Savory Celery Root and Apple Hand Tart

posted in: Pies, Recipes, vegetarian | 2

The taste and scent of celery root offends some, and this I had not known before. To me, the cleaned bare root looks, smells and tastes fairly innocent at first, then slowly creeps more complexity. The herbal, vegetal nuances are beguiling, surprising and intriguing to me. And combined with the sweetness of apple and the dairy richness of butter, it’s pure harmony.

Fennel, Apple & Onion Relish

I wasn’t sure what to call this condiment — it is a jarred, preserved sauce (so it could be called simply “preserves”). But it doesn’t have to be; it could also be used immediately, like any old sauce. It’s sweetened with sugar so it could be a jam, but it has enough savory complexity to qualify (I think) for a chutney. It also has a strong dose of vinegar so it might as well be an agrodolce — the tangy, … Read More

The Apple Pie Cake (and a few warnings on working with fondant)

posted in: Desserts, Recipes, Regrets | 1

Last weekend was Karol and Dave’s wedding. And Karol — as evidenced by numerous blog posts chronicling her bake-off victories — is a master of making apple pie. The perfect golden crusts, tall mounds of apple-y ooze, and her signature crimped, lattice-woven tops, were the delight of many parties she has treated myself and friends to throughout the years. I wanted to honor that at her wedding somehow. But a wedding must have cake.

Kale Ravioli with Apples and Brown Butter

For me, it’s pretty difficult to separate “fall pasta dish” from “squash.” It’s perhaps second only to severing “brown butter” from the presence of “sage.” These things just go together like beets and goat cheese, it would seem. But look what happens when you squash kale inside ravioli (because you’ve used up your squash), and toss them with brown butter, apples and sweet onions (because your sage plant died while you were traveling) instead? It’s a new marriage of flavors … Read More

Butternut Squash & Apple Soup

I decorate my home with food, not flowers — a bowl of peaches or tomatoes to grab from in the summer, jaunty new herbs like mint in the spring, and a fetching squash of some type to plunk on the coffee table in fall and winter. A great pile of apples often paints the scene, from mid-September to about May. If you’re like me, you’ve probably found yourself equipped with a good squash and clutch of apples from a recent … Read More

Apple-Rhubarb Strudel

posted in: Desserts, Recipes | 4

Never pass up the chance to buy rhubarbs whenever you can. Even if you only have the means or capacity to get a few stalks. You don’t have to make a whole pie; and you can always put them up as a jam. So bright and tart-tasting, easy to prepare, and limited to a short window of spring, rhubarb is worth the risks of getting creative with — or adding to whatever you’re making anyway.

Apple Upside-Down Cake (in a fry pan!)

You know, I have never actually owned a cake pan. I’ve never particularly wanted to use one, either. The spring clasp makes me skeptical. And I guess I don’t see why any food should have to be such a perfect cylinder of foam. As you can probably guess, I don’t have any cake decorating gadgets, and I’ve gotten by improvising them every time I’ve taken on a cupcake task. (Is it a sign of the awesome popularity of the cupcake … Read More

Help Healthy Bodega Initiative & Red Jacket Orchard Bring Local Produce to Bodegas

It’s summer. There’s produce, plenty of it local. It’s coming to supermarkets, restaurants and Greenmarkets throughout New York City. But one place you won’t hardly ever find it at is a bodega, those convenient, often round-the-clock shops where you can get toothpaste and telephone cards or tonight’s dinner of ramen and chips. Unfortunately, this is the only type of grocery store that exists in increasingly more communities here. That’s why the Healthy Bodegas Initiative was formed in 2005, aimed at … Read More

Turkey Legs with Apples, Parsnips and Onion

A couple months ago, I was given a challenge: cook a “date meal” for two that costs $15 or less, including a bottle of wine. It was thrown to me by a local newspaper that has yet to publish the story, and I suspect they might simply never. Which is fine, but it would be a shame not to share the recipe for the entree, while its wintery ingredients are still lingering around.