Apples in a skillet

SKILLET APPLE CRISP

Topping:

3/4 c. all-purpose flour

3/4 c. pecans, chopped

3/4 c. old-fashioned rolled oats

1 c. apple cider

1/2 c. packed light brown sugar

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 c. granulated sugar

8 Tbsp. unsalted butter,

1/2 tsp. ground  cinnamon melted

Filling:

3 lbs. (about 7 medium) Golden Delicious

apples, peeled, cored, halved, cut into 1/2”-thick wedges

1/4 c. granulated sugar

1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 c. apple cider

2 tsp. juice from 1 lemon

2 Tbsp. unsalted butter

(Note: Honey Crisp or Braeburn can be used, do not use Granny Smith apples.)

For topping, combine flour, pecans, oats, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cinnamon and salt in medium bowl. Stir in butter until mixture is thoroughly moistened and crumbly. Set aside. For filling, toss apples, sugar and cinnamon together in large bowl; set aside. Bring cider to simmer in 12-inch ovensafe skillet over medium heat; cook until reduced to 1/2 cup, about five minutes. Transfer reduced cider to bowl or liquid measuring cup; stir in lemon juice and set aside. Heat butter in now-empty skillet over medium heat. When foaming subsides add apple mixture and cook, stirring frequently, until apples begin to soften and become translucent, 12-14 minutes. (Do not fully cook apples.) Remove pan from heat and gently stir in cider mixture until apples are coated. Sprinkle topping evenly over fruit, breaking up any large chunks. Place skillet on baking sheet and bake in preheated 350° oven until fruit is tender and topping is deep golden brown, 15-20 minutes. Cool on wire rack until warm, at least 15 minutes, and serve. Great with ice cream or whipped topping. Serves six to eight.

 

LOW-FAT NEW ENGLAND CLAM CHOWDER

2 slices bacon, chopped fine

1/4 tsp. dried thyme

1 onion, chopped fine

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 lb. russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/2’’ chunks

1/4 c. white wine

2 bay leaves

4 (6.5 oz.) cans chopped clams, drained reserve juices

3/4 c. instant potato flakes*

1 Tbsp. cornstarch

1 (8 oz.) bottle clam juice

3/4 c. fat-free half-and-half

1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

Salt and pepper

(*Instant potato flakes and buds can be used, avoid potato granules – they have a slightly metallic taste.) Cook bacon in Dutch oven over medium low heat until browned, about 10 minutes. Add onion and cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add potatoes, wine, bay leaves and reserved clam juice; increase heat to medium and simmer until potatoes are tender, 10-12 minutes. Whisk potato flakes, cornstarch and bottled clam juice in bowl. Microwave until mixture is thickened and smooth, about one minute. Stir potato flake mixture into pot and simmer until thickened, about three minutes. Add half-and-half, parsley and chopped clams to pot and cook until heated through, about two minutes (do not let chowder boil or it will curdle). Discard bay leaves and season with salt and pepper. Serves six.

 

MAKE-AHEAD SWEET/SOUR MEATBALLS

Meatballs:

4 slices white sandwich bread, torn into pieces

1/2 c. whole milk

2 large egg yolks

1/2 lb. ground pork

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 c. finely chopped fresh parsley

1 tsp. salt

2 tsp. pepper

2 1/2 lbs. 85% lean ground beef

Sauce:

1 Tbsp. vegetable oil

1 onion, minced

1 (28 oz.) can tomato juice

2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

2 1/2 c. apricot preserves

1/4 c. packed dark brown sugar

3 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes

Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions. Heat oven to 450°. Using fork, mash bread, milk and egg yolks in large bowl until smooth. Add pork, parsley, garlic, salt and pepper and mix until incorporated. Add beef and knead gently until combined. Form mixture into 1 1/4-inch meatballs (use 1 1/4-inch melon baller or one Tbsp. measuring spoon); should have about 80. Bake meatballs on two rimmed baking sheets until cooked through and beginning to brown, 12-15 minutes, switching and rotating sheets halfway through cooking. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes. Transfer to large zipper-lock bag and freeze for up to one month. To make sauce, heat oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Cook onion until softened, about five minutes. Whisk in tomato sauce, preserves, sugar, Worcestershire, mustard and pepper flakes and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until sauce is thickened, about 15 minutes. Let cool to room temperature. Transfer to airtight container and freeze for up to one month. To serve, reheat sauce, covered and stirring occasionally, in Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Once sauce reaches simmer, stir in frozen meatballs and cook until heated through, 10-15 minutes. Serves 20.

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