Tag Archives: apple cider

Applesauce Waffles with Apple Cider Syrup

3 Dec

The time has come to talk about Christmas. If any of you were reading this site a year ago (and if you were, I thank you from the bottom of my flour and butter-coated heart), you’ll recall that I tend to get rather excited about the holiday season. Things get sparkly. Kids get wiggly with anticipation. Eating cookies every single day becomes commonplace. My landy, what’s not to love?

Last year’s holiday recipe fest was a huge amount of fun for me to put together (and not just because I got to eat allllllll that stuff I made while testing out recipes), so I have decided that I will continue the tradition this year. This means that, for the entire month of December, I will be sharing recipes and kitchen-y things that are closely tied to the holiday season. There will be recipes for festive meals both morning and evening based, recipes for treats galore, and perhaps a few kitchen-based gift ideas sprinkled about here and there. But it’s happening, my friends. Christmas is about to explode all over this site. I am so excited, I can hardly stand it.

The holiday feasting kicks off with these spectacular waffles I made as an accompaniment for the heavenly apple cider syrup I wrote about for Portland Farmers Market. Looking for a breakfast-y companion to highlight all the best elements of the cider syrup, I turned to a winter and fall-spiced, barely-sweetened waffle with crisp edges, airy pockets, and the gentle flavor of unsweetened applesauce. As a breakfast treat, I don’t know if it gets any cozier than this, with the warm spices of the waffles playing off of the deep apple tones of the syrup. On their own, the syrup and the waffles can each hold their own, but together they form an alliance of superb deliciousness that will make any morning shine just a bit brighter.

Last Year: Roasted Portobello Mushroom Caps with Apple Pecan Stuffing and Caramelized Onion Mushroom Gravy–this dish is vegan, believe it or not, but universally adored by all.

Applesauce Waffles with Apple Cider Syrup

Apple Cider Syrup

The syrup will need to be made ahead of time, so plan accordingly.

1 or 2 quarts of unfiltered apple cider (the good and cloudy stuff that tastes like fresh apples, not the clear golden juice)

1/8 teaspoon to ¼ teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

Heat at least 1 quart, preferably 2 quarts (if you want to end up with more than a scant cup of syrup) of fresh, unfiltered apple cider in a large pot over high heat. When the cider begins to boil, reduce the heat to medium and allow the cider to boil constantly until it reduces by about 80% and becomes a thick, syrupy liquid. This process can take anywhere from 25 to 45 minutes, depending on how much cider you are using and how high the heat under the pot. You’ll know the syrup is ready when a spatula scraped across the floor of the pot leaves a clear trail that remains open for a second or two before the syrup runs together again. At this point, you can whisk in a bit of cinnamon to taste (add as much cinnamon as you want, really), then either use the syrup immediately or pour it into a jar to cool.

When cooled, the syrup will become slightly gelatinous, due to the natural pectin content in the apples. The thicker you boil the syrup, the more firm the finished product will be when cooled. You can simply reheat the syrup in the microwave or on the stove top to return the syrup to its thick and syrupy state. Keep the syrup refrigerated when not in use.

Applesauce Waffles

1 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons light brown sugar

1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground ginger

pinch of nutmeg

pinch of allspice

2 large eggs, yolks and whites separated

1 cup milk

1 cup unsweetened applesauce

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled just a bit

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, and spices. In a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks, milk, applesauce, and melted butter. In yet another bowl (sorry, but you do really need to use three separate bowls), whip the egg whites until they just form stiff peaks.

Gently stir the milk mixture into the flour mixture, stirring enough to just barely combine everything. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter, being careful not to overmix. There should still be a few streaks of egg white visible, just to make sure you don’t overwork the batter.

Spoon waffle batter onto your preheated waffle iron, and cook according to waffle maker’s directions.

The number of waffles you end up with will depend on the size of your waffle maker. Serve with warm apple sider syrup.

Cider-Braised Greens

9 Apr

If it were up to me (and it is somewhat puzzling that it is not, considering the fact that I do all the cooking around here), every dinner I served would include these greens.  Lightly garlicky, slightly bitter, and mildly sweet with just a flash of spice, these are the greens that I turn to when I want to whip up something to accompany a basic meal of protein + carbohydrates.  Unfortunately, since many of my house’s food choices are not left entirely up to me, I don’t get to eat these greens all that often.  I could try and be polite about this, but there’s just no skirting the issue.  My kid, he hates leafy greens.

Many years ago, I was sitting in a Thai restaurant with my husband, pre-child years.  We were watching a family of four, two parents, two children, eat their dinner, and I was pleased to see that both kids in the family were happily tucking in pile after pile of sautéed greens, spicy green beans, and grilled tofu.  I watched and admired the family for quite some time, soaking in the spicy, vegetable-laden inspiration of their dining choices.  So, I thought, kids will eat greens and spicy food.  As it turns out, I was only half correct.  Those kids will eat greens and spicy food.

For a long time, I thought that the secret to getting kids to like a certain food was just offering that food to a kid many times (the rumored magic number of offerings before a kid will accept a rejected food is 20—that is, your kid has to taste and reject the food on 20 separate occasions before he or she will finally accept it, which is, to put it simply, disheartening and somewhat ridiculous) until the kid just breaks down and finally decides to eat whatever you are shoving at him.  I now know that the secret to getting your kid to eat food he claims he doesn’t like is…wait, there is no secret.  At least, I haven’t discovered it.  It seems as though the choices many kids make concerning the foods they will and will not eat are completely random.  My son will demolish an entire avocado that has been bathed in fresh lime juice and cracked black pepper, but his friend down the street suffers from a distaste of avocados that is so intense, he has taken to telling people that he is actually allergic to avocados and can’t even be around them.  My son loves salmon, but won’t go near prawns.  He will graze through our garden in the summer, stuffing handfuls of basil, parsley, and mint into his mouth, but if you try and offer him a lettuce leaf, he will back away as though you are waving an angry cobra at his face.

Maybe it’s not really a problem.  Maybe, because he is five, he is just being contrary.  Maybe one day, when he has outgrown his fear of leafy greens and is interested in exploring the world of cooked greens, he will appreciate a recipe like this.  There is not much I can do to in the meantime, save for offering him a tiny bite of my greens each time I make them, waiting in earnest for that magical 21st offering when he will fold under my persistence and finally give in.  If I am really persistent, I could have this nailed by the time he is six.  Maybe seven.  Okay, fine.  Twenty-seven.

With quinoa and grilled salmon

Cider-Braised Greens Recipe

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

3 large garlic cloves, cut into thin slices

large pinch of red pepper flakes

8 ounces of greens, rinsed and coarsely chopped (I used turnip greens, kale, and chard, but you can also use beet greens, collard greens, mustard greens, spinach, or whatever other cooking greens you have on hand)

½ cup unfiltered apple cider

salt and pepper to taste

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add sliced garlic and pinch of red pepper flakes, and sauté, stirring frequently, for 10 to 15 seconds, until the garlic starts to release its aroma.  Add the greens all at once, stirring to coat the greens in the garlicky oil.  Sauté, stirring frequently, until the greens have wilted, about 3 to 4 minutes.  Pour the cider over the greens, stir to combine, place a lid tightly over the pan, and lower heat to medium-low.  Braise the greens for five minutes, until the cider has mostly reduced and the greens are tender.  Remove lid, stir in salt and pepper, and sauté for an additional minute until only a trace of the cider remains.

Serves 2.

%d bloggers like this: