The Missing Ingredient

A Food Blog

Kiwifruit, Apple & Grape Salad with Rosemary Syrup November 7, 2009

Filed under: Apples,Breakfast,Salad — xigumdrops @ 1:27 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Kiwi Salad

Source:  Williams Sonoma

1/4 cup sugar

3 fresh rosemary sprigs, each 6 inches long

3 kiwifruits, peeled and diced

2 unpeeled tart green apples, such as Granny
Smith, cored and cut into 1/2-inch dice

1 cup seedless green grapes

  1. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the sugar and 1/2-cup water and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add the rosemary sprigs; reduce the heat to medium and cook for 15 minutes. Remove the rosemary and discard. Increase the heat to high and cook, stirring, until the liquid is reduced to about 1/3 cup. Let cool to room temperature.
  2. Put the kiwifruits, apples and grapes in a bowl and pour the syrup over them, tossing to coat the fruit. Serve immediately. Serves 4.

Sage-Rubbed Pork Chops with Warm Apple Slaw November 2, 2009

Filed under: Apples,Pork,Uncategorized — xigumdrops @ 5:37 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

PorkChops with apple slaw

I’m not crazy about this picture since I didn’t get a very good browning on my pork chops.  Don’t worry about the apples being over-powering as they end up very savory.

Source: Ellie Krieger’s The Food You Crave

For the chops:
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage or 1 teaspoon dried
1 large clove garlic, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
1/2 teaspoon
Freshly ground black pepper
Four 3/4-inch-thick bone in pork loin chops (about 8 ounces each)
2 tablespoons olive oil (1 tablespoon)

For the slaw:
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 large onion, cut in half, then thinly sliced into half-moons
1 large Granny Smith apple, cut in half, cored, and coarsely shredded
1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage or 1/2 teaspoon dried
1/2 head green cabbage, cored and coarsely shredded (about 9 cups)
3 large carrots, coaresly shredded (about 3 cups)
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth

  1. To make the chops, combine the sage, garlic, salt, and a few grinds of pepper in a small bowl. Rub the mixuture all over the pork chops and let them sit at room temperature for 10 mibutes.
  2. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until good and hot. Add the chops and brown well on both sides, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer the chops to a plate.
  3. To make the slaw, carefully wipe out the pan. Heat the oil over medium high heat and add the onion, apple, and sage. Cook, stirring a few times, until softened and golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the cabage, carrots, vinegar, and salt and continue cooking until the cabbage and carrots begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the broth and return the pork chops to the pan, burying them in the vegetable mixture. Cover and cook just until the pork chops have just a slight blush in the center, 5 to 7 minutes longer.
  4. To serve, arrange the warm slaw on individual plates and top with a pork chop and some pan juices.

Oatmeal Apple Pear Crisp October 27, 2008

Filed under: Apples,Dessert,Pears — xigumdrops @ 8:15 pm
Tags: , , ,

Another fruit crisp/bar?  I realize that most of my desserts involve fruit and some type of oat.  Maybe I should branch out?  At least I used Ramekins to spice it up a bit. In any event, it was very easy to make and really good.  Some of the butter could definitely be cut out.  My changes are in green.


2 cups cooking apples, peeled and sliced (about 2 large)  (cubed not sliced-  to keep some texture to the fruit when cooked)

2 cups pears, peeled and sliced (about 3 large)  (peeled and cubed)

1/2 cup dried cranberries

2 Tbs. brown sugar (dark)

1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 tsp. ground nutmeg

1-2 Tbs. lemon juice

3/4 cup water (1/2 cup – I used juicy apples (Fuji) so I reduced the water)


1 cup oats

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 brown sugar (light)

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 cup butter or margarine melted


1.  While peeling the apples and pears, keep them in the lemon juice so they don’t brown.  Place fruit (including cranberries) in a grease shallow 9-inch square baking dish.  I used 6 Ramekins.  (They were 6 huge servings; I would have used 8 but only had 6 available)

2.  Sprinkle 2 Tbs. dark brown sugar, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg and water (combine with apples)

3.  Combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl; add melted butter, mixing until crumbly.  Sprinkle crumb mixture on top of the apples/pears.  I pressed it into the apples a bit.

4.  Bake at 375 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until apples are tender.  

5.  Serve with vanilla ice cream.


Arugula Fuji Apple Salad with Vinaigrette October 5, 2008

I got the idea from an LAPD banquet that I attended on Saturday and thought it would work perfectly for the Platinum Chef Challenge #9.  #9 ingredients include apples, shallots, bacon, mushrooms, and sage.  This salad goes with my walnut crusted pork chops and was really delicious.  I cut the apples into fancy slices to create visual appeal but it would be just as good with the apples cut into wedges.


2 Tbs and 1 tsp. red wine vinegar

1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice

3 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil

1/2 shallot, minced

pinch granulated sugar

1/4 tsp. balsamic vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

2 slices turkey bacon

1/2 Tbs. butter

3 large button mushrooms, thinly sliced

1 large fuji apple, thinly sliced cross-wise

Arugula, about 1 cup

Coarsely chopped walnuts


1.  Combine first 7 ingredients into a small bowl.  

2.  Cook bacon on medium-low heat until a small amount of drippings forms in the pan.  Push bacon to the side and add butter to the drippings.  Once butter has melted, sauce mushrooms until tender, about 4-5 minutes.  You may continue to cook bacon until it is crispy if you prefer it crisper.

3.  Crumble or chop bacon (depending on if you liked it crispy or soft) and add bacon and mushrooms to the vinaigrette.  Save bacon drippings to make Walnut Crusted Pork recipe.


4.  Place an apple slice on a plate, top with vinaigrette, then top with arugula.  Place an additional apple slice on top of the arugula, followed by vinaigrette and arugula.  Top with final apple slice and sprinkle with walnuts.  Serve with Walnut Crusted Pork and wild rice.

Visit #9 Platinum Chef Challenge at Lime in Coconut.


Apple Tart with Almond Cream September 21, 2008

Filed under: Apples,Dessert,Holiday,Uncategorized — xigumdrops @ 10:55 am
Tags: , , , ,

I love apple pie and liked the sound of a simple apple tart with a twist.  Once the tart crust is ready, the tart goes together quickly.  I performed Steps 1-2 of the tart recipe while I was waiting for the tart shell to chill.  Changes and comments are in green.

Source:  Food & Wine

Apple Tart with Almond Cream

1 cup slivered almonds (about 4 oz) I used sliced almonds that were on-hand

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp. salt

4 Tbs unsalted butter, softened, plus 1 Tbs. butter melted, for brushing

2 large eggs

1 Tbs. dark rum

Baked Pastry Shell (recipe follows)

3 large Golden Delicious apples – peeled, halved, cored and sliced 1/8-inch think (2 very large apples)

1/4 cup light brown sugar


1.  Preheat the over to 400 degrees. (Preheat once you have prepared and cooled the Baked Pastry Shell)  In a mini-processor, pulse 3/4 cup of the almonds until finely ground.  Transfer to a medium bowl.  Pulse the remaining 1/4 cup almonds, until coarsely chopped.  Transfer to the same bowl, add the granulated sugar, flour and salt and toss gently to combine.

2.  In another bowl, (my stand mixer bowl), beat the 4 Tbs of butter until creamy.  Add the almond mixture and beat until blended.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Beat in the rum.

3.  Spread the almond filling in the Baked Pastry Shell.  Arrange the apple slices on top in concentric circles (just something pretty that covers the cream).  Brush the apple slices with the melted butter and sprinkle with the brown sugar.

4.  Bake the tart for 1 hour (50 minutes), until the filling is set and the apples are browned and tender.  Transfer the tart to a rack and let cool slightly.  Remove the ring and serve the tart warm or at room temperature.


Baked Pastry Shell

Makes one 9-inch tart shell

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp. salt

5 Tbs. cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1 large egg yolk

2 to 3 Tbs. ice water


1.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  In a food processor, pulse the flour and salt.  Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles small peas.  Add the yolk and 2 Tbs. of ice water and pulse just until the dough holds together when pinched; if necessary, add the remaining 1 Tbs. of ice water.  Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth.  Flatten into a disk, wrap in plastic and chill until firm, 1 hour.  (I did not think a food processor was necessary so I used a pastry blender to cut in the butter.  I also only used 2 Tbs. water as the dough held together when it was pinched.  I think the 3rd Tbs. ice water might have been a good idea though based on my issues in Step 2.)

2.  On a lightly floured surface, roll our the  dough to a 12-inch round, about 1/8-inch thick.  Transfer to a 9-inch fluted tart pan with a removable bottom. Push a rolling pin over the top to trim any overhang.  Prick the bottom in several places with a fork.  (My dough was a tad dry (Did I need that 3rd Tbs. ice water?) and the edges were cracked.  I tore off some extra pieces and rolled them in the cracks to get a 12-inch round.  Overall it worked fine but the dough was a bit frustrating to work with.)

3.  Line the tart shell with foil and fill with pie weights (I don’t have these so I substituted 3 tall ramekins).  Bake for 25 minutes, until the shell is lightly colored around the edge.  Remove the foil and weights and bake for 10 minutes, or until golden.  Let cool before filling.