Apples are delicious prescription for health
BY CHEF TIFFANY POE The Busy Kitchen
Monday, October 08, 2012
10/08/12 at 9:52 AM
Find more recipes from chefs Tiffany Poe and Valarie Carter.
Editor's note: The Busy Kitchen is a Monday column written by two area chefs - Tiffany Poe and Valarie Carter - who also happen to be mothers of young children. They'll explore nutrition, cooking for kids and more.
We've all heard the saying, "an apple a day keeps the doctor away." In my opinion, that is a pretty tasty prescription for nutrition.
Most people love apples, and with so many benefits to your health, there is no reason to leave this "forbidden fruit" sitting on the grocery store shelf next time you go shopping.
Apples get the "super foods award" for being beautiful and intelligent. With more than 7,500 varieties raised across our globe, apples are inexpensive and provide a great way to give your kids a snack without feeling guilty.
Aside from being an excellent source of fiber, antioxidants and vitamin C, they are fun to eat, low in calories and absolutely delicious. Apples can be your best friend if you run a "busy kitchen." They also provide an interesting subject for your cooking pleasures.
I have always loved to cook with apples. Whether it's a quick saute with Fuji apples, maple syrup and pork chops or a traditional (more time-consuming) Granny Smith apple pie, these pomaceous delights have always satisfied my appetite.
Now, it's always handy to have apples in a bowl on your counter for that quick accompaniment to string cheese for an afternoon snack. But if you have a little more time to "play with your food" check out these two recipes to take your apple-cooking eating skills in a different direction.
This apple and thyme hash could easily be a sidekick to a beautiful pork or lamb chop at one of Tulsa's finest restaurants. It's a great crowd pleaser and so easy to make at home. If you're in a pinch and have no time to cook, this dish can be put together in less than 10 minutes. Pair it with a store-bought rotisserie chicken and you have a satisfying and wholesome dinner.
If you are looking for a snack or great lunch idea, try this apple-n-cheese melt. It's packed with flavor and sure to please even the pickiest eaters.
APPLE AND THYME HASH
2 Honeycrisp or Gala apples, medium diced
2 cups butternut squash, medium diced
1/2 red onion, diced
6-8 small red potatoes, diced
1 stalk of celery, diced
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon maple syrup
Salt and pepper, to season
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Dice apples, butternut squash, potatoes, red onion and celery, and set aside.
2. On a baking sheet, spread potatoes and butternut squash evenly and drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil on the vegetables. Add salt and pepper, and toss to coat.
3. Roast vegetables in oven for 15-20 minutes or until lightly brown and soft. Remove from oven and set aside. (This step can be done ahead of time and vegetables can be refrigerated for future use.)
4. In a heavy non-stick or cast-iron skillet, add 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter. On medium high heat, sauté red onion, apples and celery until soft and color brightens.
5. Add fresh thyme and roasted vegetables to skillet and continue to cook for several minutes to combine flavors.
6. Turn off heat and add 1 tablespoon maple syrup and salt/pepper to taste.
Notes: Enjoy with rotisserie or grilled chicken and a green salad for a tasty and super-quick weeknight meal. You can substitute sweet potatoes for butternut squash.
1 Fuji or Granny Smith apple
4 slices of whole grain or hearty gluten-free bread
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
4 ounces mozzarella cheese, sliced
1 tablespoon butter
1. Slice the apple into thin slices.
2. Spread 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard evenly per slice of bread.
3. Place a layer of cheese on the bread directly onto the mustard.
4. Layer the thin apple slices on top of the layer of cheese.
5. Repeat layer of cheese for melting purposes.
6. Top sandwich with final piece of bread and Dijon to seal the deal.
7. Spread a small amount of the butter onto the outside of the top piece of bread. In a small non-stick or cast iron skillet on low heat place the buttered top side down into the pan.
8. Sear for several minutes to allow bread to toast and cheese to melt.
9. On the piece of bread facing up, spread another small amount of butter onto the outside of the bread. Using a spatula, flip the sandwich over and repeat the cooking process.
10. Once the sandwich has browned and cheese is melted, remove from pan. Remember to keep pan on low heat so your bread doesn't burn. This sandwich is worth the wait.
Note: Serve with chips, carrots and hummus or pretzels for a quick and tasty lunch or snack. If your cheese is still not melted after you bread has browned, simply place sandwich in microwave or oven for a few minutes to finish the deal.
Chef Tiffany Poe, a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., owns Tiffany Poe Culinary Services, a consulting, food styling and corporate coaching company. She and her husband have three small children and own The Grandview Inn, a historic bed and breakfast near the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve in Pawhuska. Find more of her recipes on her blog, tulsaworld.com/gastronomymommy