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Persimmon Apple Radicchio Stacks

persimmon apple radicchio stacks by The Culinary ChaseI intimidate people.  I remember the first time I was told this and was floored! It wasn’t said in a negative way nor aimed at my personality.   It happened to pertain to my style of cooking.   We love to entertain and our friends enjoy coming to our house for dinner.  The issue tends to be when we get invited out, our friends tell us they can’t cook the same way I do.  Because I am an enthusiastic cook, poring over recipes, and plan to the last detail what will be on the menu, I take this for granted.  However, as much as I adore cooking for others, I love it when people cook for me…no matter what’s on the table.  And, it doesn’t matter how many times you come to our home for dinner, I always get pre-dinner jitters.

Persimmon, available in autumn, is an edible fruit with sweet tones. When looking for persimmons, choose those that are labeled Fuyu (flat bottoms and squat shape).  The other type is called Hachiya and unless its overripe (very soft to touch), it will be astringent and nasty to bite into.  I can still recall the mouth-puckeringly tart sensation in my mouth when I took a bite – not nice at all!

Serves 2
adapted by Ripe

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 medium ripe but firm persimmon
1 Granny Smith apple
1 small head radicchio
sea salt and freshly ground pepper

veg & fruit stack collage by The Culinary Chase1. In a bowl, whisk the oil and vinegar. Season generously with salt and pepper.

2. Using a mandoline set to medium thickness, slice the persimmon from the bottom up, horizontally.  Add the slices to the vinaigrette, turn to coat, then remove to a large plate.

3. Slice the apple on the mandoline, remove the seeds after slicing. Add to the vinaigrette, then remove and place next to the persimmons. Remove leaves of radicchio and tear into pieces big enough to accommodate the fruits slices. Coat with dressing, then pile on the plate.

4. To assemble the stacks, lay 1 persimmon slice on the bottom of a serving plate. Top with an apple slice and a piece of radicchio. Repeat until you have 3 to 4 layers. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper.

fruit slices by The Culinary ChaseThe Culinary Chase’s Note:
  This is such an easy appetizer make.  Change the ingredients and use your favorite apple or switch the apple for a pear.  Persimmons should be available now.  Enjoy!

Apple Pie in a Jar

apple pie in a jar by The Culinary ChaseApple pie conjures up good, wholesome food made by grandmothers and moms.  There’s something so pleasing to the senses when a pie is baking in the oven.  The aromas immediately say ‘welcome’.  I wonder, though, why the pie is made in a round plate and not a square.  Is it because it’s easier to lift the pie out of a round dish?  Or was it due to the fact that was all that was on hand many years ago?  I am reminded of a story about a young mother who was roasting a chicken in a small pan.  When asked why she used a small pan, too small for the chicken, she had no answer.  She decided to ask her mother who also didn’t know why and decided to ask her mother.  When asked she replied, “that’s the only pan I had”.   Let’s start a new tradition and make apple pie in a jar!   Why not?  It’s easy to make, you don’t have to worry about making the perfect pie crust, it’s gluten-free friendly, kid friendly and I like the aesthetics of a jar.  If you do like this idea, then click on the link where I made a chocolate cake in a jar.

Serves 4 to 6
adapted by Roost

2 cups pecans
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon salt
homemade chunky applesauce
whipped cream

pecans

Pecans bathed in melted butter before going into the oven.

Preheat oven to 375F. Line a cookie sheet with foil. In a bowl add pecans and toss with melted butter. Pour buttered pecans onto the foil and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 15-18 minutes. Once you get past the 10 minute mark, keep an eye on them as the pecans can quickly turn too dark which will result in a bitter, burnt taste. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. Once cooled, place into a food processor and process until a course, crumbly meal forms.

apples

Mix the apple varieties for an enhanced flavor.

Make the applesauce and then let it cool slightly before assembling. To assemble, add enough pecan crumbs to cover the bottom of the jar followed by applesauce. Top with whipped cream and sprinkle more pecan crumbs, if you like.

apple peelThe Culinary Chase’s Note: For an exotic flavor, add a teaspoon of ground cardamom to the applesauce. This was so good I made it again the next day.  I did thin layers (parfait style) and liked this look just as much. You decide. Enjoy!

Coleslaw with Granny Smith Apple and Chili

easy to make coleslawWarmer weather brings out all our favorite recipes for barbecues, family picnics and when it gets too darn hot to cook in the kitchen!  Everyone has their favorite coleslaw recipe that perhaps their mom or grandmother used but this one, for me, takes the blue ribbon at a state fair hands down!  Coleslaw gets its origins from the Dutch – koosla (from kool cabbage and sla salad).  Cabbage is an excellent source of vitamin C and a good source of vitamin A.  For more information on the health benefits of cabbage, click here.

Serves 6
inspired by Charred & Scruffed

green cabbage, thinly sliced (about 6 handfuls)
1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons sugar

dressing –
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 tablespoon caraway seeds, toasted in a small skillet and finely ground
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Granny Smith apples, halved, cored, and cut into julienne (skin left on)
1 red chili pepper, thinly sliced (remove seeds and membrane)
1/2 cup fresh dill, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

cabbage apple chiliCombine cabbage and bell pepper in a large bowl and mix well. Toss with the sugar and allow to macerate for 15 minutes. For the dressing, combine all the ingredients until smooth. Don’t worry if there are a few lumps as this will break up later on. Add the apples, chili pepper, dill, and parsley to the cabbage and peppers and mix well. Toss with the dressing to coat and serve.

pretty veggies before dressingThe Culinary Chase’s Note: For increased flavor, place slaw in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.  Enjoy!