Time of the Season

One of the beauties of the weekly produce box is being able to eat what’s in season! No more asparagus in summer!! No more tomatoes in January!!  So… what’s in season right now? APPLES! I stocked up on some Gala Apples and apple cider a couple of weeks ago, and turned it into this pie tonight… (from Fine Cooking)

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Apple Cider Pie

For the double crust:
1 recipe Classic Pie Crust
3 Tbs. heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar cubes (about 12 small), coarsely crushed

For the filling:
3 lb. Golden Delicious or Gala apples, peeled, cored, cut into 3/4-inch slices, and then halved crosswise
2/3 cup apple cider
1/2 to 2/3 cup packed light brown sugar to taste
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
3 Tbs. cornstarch

Make the filling

In a large nonreactive pot, mix the apples, all but 2 Tbs. of the cider, the brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring often, until the sugar has dissolved and the apples are evenly coated. Mix the cornstarch and remaining 2 Tbs. cider into a paste; add this to the apples. Stirring constantly, boil until the liquid is thickened and clear, about 1 min. (you’re not cooking the apples, just thickening the juices). Taste and adjust seasonings if needed. Remove from the heat and let cool.

Assemble the pie

Position racks in the low and middle spots of the oven. Set a foil-lined baking sheet on the lower rack to catch drips and heat the oven to 425°F. Prepare a double pie crust in a 9-inch pie pan and fill the shell (see Classic Pie Crust). Brush the heavy cream over the top crust and sprinkle with the crushed sugar cubes, pressing lightly to secure the chunks. Cut at least three vent holes. Bake on the middle rack until the crust is golden and the apples are tender when pierced with a knife, about 55 min. If the top starts browning too quickly, tent the pie with foil


And for dinner…

My in-laws are in town this week, so I decided to make a special dinner tonight, especially since they are going to watch the kids this weekend while Scott and I enjoy a weekend away! I made Salmon (wild Alaskan… also in season) with Red Pepper and Caper sauce, corn and zucchini saute, and roasted potatoes.

From my box this week I used the red peppers (roasted them in the oven to use them as the base for my sauce, rather than using jarred red pepper), corn, and zucchini.


Here are the recipes, also from Fine Cooking:

Cedar-Planked Salmon with Red Pepper & Caper Sauce

For the sauce:
1/2 cup jarred piquillo peppers or roasted red peppers
1-1/2 Tbs. sherry vinegar or red-wine vinegar
1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 medium clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1-1/2 Tbs. brine-packed capers, rinsed and chopped
1-1/2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the salmon:
1 tsp. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. hot pimentón de la Vera (Spanish smoked paprika) or Hungarian hot paprika
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Four 6- to 8-oz. skinless salmon fillets (preferably at least 1 inch thick)
2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil

Make the sauce:

Put the peppers, vinegar, mustard, and garlic in a blender and begin to puree. With the blender running, add the oil in a thin, steady stream. Transfer to a small bowl, stir in the capers, parsley, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/8 tsp. pepper. Season to taste with more salt and pepper if needed.

Prepare the salmon:

Soak a cedar plank in cold water for at least 1 hour and up to 12 hours. In a small bowl, mix the sugar, cumin, pimentón, 1-1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Sprinkle the mixture over the salmon and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes, or cover and refrigerate for up to 12 hours.

Prepare a two-zone fire on a gas or charcoal grill: On a gas grill, set two of the burners to high (one if your grill only has two burners) and leave one burner off. On a charcoal grill, push all of the lit coals to one side of the grill.

Set the cedar plank on the grill over the hot zone, cover the grill, and wait until the plank starts to smoke, 2 to 3 minutes. Meanwhile, rub the skinned sides of the salmon fillets with the oil. Slide the plank to the cooler zone and arrange the salmon on top, oiled side down and thicker ends closest to the hot zone. Cover the grill (vents open on a charcoal grill) and cook until the fish is almost cooked through with just a touch of pink in the center—make a nick with a paring knife in the thicker part of a fillet to check—or an instant-read thermometer inserted in a thick part registers 135°F, 10 to 14 minutes. Transfer the fish (still on the plank) to a serving platter and serve with the sauce.


Corn, Sweet Onion & Zucchini Sauté with Fresh Mint

2 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1-1/2 cups small-diced sweet onion, such as a Vidalia (about 7 oz. or half a large onion)
1 tsp. kosher salt; more to taste
1-1/4 cups small-diced zucchini (about 6 oz. or 1 medium-small zucchini)
2 slightly heaping cups fresh corn kernels (from 4 medium ears)
2 tsp. minced garlic
Scant 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
Scant 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
2 to 3 Tbs. chopped fresh mint
One-quarter lemon
Freshly ground black pepper

Melt 1 Tbs. of the butter with the olive oil in a 10-inch straight-sided sauté pan or Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add the onions and 1/2 tsp. of the salt, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and translucent, about 5 min. Uncover, raise the heat to medium, and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are light golden and shrunken, another 3 to 4 min.

Add the remaining 1 Tbs. butter and the zucchini. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the zucchini is slightly shrunken and almost tender, about 3 min. Add the corn, garlic, and the remaining 1/2 tsp. salt. Cook, stirring frequently and scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon, until the corn is tender but still slightly toothy to the bite, 3 to 4 min. (It will begin to intensify in color, glisten, and be somewhat shrunken in size, and the bottom of the pan may be slightly brown.) Add the cumin and coriander and cook, stirring, until very fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Remove the pan from the heat, add all but about 1/2 Tbs. of the mint, a good squeeze of lemon, and a few generous grinds of pepper. Stir, let sit 2 min., and stir again, scraping up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan (moisture released from the vegetables as they sit will loosen the bits). Season to taste with more salt, pepper, or lemon. Serve warm, sprinkled with the remaining mint.

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