Season's Bounty

Written by Miriam Pascal on Sunday, 11 September 2011. Posted in Food Mood

My name is Miriam, and for just over a month now I have been blogging over at Tales of an Overtime Cook. I'm flattered and excited that Leah asked me to write a guest post for Cook Kosher, and despite my busy schedule (Overtime Cook is no exaggeration!) I am thrilled to share some of my recipes with you. 

When originally discussing a topic for this post, Leah told me to "choose anything you are passionate about." I had those instructions in mind as I headed to my local grocery store and saw, for the first time this season, the huge wooden bins of local apples. My day instantly brightened when I saw those bins! You see, summer fruits are nice, but in my mind nothing can compare to the deliciousness of the simple apple. And so, as everyone around me mourns the end of the lovely summer months, I can't help but be thrilled. Apples are back in season!
And so I discovered, in one simple shopping trip, the object of my passion and the topic of my post. The recipes I am about to share aren't just another apple pie, apple turnover, or apple crumble. These recipes will help you see the amazing opportunities that apples provide. Perhaps, by the time you are finished making these, you will be as passionate as I am about the "simple" apple. 
With Rosh Hashanah right around the corner, the apple, as one of the traditional Rosh Hashana foods, is a great idea to feature on your menu. Let's start with something everyone has eaten many times: Apple Kugel. Then let's take a spin on it, turn it into a muffin, and make it a tad healthier than the average apple kugel by using as the main guess it: apples!

Apple Kugel Muffins

These muffins are incredibly moist, and delicious hot or cold, which make them a perfect accompaniment to your shabbos or yom tov seudah, as well as a delectable snack for any day of the week.
2 cups shredded apples
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp ground cinnamon 
1/4 - 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg, to taste
1/2 cup oil
1/2 Tbsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
Preheat oven to 350. Line a 12-muffin pan with paper muffin liners.
Peel and grate about 3 apples, until you have 2 full cups. Toss shredded apples with lemon juice to prevent browning.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir to combine. Stir in the oil, vanilla and eggs. Mix until all ingredients are fully incorporated. Stir in the apples.
Pour batter into prepared muffin pan. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.
Next up, lets talk about apple desserts. Sure, everyone makes desserts with apples in them. But apple desserts can extend beyond the usual. Every baker has a recipe for oatmeal cookies with raisins, but who's made oatmeal cookies with apples? 

Apple Chunk Oatmeal Cookies

These cookies are incredibly soft, and they have the most delectable flavor. Try this for a delicious change from your usual cookie. But beware, these cookies are soft, so package the leftovers carefully. From my experience though, that won't be much of an issue. Many of my tasters (all of whom have tasted hundreds of cookies out of my kitchen!) stated that these were their favorite.
2 cups finely diced apples
1 tsp lemon juice
1 cup butter or margarine
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 Tbsp vanilla extract
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
Pinch nutmeg
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
2 Tbsp flour
Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease a cookie sheet and set aside.
Peel and dice apples (dice them small, but don't shred them, you want a little bit of texture in the end result). Toss the apple chunks with lemon juice to prevent browning. Set aside. 
In a large mixing bowl, beat margarine and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla extract, one at a time, beating well after each addition. 
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add mixture slowly into oil and sugar mixture. Add the rolled oats, stirring until just incorporated. Toss remaining 2 tablespoons of flour with the apple/lemon juice mixture. By hand stir the apples into the dough. Form about a tablespoon of dough into a ball and place on cookie sheet.
Bake cookies at 350 for 12-13 minutes. Allow to cool 2-3 minutes before removing to a wire rack, to cool.
Finally, I present a recipe to remind you that apples aren't just for dessert. Apples are a great addition to savory dishes as well. In this recipe, we stuff chicken cutlets with a delightful mix of apples and onion, sweet with a little bit of tangy from the onion. 

Apple Stuffed Honey Mustard Chicken Cutlets

For an appetizer presentation, half the recipe, cut the chicken breasts in half, and serve sliced in half so the stuffing is clearly visible.
1 large onion
2 shallots (or another large onion)
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 apples, preferably mixed varieties, peeled
1/2 Tbsp kosher salt
1 tsp cinnamon
Pinch cayenne pepper, to taste
4 lb skinless, boneless chicken breast cutlets
3 Tbsp mustard
3 Tbsp honey
3 Tbsp mayonnaise
1 cup breadcrumbs (I used whole wheat!)
Sauté onions and shallots in large frying pan until translucent. Add minced garlic and sauté additional couple of minutes, while you prepare the apples. Finely dice the apples (I used an alligator, makes a perfect shape and takes almost no time!) and immediately add to frying pan. Add spices and sauté until apples and onions are tender.
Meanwhile, prepare your chicken for stuffing. Using a sharp knife, cut a slit in the side of the cutlet. (You want to cut as deep as possible, to allow room for lots of stuffing, but don't cut through to the other side.) Repeat with remaining cutlets.
Preheat oven to 350.
In a shallow bowl, combine honey, mustard and mayonnaise. Place bread crumbs in a separate bowl.
When stuffing is complete, stuff about a tablespoon into the slit in a chicken cutlet. Dip the stuffed cutlet into the honey-mustard mixture, turn to coat on all sides, then dip into breadcrumbs, turning again to coat. Place on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Repeat with all of the remaining cutlets.
Bake at 350F for 20-22 minutes.
I hope you enjoy these recipes. For more delicious ideas for your yom tov seudah, tips and recipes to help you lose weight and maintain it, and for ideas on how to cook delectable meals when your work schedule requires you to be out of your house for 12 hours a day, visit my blog, Tales of an Overtime Cook
Click here to rate and review the recipes. 

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About the Author

Miriam Pascal

Miriam's days are spent selling high end electronics, but her mind is always in the kitchen, where she spends her nights, cooking, baking and innovating.  For the full array of healthy delicacies and decadent desserts coming out of Miriam's kitchen, visit her blog, Tales of an Overtime Cook

Comments (1)

  • sarahpascal
    14 September 2011 at 04:15 |

    The mini apple kugels are heaven- I tried them already. Thanks for the awesome apple recipes.

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