Food Buzz

Because maybe you do care what I had for lunch...

Thursday, October 06, 2005

That's no way to treat a honeycrisp, lady

Tortellini with apple chutney

Among the many welcome signs of autumn is the arrival of the honeycrisp apple at the food coop. As the name implies, this apple has the aroma of honey and is especially crisp. It is also tangy enough to satisfy me yet sweet enough to enchant Lane. In short, it is the perfect apple, and I have a hard time every eating any other variety.

Usually I'll just buy these apples to eat fresh. Why mess with perfection? But today I was looking for a fruit to pair with some tortellini. It can be bland on its own. For years we would sautee a little garlic in olive oil, add some pine nuts, and toss with the tortellini. The coop was out of figs except for a few moldy baskets. So I decided to cook with the honeycrisp.

First I carmelized some shallots in olive oil (I'm on a shallots kick these days). Then I added the chopped apples and some apple cider vinegar, cloves, fresh tarragon, and salt to taste, and cooked until there was a slight glaze and the apples were soft. In retrospect a couple tablespoons of chicken broth would have been good as well.

The apples with the tortellini were a great combination. But what improved it even more was the cheese I added...and I regret to say that I cannot tell you the name of the cheese. It was from upstate, and had a sort of cheddar flavor to it. I threw away the label so maybe I can return to the coop later and update the post with the name. But at any rate, it added some additional zing.

Later I was in the mood for some chocolate pudding. I halved the recipe in Joy of Cooking, using 1% milk instead of the water and half and half called for. So I don't know if I could give a reliable recipe here. But it did come out nice and thick, with a rich, chocolatey flavor -- partly due to the half bar of dark chocolate I added. But how nice that I can have a rich, creamy, chocolate dessert that's so low in fat. It reminds me of that chocolate sorbet at Maison du Chocolat. See, there are some shortcuts in life.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We had apples for dinner, too--though I do save the honeycrisp for eating, usually with peanut butter. Tonight's menu featured Jonagolds, which I don't usually buy unless I want to make a really delectably mushy apple crisp. So we had pork chops with pearl couscous, apples, onions and carrots. I used juice for about 1/4 of the cooking liquid, and seasoned with fresh thyme, salt and pepper, and a little dijon stirred in at the end. Yum.