Orchard-to-Table, Lots of Ways!
At MorningStar Kitchen, we seem to celebrate a lot of different "seasons." Last month we celebrated the start of what we call "Cooking Season." We also celebrate Harvest Season, Holiday Season, Soup Season, and Grilling Season, among others. But today is October 1st, and to me that signals the start of Apple Season!
Ahhhh, the apple! The beautiful, crunchy, delectable apple. So many kinds, like Red Delicious, Cortland, MacIntosh, Zestar; and my personal favorite, Honey Crisp - each perfect in its own right. But it seems to me that in recent years apples have taken a back seat to more exciting fall produce like pumpkins and squash of dozens of varieties. Maybe that’s because we’ve developed so many interesting – some might also say exciting – new ways to use these latest rock stars of the culinary world. Things like Pumpkin Spice Latte and Butternut Squash Cheesecake. (Ok, maybe that one isn’t quite mainstream yet. But give it time, and it will be!)
All the while, it seems that apples are still relegated to the old standbys like apple cider (always a winner in my book), applesauce, apple pie, and the occasional apple streusel creation. While they're all delicious, it seems to me that they've been sent to the back seat - to the mundane world of Comfort Food. Now don't get me wrong, I serve a lot of Comfort Food around here. But let's be honest. Most of it is never going to win "Recipe of the Year" because, well, it's just not that exciting!
Perhaps part of the reason that we view apples as less interesting than they might is because it seems that everything made of apples seems to taste pretty much the same. Most recipes made with apples include the standard seasoning: cinnamon, nutmeg, and probably some allspice. And while I do love the flavor these spices bring to pies, etc., it does get to be pretty predictable. So, in recent years I have set out to find new ways to present the humble apple.
For one thing, at MorningStar Kitchen we’ve gone the extra mile in creating our Apple Pie Seasoning blend. We've spiked our blend with cardamom, which turns up the volume and adds a real "Wow" factor to your apple creations that other Apple Pie Seasonings just don't seem to have. But I’m not here to brag about that today, although I do hope you'll check out our Apple Pie Spice Blend on our website at https://www.morningstarkitchen.com and try some for yourself.
What I’d like to do is to suggest that there are a lot of ways to use apples – both sweet AND SAVORY – that a lot of home chefs have never thought of before. Let me suggest just a few of our favorites at MorningStar Kitchen:
Breakfast Meatballs: who says we can't have meatballs for breakfast? These are made with sausage, and they're perfect with quiche, eggs, even pancakes. We add shredded apples and our Vermont Woods seasoning to make a meatball unlike any most of us have ever eaten.
Curried Squash Soup: the base for this soup consists of roasted patty pan squash, onions, and apples. The apples add a brightness to the flavor that it wouldn’t have otherwise. And they work beautifully with our French Curry .
Apple, Cranberry, and Sausage Dressing: no need to wait until Thanksgiving for stuffing. This recipe – made with our Fowler’s Poultry and Country French seasoning – makes a perfect side dish for some pretty amazing main courses besides turkey, things like braised pork shanks. These are just a few of the apple recipes that get us excited around MorningStar Kitchen. Hopefully they’ll get you thinking about new ways you can start to use apples in your kitchen. Maybe something like an apple cranberry barbecue sauce? Or scalloped apples. (We make those, too).
I'd love to hear from you! I'd love to hear about your special apple creations. And in the meantime, we hope you’ll check out some of our other recipes, and the specialty seasonings that make them 'sing' online.
To learn more, visit us at https://www.morningstarkitchen.com