Tag Archives: apple

Bacon, Apple and Onion Stuffing Muffins

5 Dec

Bacon, Apple and Onion sTUFFINMy last recipe post – Chili-Cheese Wontons was a simple and elegant Hors d’oeuvre for holiday entertaining or a cocktail party. Life would be way too simple if the only entertaining during the holidays were cocktail parties. Unfortunately, it’s just not that simple! There are sumptuous and comforting dinners to be served, brunches and lunches to be cooked, and finally guests who stay a few days and need to be fed around the clock.

This is when you need a crowd-pleasing recipe that can easily be doubled, tripled or quadrupled up to be served as an appetizer or a side dish at dinner or a brunch. That is exactly what I thought when I came across Rachael Ray’s Apple Onion and Stuffin’ Muffin’s recipe. Bread, apples, onions and celery are elements that can be consumed at all mealtimes. Combining them creates a luscious dish that can be savored at various meal occasions. Plus making muffins out of this stuffing nudges it from being just a dinner side to a brunch side or even a heavy appetizer. Holiday Muffins

I made various changes to the original recipe to personalize it. Specifically, I added bacon and introduced a tart apple to add multiple layers of flavor. The smoky and savory flavor profile of the bacon marries harmoniously with the tart granny smith apple as well as the sweet McIntosh apples. There is nothing to not love about these muffins – they are delectable and unique and best of all can be served at any time of the day!

Bacon, Apple and Onion Stuffing Muffins
Recipe adapted from Rachael Ray’s Apple and Onion Stuffin’ Muffins
Yields: 12 regular size muffins
Time: Active: 20 minutes; Inactive (Baking) 12-15 minutes

Ingredients
Butter favored cooking spray (Recommended: PAM)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil,
1 tablespoon butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup chopped bacon (I used center-cut thick bacon)
1 fresh bay leaf (use a dried one if you cannot find fresh bay leaves)
4 ribs celery and greens, from the heart, chopped
1 medium to large yellow onion, peeled and chopped
1 Granny Smith Apple, peeled, cored, quartered and chopped
1 ½ McIntosh apples, peeled, cored, quartered and chopped
2 tablespoons poultry seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
7 cups cubed stuffing mix (Recommended: Pepperidge Farm Herbed Stuffing – Cubed)
2 to 3 cups chicken stock, store-bought from the soup aisle

Note:

  • To make these vegetarian eliminate the bacon. Increase the butter by another 1.5 tablespoons. Substitute the chicken stock with vegetable broth/stock.

Method:
1) Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a regular muffin tin (12 muffins), liberally with butter-flavored cooking spray and set aside.
2) Preheat a large skillet (12 inch) over medium high heat. Add extra-virgin olive oil to skillet and 1 tablespoon of butter. When the butter melts, cook the bacon.
3) Add the bay leaf followed by celery, onions and then apples. Sprinkle the vegetables and apples with poultry seasoning, salt and pepper. Cook 5 to 6 minutes or until the vegetables and apples begin to soften.
4) Add the parsley and stuffing cubes to the pan and combine. Moisten the stuffing with chicken broth until all of the bread is soft but not wet. (This was about 2.5 cups of stock for me) Do not over-wet the mixture as this will make it harder for the muffins to stay together. Taste the mixture and adjust salt and pepper as needed.
5) Remove the bay leaf. Use an ice cream scoop to fill and mound up the stuffing in muffin tins.
6) Bake until set and crisp on top, about 12 to 15 minutes. Remove stuffing muffins from the muffin tray and serve hot or room temperature.

Apple Turnovers

31 Oct

Photo credit: Sneha (www.prettyinpic.com)

What’s more gratifying than a slice of warm apple pie and a cup of coffee on a crisp fall day? A portable apple pie that you can grab and take with you on your morning commute!

Growing up in India, I never quite understood the notion of “As American as Apple Pie”. In fact, over a decade ago, desserts in India consisted of Indian sweets, cakes, pastries and brownies. Spotting a pie in a dessert buffet or in a local bakery was quite uncommon. It was not until I moved to the east coast of USA that I understood the concepts of “fall baking”, “abundant apples in fall”, “semi-homemade pies” and “As American as apple pie”.  Over my years here, I have developed a new-found admiration for a warm slice of pie on a chilly autumn day – especially for a slice of apple pie.

This apple turnover is in essentially a large, handy slice of apple pie that can be enjoyed anywhere and at anytime, sans silverware. Similar to a traditional apple pie filling, the apples are cooked with butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. Cooking firm and tart Granny Smith apples with the brown sugar creates a balanced flavor; one that’s not too sweet and just a tad bit tart. Wrap this flavorful filling in flakey and buttery puff pastry and you have an apple pie that is befits our hectic lives in the 21st century.

Apple Turnovers Recipe
Recipe adapted from All Recipe’s – Apple Turnovers
Yields: 8 turnovers
Time: Active: 20 minutes Inactive: 25 minutes

Ingredients:
½ a lemon, juiced
4 cups of water
4 granny smith apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon + 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon, divided
1 tablespoon cornstarch (mixed into 1 tablespoon of water)
1 package (2 sheets of frozen puff pastry), thawed (Recommended: Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry)
1 large egg
1 tablespoon milk
1 tablespoon powdered sugar (See Note)

Note:

  • You can make powdered sugar by grinding regular granulated sugar in a coffee grinder, spice grinder or small food processor.

Directions
1) Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
1) In a large bowl add the lemon juice to the 4 cups of water and mix well. Place the sliced apples in this water to prevent them from browning.
2) Place the butter in a large skillet and melt it over medium heat.
3) Drain the apples thoroughly and pat them dry with a kitchen towel. Add them to the skillet once the butter has melted. Cook and stir for about 2 minutes.
4) Add the brown sugar, and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the cornstarch (that has already been dissolved in water) to the skillet and mix well. Cook for another 1-2 minutes, or until sauce has thickened. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
5) Whisk the egg with the 1 tablespoon of milk to create an egg wash. Set it aside.
6) Unfold the puff pastry sheets, and repair any cracks by pressing them back together. You want to cut 4 equal sized squares from each sheet. The easiest way to do this is to trim the extra puff pastry of each sheet to have one large square and then cut each trimmed sheet into 4 equal squares.
7) Spoon the apples onto the center of each square. Fold over the puff pastry from one corner to another into a triangle shape.  Press the edges together to seal. Place turnovers on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, leaving about 1 inch between them. Brush each turnover with a little egg wash.
8) Bake for 22-25 minutes in the preheated oven, until turnovers are puffed and lightly browned.
9) While the turnovers are baking, combine 1 tablespoon of sugar with 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon. This creates a cinnamon sugar.
10) Once the turnovers are baked, remove them from the oven and sprinkle them with the cinnamon sugar.

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