Tag Archives: Cinnamon

Hasselback Apple Pies

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My version of single servings of  Hasselback Apple Pies are basically, crustless  apple pies and they are the most brilliant way to cut back on carbs while still being a delicious dessert.Make a batch of the salted caramel sauce ahead of time and keep it warm in the  saucepan  over low heat, while the apples bake…. and then to serve, spoon it over the vanilla ice cream and  the apples…..Perfection.

Serves 6

Ingredients:
For the Salted Caramel Sauce:
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
¾ teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste

For the Apples:
6 large baking apples, halved vertically and cored
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamon
A pinch ground nutmeg
A pinch ground cayenne pepper (optional)
2/3 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
Vanilla ice cream, for serving
Warm salted caramel sauce, for drizzling

Directions:
For the Salted Caramel Sauce:
In a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat, combine the sugar with 1/4 cup cold water and stir to combine. Cook, without stirring, until the sugar has turned a deep amber hue, approximately 10 to 12 minutes.

Meanwhile, warm the cream in a small saucepan. When the caramel is ready, slowly whisk in the warm cream and continue simmering the mixture until it is smooth, another 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat, then whisk in the butter, and then the salt, to taste. Set aside and keep warm over a very low heat until ready to serve.

For the Apples:
Preheat oven to 350° F.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place each apple half flat side down and use a paring knife to create thin slices all the way across, making sure to stop slicing right before the bottom of the apple (so it stays together as one piece). Transfer apple halves to prepared baking sheet.

Lightly brush apple tops with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar.
Bake until apples are soft and caramelized, 23 to 25 minutes.
Remove from oven.

In a small bowl, combine remaining melted butter, sugar, cinnamon, cardamon, nutmeg, cayenne pepper (,if using,) and oats. Once cool enough to handle, spoon mixture inside apple slits.

Return to oven and bake 10 minutes more.

To serve, top each with a scoop of ice cream, then drizzle with caramel and …….Enjoy!

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Pumpkin and Sage Ravioli with Spiced Apples and Pecans

 Why not whet your guests’ appetites for this Thanksgiving Dinner with  this impressive sweet and savory starter!

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Serves 4

Ingredients:
6 ounces whole pecans, shelled
1 Gala apple (See Cook’s Notes)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon ginger
Dash of nutmeg
Pinch of salt
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
One 9- ounce package Pumpkin and Sage  Ravioli (See Cook’s Notes)

Directions:
Prepare ravioli according to package directions. While ravioli boils, add the cinnamon, sugar, a chop the pecans, allspice, ginger, nutmeg and salt in a small bowl. Slice the apple in 4 quarters, and then slice the quarters into 1 inch slices. Toss the apples in the spiced sugar mix.

In a large skillet, melt the butter, add chopped pecans and apple, and sauté for 1 minute. When ravioli is ready, drain and arrange on the plate. Top the ravioli with pecan-apple mix, and serve.

Cook’s Notes:
Any variety of apple can be substituted for  the Gala apple.

Most grocery stores and large supermarkets carry various brands of fresh and frozen ravioli. If Pumpkin and Sage ravioli is not available in your area, a plain ricotta cheese ravioli can be used in this recipe as an alternative.

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Thank you so much!

TODAY.com Parenting Team FC Contributor

Persian Chicken with Pomegranate and Walnuts

Persian Chicken with Pomegranate and Walnuts
Photo Credit: Scott Phillips

The slow cooker makes this classic Middle Eastern dish a breeze, mostly because the spices mellow slowly into a sweet, aromatic sauce. The walnuts should be finely chopped into bits smaller than grains of rice, or even ground if you want a somewhat smoother sauce. Serve the chicken over long-grain saffron rice.

 

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients:
1 1/2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon  ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon  ground turmeric
1/4  teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon  ground allspice
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, halved
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2 large yellow onions, thinly sliced
2 cups toasted walnut pieces, very finely chopped or ground
1/4 cup pomegranate molasses
Fresh pomegranate seeds, for garnish
Long grain rice, for serving

Directions:
Mix the sugar, cinnamon, turmeric, nutmeg, allspice, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a bowl. Add the chicken and coat evenly. Set aside.

Melt the butter in a large skillet set over medium heat. Add the onion; cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the walnuts and continue cooking, stirring almost constantly, for 2 minutes, until the nuts are lightly browned.

Stir in the pomegranate molasses, then scrape the contents of the skillet into a 6-quart slow cooker. Spoon the spiced chicken on top of the cooked onion mixture, scraping any spices that cling to the bowl into the slow cooker.

Cover and cook on low until the chicken is tender and cooked through, 3 1/2 to 5 hours. Season to taste with salt, stir in half of the pomegranate seeds, and garnish with the remainder.

Serve family style.

TODAY.com Parenting Team FC Contributor

Hot Honey Apple Tartlets

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For years hot honey has been used as a condiment on pizza in Brazil.    Introduced to the States by Michael Kurtz , he discovered the spicy honey while on a hike in Brazil in 2003. In a small mountain town there, he found a pizzeria that had the concoction on every table. When he got home to Brooklyn, he set about duplicating it. Years down the road, in 2010 Kurtz gets a job at a Brooklyn pizzeria Paulie Gee’s a approached the owner about his sweet concoction, with “Hey, I’ve got something you should try on your pizza.” And so, Mike’s Hot Honey was born and  the rest, as the say, was history.

Drizzled on a pizza, hot honey is especially good with salty meats like soppressata or pepperoni, the heat of hot honey isn’t as pronounced and the sweetness of the honey shines through even more.

Today, Mike’s Hot Honey serves retailers and restaurants in the borough of Brooklyn, New York and beyond with Mike’s original recipe, chili pepper-infused hot honey.

For this recipe, I used a dark  honey forest honey, which is available at specialty foods stores and from kalustyans.com. I was also able to get my hands on some malagueta peppers from Brazil, but  you can also use Fresno, Holland, Vietnamese or Thai chiles to get the same heat effect of  Brazillian chile infused honey. Another alternative is to substitute a mix of  2 green thai chiles  and 1 habanero  to every 3 malaguetas.

And I have discovered that you can also use hot honey as a sauce for fruit desserts. Cooked fruit has a robust flavor that can stand up to hot honey. Just squirting sriracha on everything doesn’t work on all  things eaten, but hot honey sure does. Try it on fried chicken, it is to die for!

 

Serves 8

Ingredients:
For the Hot Honey:
Makes About 1 Cup
2–4 hot chiles , thinly sliced
1 cup Langnese Forest Honey

Directions:
Bring 2 chiles and honey to a bare simmer in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Reduce heat to low and let the chiles simmer in the honey for 1 hour to 185°F . to infuse. Taste honey and adjust heat with another chile or 2. Remove from heat and let stand 10 minutes. Strain  into s sterilized jar while still warm and cap with a sterilized lid. Store honey chilled  in a refrigerator to slow oxidation.

Make  Ahead:  The hot honey can be made up to 3 months ahead of time. Keep chilled.

 

For the Tartlets:
Two  17.3-ounce packages frozen puff pastry (4 sheets), thawed
1 egg, beaten to blend
6 ounces soft fresh goat cheese (about 3/4 cup packed)
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
3 medium Gala apples,peeled,quartered,cored, cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup hot honey, divided
1/2 teaspoon  ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

 

Directions:
Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll out each puff pastry sheet on lightly floured surface to 11-inch square. Using 5-inch-diameter cookie cutter or bowl, cut out 4 rounds from each pastry sheet, forming 16 rounds total. Divide 8 pastry rounds between prepared baking sheets; pierce rounds all over with fork. Using 3 1/2-inch-diameter cookie cutter or bowl, cut out smaller rounds from center of remaining 8 rounds (reserve 3 1/2-inch rounds for another use), forming eight 5-inch-diameter rings. Brush outer 1-inch edges of 5-inch rounds on baking sheets with beaten egg; top each with 1 pastry ring. Freeze at least 30 minutes.

MAKE AHEAD:  Pastry shells can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and keep frozen. Do not thaw before continuing. 

Preheat oven to 375°F.

In a small bowl mix the ground allspice and cinnamon. Set aside.

Mix cheese, lemon juice, and salt in bowl; spread mixture inside rings on frozen pastry rounds. Overlap apple slices atop cheese. Mix butter and 1/4 cup honey in small bowl; brush over apples. Sprinkle with the allspice and cinnamon mixture. Bake until apples are tender and pastry is golden, about 35 minutes. Place tartlets on plates. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the hot honey over each tartlet and serve warm or at room temperature.

Cook’s Notes:
Bake the tartlets four to six hours ahead, then store them uncovered at room temperature. Rewarm in a 350°F oven for five to ten minutes. Drizzle tartlets with honey just before serving.

TODAY.com Parenting Team FC Contributor

Quail in Rose Petal Sauce

 

In   Laura Esquivel’s Novel,  Like Water for Chocolate, the reader is introduced to this recipe in Chapter 3, where the love sick character Tita, who is a cook, prepared an elaborate dish with a rose, a token of love, given to her secretly by her lover Pedro. She calls the dish “quail in rose petal sauce”. At the dinner table, the meal receives an ecstatic response from Tita’s family members, especially Pedro, who always compliments Tita’s cooking. However, a more curious affect is observed in Gertrudis, her younger sister, not long after eating the dish, who begins “to feel an intense heat pulsing through her limbs.” It appears that the meal serves as a powerful aphrodisiac for Gertrudis, arousing in her an insatiable desire. This turbulent emotion pulses through Gertrudis and on to Pedro. Tita herself goes through a sort of out-of-body experience. Throughout the dinner, Tita and Pedro stare at each other, entranced.

Dripping with rose-scented sweat, Gertrudis goes to the wooden shower stall in the backyard to cool off. Her body gives off so much heat that the wooden walls of the shower stall burst into flames—and so do her clothes.Running outside, the naked Gertudis is suddenly swooped up by one of Pancho Villa’s men, who charges into her backyard on horseback.

“Without slowing his gallop, so as not to waste a moment, he leaned over, put his arm around her waist, and lifted her onto the horse in front of him, face to face, and carried her away.”

The escape of Gertrudis serves as a foil to Tita’s stifled passion. The intensity of the former’s reaction to the meal serves to communicate the potency of the passion that the latter possesses but is unable to express directly. With her primary form of expression limited to food, Tita takes the illicit token of love from Pedro and returns the gift, transforming it into a meal filled with lust. The manner in which Gertrudis is affected by the food and later swept away on a galloping horse is clearly fantastical, and the vivid imagery like the the pink sweat and powerful aroma only exemplifies the novel’s magical realism.

To  be carried away so gallantly,  in a moment of passion………..is magic!

And with that being said, this would be the perfect dish to make for someone you love, especially for a romantic dinner for Valentine’s Day.

Enjoy!

 

Serves 2

Ingredients:
4 quail (or 6 doves or 2 Cornish Hens)
3 Tablespoons butter
Salt, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup dry sherry
6 peeled chestnuts (boiled, roasted, or canned)
1 clove garlic
1/2 cup red prickly pear fruit puree (or substitute raspberries or red plums)
1 Tablespoon honey
¼ cup chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon ground anise seed
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
14 teaspoons rosewater
Petals of 6 fresh, organic red roses (optional garnish)

 

Directions:

Heat the serving platter in an oven set to low. Rinse the quail and pat dry. In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, melt the butter and lightly brown the birds on all sides. Add sherry and salt and pepper to the quail. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer 15 minutes. Turn the quail, cover, and cook another 10 minutes. Remove the quail when done to your liking and place on a heated platter.

Combine the remaining ingredients with pan juices, transfer to a blender, and puree until smooth. Pour the sauce into a small pan and simmer 5 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Adjust seasoning with more salt, pepper, and/or honey. Pour the sauce over the quail on the heated platter.  Sprinkle with the rose petals, for garnish, and serve hot.

Cook’s Notes:
The original recipe for this dish calls for rose petals, but you don’t want to use petals from conventional flower shop roses—those are treated with fungicides. Still, if you have some organically grown roses in your backyard, or know where to buy them, feel free to use them to garnish the finished dish.

If you cannot find any rose petals, 3 bags of  Tazo Passion Hibiscus Tea is a great alternative to use as well.

You can find rosewater at local Middle Eastern stores.

The original recipe calls for cactus. In this version red prickly pear fruit puree or juice is used and can be found at most health food stores—or substitute frozen raspberries or even use 2 large red plums that have been pitted and skinned, for the red prickly pear.

If you have a dove hunter in the family, try this with dove instead of quail. In fact, doves may be an even more romantic choice, if you don’t mind picking a little birdshot from your teeth. Cornish hens also work well, as a substitute for the protein in this dish.

 

TODAY.com Parenting Team FC Contributor

Peras al vino tinto

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This is a very typical dessert served in Spain on special occasions and during the holidays. It is a favorite among home cooks, mainly due to its ease of preparation and simplicity of ingredients that can found in the pantry.

442-2TIn addition there are many different varieties of pears, being available in your local markets throughout the year. Note that the winter pears are thicker with a rough skin that is golden yellow with brown flecks in color. They also tend to be more aromatic and acidic flavor and the texture of the pulp tend to be grainy. To make this dessert, the best pears are bell-shaped, such as the Bartlett variety that is tender and juicy, or the Abate Fetel that is found in Spain and Italy.

A favorite native variety of Italy that was bred by a group of monks in the 15th century, the Abate Fetel pear is a very special delicacy. Tall and slim with an attractive yellowish brown russet over green exterior, it has a rich sweet taste that is much more pronounced than the more common Anjou and Bartlett varieties. Usually eaten when just barely soft, the Abate Fetel pear has a slightly crisp yet melting texture. It is excellent for baking as well as eating out of hand.Usually available from Argentina between April and May, always choose fruit that is hard to firm with no external stem punctures or bruising. Keep refrigerated as Abate pears will ripen very quickly at room temperature.

In keeping with tradition a red wine  from the Ribeira Sacra region of Spain is a favorite wine to use in this dish. Ribeira Sacra DO (Denominación de Origen) is a winegrowing zone at the heart of Galicia, north-western Spain. Its boundaries are marked roughly by the Mino and Sil rivers, both of which flow down from the Cantabrian Mountains en route to the Atlantic Ocean.

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Thousands of years before the lucrative global wine economy of today, Romans carved terraces on slopes in Ribeira Sacra that rose at precipitous angles from the rivers below. They planted vines to keep themselves supplied with wine. Over the centuries, monks expanded and maintained the network of vines during the Middle Ages, which was farmed by the church and by locals, for whom grapes were just one of many subsistence crops.The name Ribeira Sacra means ‘Sacred Shore,’ which most likely references the numerous monasteries in the area.

The landscape of the region is dotted with Romanesque architecture, and the steep slopes and canyons overlooking the two rivers are dominated by beautiful banked terrace vineyards. Here, gradients can reach up to 85 percent, making vineyard work laborious or heroica (heroic), as it is known locally. The Ribeira Sacra area, which today covers around 1200 ha (2965 acres), was accorded DO status in 1996.

Unlike most Spanish reds, these are cool-climate wines, defined as much by the 220px-Uva_Menciarainy, temperate Atlantic coast as the soils, the slopes and the people who farm them. The reds are made predominantly of the mencía grape, which is also the basis for the reds of the Bierzo region to the east. But where the Bierzo wines tend to be denser and burlier, the best reds of Ribeira Sacra epitomize juicy freshness. These are lively, graceful wines, with the same sort of aromatic loveliness and lissome body that draws people to Burgundy and Barolo.

Ribeira Sacra excels at making wines, like the  the 2012 mencía from Algueira, which is spicy and wild, with a slatelike minerality. At $16, it the best value for a good quality of wine for this Spanish wine.

 

Pears poached in wine takes full advantage of any left over wine that is far too precious to pour down the drain. The fruit absorbs alcohol in the wine and the sugars produce a homogeneous taste and are intertwined most deliciously. When you eat the poached pears your palate will convince you that you are are drinking wine, and when you taste the syrup, you will taste the very essence of the fruit, itself. This dessert is simply divine and you must try it.

Enjoy!

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Peras al vino tinto
(Pears in Red Wine)

Serves 4

Ingredients:
3 cups of red wine (pinot noir or similar red wine)
1 cup sugar
3 whole black peppercorns
3 whole cloves
3 strips of lemon peel, without the pith, 1/2-inch wide
1 strip of orange peel, without the pith, 1/2-inch wide
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 Bartlett or Bosc ripe, peeled pears split half and cored
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated

Directions:
Boil over high heat the wine sugar, peppercorns, cloves,lemon peels, orange peel and the cinnamon stick in 1/2 cup water in a large pot for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook slowly for about 2 minutes until the mixture is slightly reduced.

Add the pears and simmer for about 15 minutes until they are tender and a knife can slide easily in the Center. The pears should take on the dark deep rich re color of the wine. Using a slotted spoon, remove the pears in a large bowl and set aside.

Remove and discard the cloves, peppercorns, lemon peels, orange peel and cinnamon stick. Continue cooking the liquid over a medium-low heat, for about 30 minutes until the liquid has the consistency of a thick syrup.

Return the pears to the liquid and spoon the syrup over the pears, coating completely with the syrup hot for 1 minute. Stir in the vanilla extract and turn off heat.

To serve the dessert, place pear halves in the center of each plate Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of syrup and garnish with just a pinch of nutmeg.

Cook’s Notes:
This dessert can be eaten warm or cold according to taste, but the most typical way is to eat them are at room temperature, once they have cooled in the refrigerator. The syrup is gently re-heated and served over the fruit

Another option is to make several vertical cuts and presented as if it were a half-open ladies fan. An ideal garnish is a dollop whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side, with a drizzle of the syrup.

Apple Pie In A Skillet

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The stove top pizza in a cast iron skillet was such a success, I thought about cooking an apple pie in the skillet.

This recipe is so easy and so amazing with simple ingredients that you can find in your local supermarket, that it will make your mouth water with the taste of apples and spiced whipped cream.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup light brown sugar
2 Pillsbury Pie Crusts, refrigerated
One 21-ounce can apple pie filling
2 Tablespoons cinnamon sugar
A pinch of cayenne pepper

 

For the Spiced Whipped Cream:
2 cups whipping cream, chilled
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
4 Tablespoons sugar

Special Equipment:
9-inch cast iron skillet
Metal Mixing bowl

Directions:
For the skillet pie:
Preheat the oven to 400 °F.

Melt the butter in a 9-inch cast-iron skillet; set aside 1 tablespoon of the melted butter for the top crust. To the melted butter, add the brown sugar and melt them together on medium heat, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and line the skillet with one of the pie crusts. Pour the apple pie filling over the crust and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of the cinnamon sugar and pinch of cayenne pepper. Use the second pie crust to cover the filling. Brush the top with the reserved melted butter, then evenly sprinkle the remaining 1 tablespoon cinnamon sugar on top. Cut vents in the middle of the pie. Bake for 30 minutes.

For the spiced whipped cream:
Chill a large metal mixing bowl and a wire beater attachment in the freezer for about 20 minutes. Pour the cream, cardamom, cinnamon and sugar into the cold mixing bowl and beat until soft peaks form, 2 to 3 minutes; the mixture should hold its shape when dropped from a spoon. Be careful in not to overbeat the cream, or you will have sweetened butter on your hands.

Serve the pie hot, topped with a generous dollop of the spiced whipped cream.

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*Cook’s Note:
Vanilla ice cream can also top the apple pie and served with a slice of cheddar cheese, if desired.

DIY Almond Milk

This surprisingly easy-to-make almond milk contains dates and cinnamon, which lend just a hint of sweetness without covering up the pure, clean almond flavor.
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BY TERESA PIRO
Food & Wine Magazine
January 2015

PREP TIME:  20 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 1 hour 30 minutes  PLUS OVERNIGHT SOAKING
SERVINGS: Makes 3 Cups

Ingredients:
1 cup raw almonds
5 cups filtered water, plus more for soaking
4 plump Medjool dates, pitted
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Sea Salt

Directions:
In a medium bowl, cover the almonds with filtered water and let stand overnight at room temperature.

Drain and rinse the almonds; transfer to a blender. Add the dates, cinnamon, 5 cups of water and 2 pinches of salt to the blender and puree on high speed until very smooth, about 2 minutes. Pour the nut milk through a cheesecloth-lined fine sieve set over a bowl and let drain for 30 minutes. Using a spatula, press on the solids to extract any remaining milk; discard the solids. Transfer the nut milk to an airtight container and refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes. Stir or shake before serving.

COOK’S NOTE:
The almond milk can be refrigerated for up to 4 days.

Sparkling Apple Cider Sangria

Who says Sangria is only for Summer entertaining? Look what we found on-line at Zulka Sugar. Another crowd pleasing drink  with a twist that will surely become a staple at your winter and holiday gatherings. Enjoy!

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Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup Zulka Morena Sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 cups Apple Cider
  • 1/2 cup Calvados or other Apple Brandy
  • 1 750 ml bottle white wine (Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc work best)
  • 1 bottle sparkling apple cider
  • 5-6 apples, cored and sliced thin
  • Cinnamon sticks

Directions:

Mix together the cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl. In another small bowl, pour a little of the brandy. Dip the glasses in the brandy and then the cinnamon sugar. Add a few apple slices to each glass. Set aside.

Pour the remaining cinnamon sugar in a large pitcher. Add the apple cider and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Top with the brandy and wine and mix. Add the rest of the apples. Chill until ready to serve.

Add the sparkling cider right before serving. Garnish with an apple slice and a cinnamon stick. Serve chilled. Add ice if desired.