Monday, October 6, 2008

Monday Recipe - It's Smorgasbord Time!

This is the time of year when I do a lot of cooking (not that I don't normally cook weekly, but I mean A LOT). I'm filling up my freezer with frozen local veggies, so in the middle of February I can pull out some yummy gingery corn, ratatouille, or clam stuffed tomatoes. So basically, I started cooking around 11a or so, when I got home from the grocery store, and finished around 7p last night. It made for one crazy day of cooking!

To start off with, Saturday was the fall apple picking excursion. And man, I didn't realize that this is just the beginning of apple season, so this was the weekend that EVERYONE was going apple picking. We were parked in parking lot D on the totally opposite side of the orchard as normal. Anyway, when we got there, I decided I was going to get two BIG bags for apples (and at $20 a pop, I'm going to have to use them all...). I filled them up, then we hit the main store for cider doughnuts, caramel apples, and hot cider. Mmmm.

Then comes time to use all those apples.

So to start off with, I made applesauce. It didn't come out as well as last year (I couldn't remember how I made it, so I just kind of winged it). I either cooked it too long, or blended it too finely. Basically I just filled a large pot with peeled, cored, and quartered apples (just bought an apple slicer, and man did that make it a hell of a lot easier), added some water, brown sugar, cinnamon, and a little ginger, and set it to cook. Once it was mushy, I put it in the blender and blended until not lumpy. Now it's in my freezer. I'm not sure exactly what I did differently, but I want to figure it out because last year my applesauce was awesome and this year it's kinda ho hum.

Then, I made apple crisp. I loosely followed the peach pear crisp recipe from last week, but I didn't use the flour because it was too soft, and all together not crisp enough. I didn't even measure, I just poured some brown sugar, oatmeal, and spices in a bowl and mixed with soft butter, then topped the sliced apples (skin on) with the mixture. I filled in areas where I didn't have enough with some extra oatmeal and sugar. This went right into the freezer too (except for the little taster bite I took, mmm).

I made a little gingery corn (a half dozen ears) by boiling the ears briefly (just a few minutes), cutting the corn off the cob, and then cooking the kernels in butter, finely chopped ginger, salt and pepper. Froze that too, except that it fell out of the freezer during the day and spilled all over my floor. :( :( I managed to salvage about 1/3 of the tupperware that didn't fall on the floor, so that's my side dish for the week.

Next stop, ratatouille. I forgot to buy onions, which I'd normally start with. I put oil in a big pot, added three chopped up red/orange peppers, three each of squash and zucchini (sliced into bite-sized pieces), four peeled and sliced Japanese eggplants, a couple handfuls of baby carrots (chopped), and four cans of whole tomatoes (sliced in half). I added garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to taste. Let it sit and simmer for a good long time (no idea how long it was, but it was probably more than an hour, if not two). This freezes well also.

While the ratatouille was cooking, I made some sweet potato fries. Chop up a sweet potato into roughly fry-shaped pieces. Put them in a big bowl, coat them in a thin layer of olive oil, salt and pepper, then lay them out on a cookie sheet (I use a silicon one on top of metal so they won't stick) and bake for a while, maybe 30-45 minutes, until soft. This was just a snack to get through until I made my dinner.

Yes, that's right, I'm that crazy, my list isn't done yet...

Last stop, tomato capers over ziti with lemon avocado. First, I chopped up four large tomatoes into small (1/2 inch) pieces and put them in a bowl with 4T minced capers, 4 cloves minced garlic, 4T finely chopped oregano, t red pepper flakes, 1/2C olive oil, and a t salt. Cover and refrigerate to let flavors mingle. Bring a pot of water to boil, and cook 1-2lb ziti. While ziti is cooking, chop up an avocado, douse with lemon juice and sprinkle with salt. Squeeze the avocado a little to mush it up. To serve: top ziti with tomato and avocado. My lunch for the week (I also cooked some chicken to put on top as well). This is one of my favorite recipes, I've made it tons of times!

Now I don't have any room left in my freezer, and I still have another big bag of apples left! I guess I'll just have to eat some of the crisp that's in there now :D


Sassy said...

One thing that you can do with the apples is make pie filling and freeze it - works pretty well. :-)

The Lethological Gourmet said...

Mmm that sounds good! I'm investigating how to make apple butter too, or there's an apple pudding that looks intriguing as well...

Charlotte said...

Bummer about your gingery corn! Everything sounds super yummy though! Can I come over for dinner?

The Lethological Gourmet said...

Sure thing, Charlotte! :)

Romny said...

So this is why you were asking about apple butter!