Compiled by Nancy Sweet, director, culinary program and operations, Lincoln Land Community College
Ellen writes: I’m looking for suggestions in using the abundance of local apples coming into season in dishes.
From Jolene Adams, LLCC Culinary Institute Coordinator
Pies, crisps and apple butter are the first recipes that come to mind. However, apples are often overlooked as an ingredient in a variety of savory dishes. They pair well with pork and hearty winter greens. Apples add a crisp, sweet component to this cool weather salad. You can even make it more hearty and nutritious by adding two cups of cooked and cooled quinoa or bulgur.
Kale, Apple, and Pancetta Salad
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 ounces sliced pancetta, diced
1/4 cup Champagne vinegar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 small head radicchio, shredded
1 (8-ounce) bunch kale, stems discarded, leaves shredded
2 tart yet sweet apples, sliced into thick matchsticks
3/4 cup pecans, toasted if desired
Combine the olive oil and pancetta in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until pancetta is golden and crispy. Strain the pan drippings into a small bowl and leave the crispy pancetta off to the side to cool. Add the Champagne vinegar, maple syrup, salt and pepper and whisk well.
Combine the radicchio, kale, apples and pecans in a large bowl. Toss while adding the dressing, little by little, until salad is well dressed. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Garnish with crispy pancetta.
From Terri Branham Branham, LLCC Chef Instructor
This is my go-to recipe for apples, especially if they are perfect.
Pumpkin Apple Compote
1, 15 ounce pumpkin
3 medium apples, peeled and chopped (1/2 inch dice)
1 ½ cups 100% apple juice or cider
¾ cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
Combine pumpkin, chopped apples, juice, sugar and pumpkin pie spice in medium, heavy-duty sauce pan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 1½ hours. Serve with biscuits, topping for cakes or ice cream. Store in airtight container in refrigerator for up to two months.
Allison asks: My chocolate chips cookies always come out flat. How do I get them to be more thick and rounded?
From Terri Branham, Lincoln Land Community College Chef Instructor
The kind of fat used in the recipe could be the cause of your flat cookies. Butter melts quickest therefore has the fastest spread and thinnest cookies. Shortening has a much higher melt temperature and will make a taller cookie.
If you are using butter, either chill the dough overnight or scoop the cookies into pans and chill at least an hour.
You can also substitute half the butter for shortening or margarine and this will raise the melt temperature and make taller cookies. Chilling this dough will also help.
This is my favorite chocolate chip recipe.
Soft-Baked Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies
Yield: 2 – 2.5 dozen cookies
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup Sno-Caps or any kind of chocolate chip
In a large bowl using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat the butter for one minute on medium speed until completely smooth and creamy. Add the brown sugar and granulated sugar and mix on medium speed until fluffy and light in color. Mix in egg and vanilla. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. In a separate bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt. On low speed, slowly mix into the wet ingredients until combined. The cookie dough will be quite thick. Add the chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, and Sno-Caps and mix for about five seconds until evenly disbursed. Cover dough tightly with plastic wrap and chill for at least three hours and up to two days. Chilling is mandatory for this cookie dough.
Remove cookie dough from the refrigerator and allow to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.
Once chilled, the dough will be slightly crumbly, but will come together if you work the dough with your hands as you roll into individual balls. Roll balls of dough, about one tablespoon of dough each, into balls. Bake for eight to nine minutes, until barely golden brown around the edges. They will look extremely soft when you remove them from the oven. Allow to cool for five minutes on the cookie sheet. If the cookies are too puffy, try gently pressing down on them with the back of a spoon. They will slightly deflate as you let them cool. Transfer to cooling rack to cool completely.
Cookies stay fresh covered at room temperature for up to one week. Baked cookies freeze well – up to three months. Unbaked cookie dough balls freeze well – up to three months.
Lincoln Land Community College offers credit programs in Culinary Arts, Hospitality Management, Baking/Pastry, and Value-Added Local Food, and non-credit cooking and food classes through our Community Learning Culinary Institute.
Cooking or food questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.