowl.

I highly recommend going to an Asian market for certain ingredients, such as sambal and round dumplings. You will find them less expensive than a massive retailer and you will more than likely find what you are looking for. Obviously it is their culture, so their stores are stocked with amazing, fun products at a good price. It is also fun to bring the kids, to show them that outside the World Food aisle of local retailers there are actual stores dedicated to ones lifestyle. It is a cultural eye opener.

Please enjoy this recipe. It will probably be outside your comfort zone, but I am always up for providing a good challenge for my fellow readers. If you take on this delicious recipe challenge, let me know how it goes.

You can also find another recipe at my blog, www.create-eats.com. I wrote one based on some other goodies you have in your bins this week, so get cookin’!

Chow.

Erin

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