Maybe you just bought a large bag or box of apples and would like some new ways to use them. Read on ...
I think I'll start with a main dish that I frequently make for our church potlucks. I actually made this for the Sunday just past, but I have a busy weekend ahead and think I will make this dish again for this Sunday. People love it and it's quite healthy, not to mention very delicious.
1 package of chicken sausage (fully cooked type such as Al Fresco) -- in the sweet apple flavor
1 large sweet onion
1 large apple (Honeycrisp is the best!) or 2 smaller apples
1 tube garlic and herb polenta
Salt and pepper (optional)
Have a 9 x 13-inch baking dish ready and just add the ingredients as you prepare them. Slice up the chicken sausages. I slice each one lengthwise and then cut them into about 1/4-inch slices crosswise. Peel the onion, cut it in half and cut each half into wedges. (Or cut them smaller if your onion is really huge.) Wash, core and slice the apples into wedges. Don't bother to peel them. Then slice your polenta. I cut it in quarters lengthwise and then slice it between 1/4-inch and 1/2-inch thick. Now drizzle some olive oil (at least a tablespoon, but it's up to you) over the ingredients in the baking dish. Salt and pepper to taste if you like. Stir everything together well.
Bake at 375º for 1 hour.
When I take this to our church potluck, I bake it in the morning, timing it to come out of the oven just before we leave the house. I cover it with foil. Then when we get to church I place it on an electric warming tray where it holds just fine until we are ready to eat a few hours later.
Next, here is one of our favorite side dishes:
BUTTERCUP SQUASH and APPLES
3 lbs. buttercup squash
6 Tblsp. margarine (or use 4 Tblsp. oil)
2/3 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 1/2 Tblsp. flour
1 1/4 tsp. salt
Cut squash in halves; remove seeds and fibers. Peel and cut in slices 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch thick. Arrange the slices in a 13 x 9-inch pan.
Core apples but do not peel them. Cut in 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch slices and arrange them on top of squash.Mix remaining ingredients; sprinkle over top of apples and squash. Cover pan tightly with foil. Bake at 350º for about 1 hour or until squash is tender. Serves 6 to 8.
I've been making this recipe for over forty years. It’s nice with any autumn meal and would be a great side dish for Thanksgiving. It would also make a nice contribution to an autumn potluck.
Next I have a smattering of apple salad recipes.
This Apple-Feta Tossed Salad
|Photo from Taste of Home|
This recipe is a bit similar to the one above: Sweet and Sour Apple Salad,
|Photo and recipe both by Andrea at The Cottage Market|
but it's enough different that I decided to share them both. One thing I really like about this sweet and sour salad is that you shake the diced apples right in with the homemade dressing. This serves very nicely to keep them from browning.
Now a salad so simple that it's really not even a recipe.
SIMPLE APPLE SALAD
Mayonnaise or plain yogurt (or some of each)
Broken walnuts or pecans or sunflower seeds
Raisins or craisins
You just dice up the amount of apples you like and mix in equal quantities of mayo (or plain yogurt) and maple syrup. (For a couple of big apples, I would start with a tablespoon of each.) Then stir in nuts or sunflower seeds and raisins or craisins, to taste. The dried fruit can be left out if you prefer, but I would definitely add the nuts.
And then this salad, which could be served either as a salad or dessert:
APPLE SNICKERS SALAD
4 to 6 large apples, cored and chopped (not peeled)
2 to 3 large Snickers bars, chopped into small pieces
Cool Whip or freshly whipped cream* to taste
Mix all together; serve and enjoy!
* I have not tried this using freshly whipped cream; I imagine it would break down and become runny if allowed to set for too long. If you choose to try it, be sure to stabilize the whipped cream by adding powdered sugar, and serve the salad immediately after preparing.
So we will segue into desserts with two of my favorites:
Apple Cranberry Crisp
Apple Crisp Pizza.
|Photo from Taste of Home|
I've already made this once this fall, but it won't be the last time. Delicious. Absolutely delicious. This is a Taste of Home recipe and one that I've always been thankful that I clipped.
Not an apple recipe as such, but a dip for apple slices, this Fall Apple Dip
|Photo by Taste of Home|
makes a great snack or a dessert. It always goes over well.
And lastly, just a couple of apple tips, if you will. This helpful apple hint is well worth knowing about, great for packing apple slices in lunches.
And then this apple pie spice blend is SO convenient to have on hand. You'll be glad you took a few minutes to stir this up!
APPLE PIE SPICE
1/2 cup cinnamon
1 Tblsp. nutmeg
1 Tblsp. allspice
1 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
Blend ingredients. Store in a tightly covered container -- I use an old International Coffee® tin. Use along with sugar in apple pie, applesauce, baked apples, etc. Use 1 1/4 tsp. for each 6 cups of sliced apples. You may find that cookie or muffin recipes call for apple pie spice as well; it’s a convenient blend to keep on hand in your pantry.
Hope these ideas are useful to some of my readers who enjoy cooking and baking! They are tried and true!