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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Night of 1000 Apples: Episode 1

I'm back in the groove.

After a few disasters [I was too humiliated to post about my failed romance to hominy], last nights apple adventures went very well.

Not that anything I made was terribly difficult. But cooking is less about skill than it is imagination. Some times you imagine things that taste well together. Sometimes your imagination is wrong.

Sauteed Cabbage with apples was one such phantasm that worked.

The key is to slice the apples in their jackets very very thinly [think garlic with a razor blade]. It was quite the brain game to figure out what was denser: cabbage or apples, which would determine what would get cooked first. The spices were simple: salt, pepper and corriander. OH! and a teensy bit of chunk-ily sliced ginger. Half a tablespoon, max.

This was surprising filling. The butter made it very rich, and I didn't feel like I needed a pork chop to go with it [though my sister Ann would probably disagree.]

Apple Cloud Cake
I generally avoid processed foods, mostly for economical reasons. But I couldn't pass up the $.99 cake mixes on sale at Supreme. Seeing as how apples are literally rolling all over my kitchen [thanks to pushkin and jane], I broke down and got a box of french vanilla cake sans icing, which I wanted to make myself.

To make a very moist boxed cake, add two chopped, peeled apples to the mix, and follow the instructions on the box. It gives it a hint of flavor and a lot of texture.

I iced it with a yogurt icing that I've been wanting to make ever since I saw it on an English cooking show, waaaay back in 2001.

I was living in a coastal town in the northeast of England, where I discovered that the British actually eat a lot of delicious food, despite common misconceptions. That's what happens when your country controlled one quarter of the world's population. You get to steal all their food!

The yogurt icing came from Cyprus, which is why it was made with the tangy, thick leban that you can only buy in arabic grocery stores [a definite staple in my refrigerator]. I mixed about 3 cups of yogurt [enough for a glaze, not a thick, gloppy layer], with a generous squirt of maple syrup and a 1/2 cup of confectioners sugar.

I was so proud of myself for being patient and letting the cake cool before I iced it. Otherwise it would have been a runny mess.

Most of my failed recipes are a result of my laziness. Remember the cornbread bake? It would have been awesome if it wasn't on the verge of rotting. I didn't feel like rearranging the stuff in my fridge to put it away, so I covered it with paper towels and sat it on my countertop overnight. The beans and cheese congealed and even after I put it in the fridge, I couldn't get rid of the alcoholic taste and the stringy coating that covered the beans. Ew.

Of course, I ate it for lunch every day last week. But I didn't enjoy it.

Anyway, back to my cloud cake, I sprinkled the iced cake with some crushed walnuts and it became something delicious for Ann and I to giggle over [as is our custom] before we went to bed.

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