Making this applesauce from the October 2017 issue of Bon Appetit was so simple and yet so richly gratifying, as well as quite marvelicious to the taste! You may read Carla Lalli Music's delightful prose here but I've included the basics below.
Pull a few ripe apples from the nearest tree or even purchase a few from your local market. I scored four of the SweeTango variety. Halve them and put in a pot with one cinnamon stick, about two tablespoons fresh lemon juice, and one teaspoon vanilla extract over medium-low heat. Add a 1/4 cup of water, cover, and occupy yourself elsewhere. You'll know it's time to peek in on your pommes when they make their aromatic presence known. If nothing appears to be sticking in your pot, give it a stir anyway, re-cover and let the bubbling merriment continue on for about 45 minutes. Push the goods through a food mill to trap the seeds, stems, and possibly the coded sticker grocer labels (surely there's a more scientific term!).
I swear you'll experience a satisfaction equal to that of having collected an armful of nature's precious bounty from a shining orchard--without hardly having to lift a finger.
Jonathan of Maple Holistics kindly stopped by Evenings with Peter to give us the skinny on eating Italian the healthy way.
He writes: So many kitchens, so little time…
nevertheless, one cuisine which I keep coming back to in any kitchen - mainly
because I make a serious attempt to! - is Italian cuisine. Italy has it all -
history, culture, and fine dining. These guys know how to treat food and drink
with respect, and so it is one country which has always held a special place in
my heart. Did I say heart? I meant stomach.
Italy has some starters, entrées,
and desserts which are to die for. But the boot-shaped kitchen is not only
succulent and delicious, it can also be healthy. Not all Italian dishes are
healthy ones, of course. That goes without saying. There are guilty pleasures
and guiltless recipes in every kind of kitchen. So, without further ado, here
is our list of the top health benefits of eating Italian. Salute!
1.Extra Virgin Olive Oil - this one comes
first, because it exists in many dishes. I have read it is more prevalent in
southern dishes, but I can’t really tell the difference yet. Olive oil is
abundant in oleic acid (Omega-9 fatty acid) and has some Omega-3 and Omega-6.
Vitamin K and E are also part of its makeup, and it is no wonder it is
considered one of the healthiest oils in the world. And the taste is finger-licking
Remember - you don’t want to have everything dripping with oil. There is such a thing as getting too much of a
good ingredient. The basis of any healthy diet, regardless of the region or
individual, is proportionate use of ingredients. Keep everything in moderation,
and you will be on your way to health and happiness.
If olive oil is not your thing, for whatever reason, culinary argan oil is a great
substitute. Not in all dishes, though. It is literally a matter of taste. Give
it a shot, and see if it agrees with you.
2.Salted Beef - not your run-of-the-mill
beef, mind you, but rather the air-dried bresaola. When sliced nice and thin,
and served with some leafy greens like arugula, it can make your mouth dance
and sing with delight. While it is true that meat is not the healthiest of
ingredients, this particular Italian dish is usually lean and sweet. It has
significantly lesser amounts of fat and carbs, and is high in protein. Try it
with a glass of semi-dry red.
3.Pappa Al Pomodoro - sure, some Italian
soups may cause your arteries to clog, but others can seriously provide your
system with a hearty boost! This one soup stands out as one of the healthier
options, but there are others. Traditionally prepared using fresh tomatoes,
bread, garlic, and basil, Pappa Al Pomodoro is a rich, thick soup which the
whole family can enjoy. As an added bonus, this specific soup can be served at
any temperature - hot, chilled, or room temp - and still taste great. Not
unlike the French, the Italians love fresh garlic, and they use it in a variety
of dishes, though not in excess.
4.Rabbit - while this isn’t a personal
favorite of mine, it is an ingredient which has the potential to be very
healthy. It is all about how you prepare it, and what sides you add to it.
Rabbit is leaner and lower in bad cholesterol than other popular meats, which
is why the Italian people love to roast it, braise it, grill it, and fry it.
Served with a green salad and a glass of light wine - so as not to diminish the
rabbit’s flavor - it can make for one amazing lunch or supper.
5.Pasta - okay, this one is a given. You
gotta have pasta on this list, right? But pasta has gotten something of a bad
rap in the eyes of some. But honestly, it has some really great benefits to it.
It all depends on the type of pasta, and method of preparation. It can be very healthy, if you substitute
the wheat for sweet potato or cornmeal varieties of gnocchi, for instance. Do that,
and you open yourself up to healthier possibilities. Served with spinach or
asparagus, and with a fresh pesto made with basil and almonds to boot, it
can take your dish to a whole other level. You don’t always need the obvious
meat and cheese combo, you know! Sometimes, less really is more.
6.Jam - finally, something for the sweet
lovers out there. Jams are known to be quite high in sugar, but traditional
mulberry jam requires less sugar to make, effectively making it a healthier
option than most. Does it mean it is a health food? Nope, but it is a different
and probably better way to go. Mulberries - when
fresh and raw - contain nice amounts of iron and vitamin C, and lesser amounts
of other vitamins and trace minerals of all kinds.
Italian for dinner? Yessir. Most definitely. It may not be the first cuisine
which pops into mind but healthy Italian dishes do exist. With the right
mixture of ingredients - meats, spices, veggies, and wine - it can become a
delicious part of a balanced diet. The health benefits of eating Italian are
there for the taking, and there are plenty of them out there.
In which I humbly submit a few more reasons to like cheese, courtesy of jenreviews.com! Click here to read the full article and make sure to scroll down for fabulous recipes full of cheesey goodness such as Parmesan Kale Grilled Cheese and Spaghetti Squash with Bacon, Spinach and Goat Cheese. When it comes to pizza, you're on your own--but we suggest starting with extra cheese, of course.
The story goes that one day the legendary Diana Vreeland, fashion editor of Harper's Bazaar for years and editor-in-chief of Vogue, asked a stewardess on her flight for Apple Brown Betty. The horrified stewardess politely replied, "Oh! I'm afraid that we do not have Apple Brown Betty, Ms. Vreeland." Vreeland then threw up her red-lacquered nails, triumphantly exclaimed, "Fake it!" and more than likely dismissed the shaken girl back to her post.
It's as good a credo as any, and certainly one to which I have often subscribed. Just the other day, I was rooting around the refrigerator for something to make for dinner when I spied an excess 1/2 pound of wrapped, fresh ground pork sausage that we hadn't needed for our Chinese dumplings (but that's perhaps another post). I immediately thought of little pork meatballs for an Italian Wedding Soup but according to the recipe I found, I was shy on some of the ingredients. I had all the stuff for the meatballs, but I didn't have any carrots. However, I did have a cube of vegetable broth that went in with my cubes of chicken broth for the base. I didn't have escarole or arugula, but bursting sprigs of parsley added the lovely, familiar green touch as well as flavor. Orzo? No. But I had a box of Uncle Ben's rice. I would have liked to have shaved a nice piece of Parmesan on it but we sprinkled a plastic cup of grated Parmesan from a recent take-out order instead. So, there you are. Diana Vreeland's Wedding Soup! Delicious!
As I have maintained in the past, a stroke of ingenuity is as necessary as any pot or pan in the kitchen. So, the next time you're stumped there, or anywhere really, just remember the words of the outrageous, great lady Vreeland and do your damnedest.
I've tried several of the food delivery services, enticed by claims of convenience, portioned ingredients for three complete meals tailored to families or couples, all cleverly packaged in boxes with attractive, tidily composed recipe cards. Here's a basic re-cap: Quinciple (expensive, recipes good, striking, unique produce but nothing is pre-measured and not all ingredients are included); Hello Fresh (pricey still, decent recipes if not a little dull, the frozen fish is not great and I recall lots of chopping). In a 'Where's Waldo?' moment, I was even featured in a promotional Blue Apron video for a few fleeting seconds. I think Blue Apron kicked off the pre-measured ingredient idea but there's still a lot of chopping involved in their wildly varying yet only mildly interesting recipes of late.
So what ultimately did I discover then, this cooking out of all these boxes? Simple. As ideal as it sounds having a menu selected for you and where the only task is assembling the ingredients given to you, I realized I don't like to be told what to make in the kitchen. I prefer instead to be inspired to make a meal that I find intriguing. This does not include the proliferation of suggested slaws that seem to unite all of these food delivery services.
No, I much prefer making things I have a hankering for and I also love composing meals based on things we already have on hand. To wit, what to do with a box of pasta staring back at you from out of the cupboard? A pureed pouch of frozen butternut squash made a lovely sauce with sage for pasta (outlining a Tyler Florence recipe, I substituted here and there--such as ground sage instead of fresh and opted out of using chopped chestnuts entirely). Another bag of chopped frozen squash and zucchini for our daily vegetables was a great mixed-in topping. It all came together quickly and I didn't have to leave the house. How's that for cooking outside the box?
I made these Honey-and-Tea Jammers in my pajamas, so let's start there.
Dorie Greenspan recently shared her Honey-and-Tea Jammers adapted from Dorie's Cookiesin the Dec/Jan 2017 Saveur and I was immediately enraptured by her 'dream cookies' built on French shortbread with streusel in a delightful confluence of just what you'd expect--honey, loose tea and strawberry jam. In the actual recipe here, the cookies are served individually cut, like thinly rolled tarts made in a muffin tin, but lacking that particular device, I giddily fiddled about and created a single, thickly rolled large tart (seen above) with apricot jam in a spring-form pan. For another batch, armed with a two-inch cookie cutter, I neatly fitted nine cut-out cookies in a nonstick cake pan and eased them out readily once completely cooled.
The unexpected pockets of brown sugar in the genial shortbread! The luscious jam poking out of the crumbly streusel! Best of all, I had all of the ingredients on hand (friends had recently given us wild honey and homemade vanilla extract over the holidays and we actually had loose rose tea for the shortbread!) and didn't have to leave the apartment. Comfortable as I was in my jammies, I set out to make my honorary Tea Jammies.
The smell of a bakery right at home was so incredibly pleasing I couldn't help but think what a treat such aromas would be for guests upon arrival--even before taking a single, gorgeous bite. Since none of the ingredients are particularly perishable, stock up for the next pajama day! Just remember to change before any guests shows up. Or eat them by yourself. Or not. The important thing is that you do make them.
After a career as a theatrical agent for Broadway, film, and television, Mr. Sherwood left his stable of actors from the stage and screen and went on to pursue his literary aspirations. He is currenly the senior editor for Carnsmedia, was web editor for Interior Design and the dining editor for Next magazine (nextmagazine.com) where he wrote a weekly restaurant review column which also featured Manhattan's best food and drink recipes from the finest chefs and bartenders on the island. He has written for New York magazine, Travel & Leisure and Woman’s Day, among others, and his recipe for Wicked Good Clam Chowdah from this blog was published by Andrews McMeel in Foodista’s Best of Food Blogs Cookbook.
A proud graduate of the University of New Hampshire, Mr. Sherwood also studied voice and theater abroad at Regent’s College, in London’s historic Regent’s Park, and at the Royal Academy of Music. He spent a year at Hunter College in Manhattan.
Mr. Sherwood's books are available on Amazon.com, BarnesAndNoble.com, and iUniverse.com.
Twitter/tweet/twat him @kaleidabox