Supermarket Score! Apples
“Supermarket Score!” is all about taking a look at the great deals and delicious meals that are hidden in commonly found supermarket items.
Fall is – hands down- my favorite of the four seasons. Living in New York’s Hudson Valley means a corner cannot be turned without a picturesque view of colored leaves, pumpkins, cider doughnuts, and apple orchards. It’s the last of those that especially takes over this time of year.
The bucolic dream of a fresh haul of locally-grown and hand-picked apples means that a box of fruit landing close to my body weight in size inevitably nests itself on my kitchen counter each and every fall. About five minutes in – when the dream has worn off – it actually becomes game time as I then need to find a use for a crop that brings delicious to the table in very sizeable abundance.
Fear not, lovers of the Macintosh, Gala, Empire, and beyond! Check out these delicious and crazy simple “fruit of the fall” ideas to see some light at the end of that crate.
I know it sounds like a no-brainer, but applesauce is such a nostalgic part of fall for me. As a kid, my mom would always ring in the fall season by making her own homemade applesauce. The smell of simmering fruit with a touch of cinnamon always meant it was time to watch the leaves change color. Making your own is seriously as simple as peeling and coring the fruit and placing it in a lidded pot over medium-low heat (reach for a softer bodied apple here, such as a Macintosh, as they’ll break down better during cooking). Add any spices you may like, such as cinnamon or nutmeg, and cook it down, stirring occasionally, until it’s as smooth or chunky as you like. Taste the finished sauce and adjust the sweetness with some sugar as needed, just remember that fresh fruit is quite sweet on its own and rarely needs any added sugar.
ROASTED APPLES AND FENNEL
Use the sweetness of apples to balance out the savory side of dinner by roasting them with your dinner vegetables. While I happen to love fennel, you could also serve them alongside roasted onions, squash, or carrots. Use a firmer bodied apple, such as Granny Smith or Empire, and watch your kitchen timer – they only need about 15 minutes to roast, so throw them in towards the end of cooking.
FALL COLE SLAW
Give summer’s favorite side dish a few more evenings at the dinner table with a hearty fall cole slaw. While you can certainly use whatever slaw recipe you love, I like to make mine up with a mix of shredded green and red cabbage tossed with some peeled and grated apple and a simple red wine vinaigrette. A firmer-bodied apple will again do you well here (I love the tartness of a Granny Smith) as it’ll add to the crunch factor of your slaw.
Patrick W. Decker’s life revolves around food. Always has. Probably always will. As a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America and past member of the culinary team on Rachael’s daytime talk show, he now works as a food stylist and producer in NYC by day, and a food writer and recipe developer at his home in New York’s Hudson Valley by night. You can see what he’s up to by following his latest twEATs on Twitter at @patrickwdecker or visiting his website at patrickwdecker.com.