Monday, August 17, 2009

An Apple Recipe a Day...

This past weekend, MO and I checked out the Gravenstein Apple Fair in Sebastopol. It is my kind of festival - old farmers showing off their tractors meet church ladies selling apple pies meet young hippie homesteaders talking about growing organic veggies. It's actually a really well-done event with music, craft vendors, exhibits, chef demos, and of course lots of apples!

The Gravenstein apple apparently grows in only 3 places in the world and the little town of Sebastopol in Sonoma County is one of them. Gravensteins have a really nice sweet tart flavor, but don't keep well so you can't find them in many commercial markets. We couldn't leave the Fair without buying some apples - in fact we bought 8 pounds - so I'll be experimenting with some different ways to use them this week.

I wanted to use some of the apples in a non-dessert dish (don't worry - there will defninitely be a apple pie sometime this week) and I've made a cabbage and apple saute before, so here's what I made tonight. It is a beautiful simple dish (although it cooks for a long time) that would be great with any kind of meat or sausage I am sure. I served it with a German specialty I've been wanting to try my hand at for a long time: SpƤtzle. (I'll give you the play-by-play on that adventure another time!)

Braised Red Cabbage with Onions and Gravenstein Apples

1 Tbs. olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 medium to large onion, chopped
1 medium head red cabbage, chopped into 1 to 1 1/2 inch pieces
3 Gravenstein apples, peeled, cored, and chopped into small pieces (any tart apple would work fine)
2 tsp salt
2 bay leaves
dash each of ground cloves, ginger
3 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup apple cider, apple juice or red wine

Heat oil in a large pot or saucepan. Saute garlic and onion until soft. Add reamining ingredients, stir and simmer over low-medium heat, covered, for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour. The longer you let it cook, the softer and tastier it will be.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Is there anything better than a homegrown tomato?

The beautiful juicy yellow tomato in the photo was lovingly grown in our garden by MO. The cool-looking heirloom was from the farmers market. The one from the farmers market was very pretty (detail in photo below) , but I have to admit ours was much tastier! I made this gorgeous salad last night by simply layering tomato slices with a little bit of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, fresh garden basil and s&p. Scrumptious!