Tag Archives: apples

Roasted Squash and Fontina Sandwiches

A hearty and warming sandwich that captures the best of winter.

Comfort food style without the gut bomb results.

Winter. It’s still here and all the comfort food you’ve been indulging in probably isn’t doing much for your waistline (we’re wearing this season’s finest mesh shorts at this point). Enter the roasted squash sandwich: well portioned, extremely flavorful, filling, and somewhat healthy as long as you use the meat and cheese more as garnish than a centerpiece. It’s a hearty and handheld meal that may even have you wishing for the groundhog to see his shadow.

Equipment Needed: 2 Large Baking Sheets or Baking Dishes, Chef’s Knife, Cutting Board, Serving Spoon, Vegetable Peeler, Tongs or Spatula

Serving Suggestion: Individual Plating

Servings: 4

Suggested Wine Pairing: Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, lighter Chiantis

Suggested Beer Pairing: Brown Ale, Pale Ale, Oktoberfest or Autumn Ales, Winter Ales

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium butternut squash (about $1.49/lb)
  • 1 large onion ($0.99/lb)
  • 2 garlic cloves ($2.99/lb)
  • 2 apples (about $2.99/lb)
  • 6 oz fontina cheese (about $12.99/lb)
  • 8 slices sourdough bread ($3.99/loaf)
  • 8 slices Prosciutto ($17.99/lb)
  • 3-4 TBSP extra virgin olive oil ($8.99/32 oz)
  • 1 TSP ground allspice ($3.69/2 oz)
  • 1 TSP ground cinnamon ($3.49/2.4 oz)
  • 2-3 TSP brown sugar ($1.59/lb)
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Preparation:

  • Preheat the oven to 425° F.
  • Peel the squash, halve it, and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Once both sides are clean, slice them cross-wise into 1/2 inch pieces. Spread them evenly across your baking sheet.
Slice the pieces as uniformly as possible so they cook evenly.

Slice the pieces as uniformly as possible so they cook evenly.

  • Peel and halve the onion, then slice it crosswise into 1/4 inch slices and place them on the baking sheet as well. It’ll probably be a little crowded at this point but try not to overlap the veggies too much.
  • Peel and mince the garlic cloves and sprinkle them across all of the veggies. Drizzle your olive oil over the whole lot and give it a dusting of the allspice, cinnamon, brown sugar, salt and pepper. Pop it in the oven for 20 minutes.
Season the veggies more aggressively if you don't plan to use condiments for your sandwich.

Season the veggies more aggressively if you don’t plan to use condiments for your sandwich.

  • While things are roasting you can prepare your other fillings. Cut your apples in half, remove the cores and slice them into thin pieces. Slice the fontina as well and set aside.
  • On a separate baking sheet lay out 4 pieces of your bread to get it ready for the fillings. Once 20 minutes has passed, flip your veggies and pop them back in the oven for another 15 minutes or until they’re nicely browned and fork tender.
  • When the squash and onions are done, layer them on the bread and then place your proscuitto, apples, fontina, and other slice of bread on top. Pop them back in the oven for about 5 minutes or until the cheese has melted nicely and the bread is lightly toasted. Cut them in half and serve with some whole grain or honey mustard if desired.
Try to avoid piling your sandwich fillings too high so everything doesn't squeeze out the sides when you bite it.

Try to avoid piling your sandwich fillings too high so everything doesn’t squeeze out the sides when you bite it.

Ale-brined Stuffed Pork Loin

Pork, nuts, fruit and stuffing; a meal in every bite.

The other white meat can sometimes fall victim to being boring, which is a fate we blame on people with no imagination. We turn this one up to 11 by soaking it with a badass brine and stuffing it full of home cooking favorites like, well, stuffing and cranberries. It’s almost a complete meal in and of itself but that shouldn’t stop you from pairing it with some mashed potatoes or roasted root vegetables to cap things off.

Equipment Needed: 5 QT Pot, 3 QT Pot w/ Lid, Large Container with Lid, Large Roasting Pan (OR) 13 x 9 Baking Pan, Cooking Twine, Chef’s Knife, Cutting Board, Whisk, Tongs, Wooden Spoon, Paper Towels

Serving Suggestion: Individual Plating

Servings: 4-6

Suggested Wine Pairing: Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Noir, Shiraz

Suggested Beer Pairing: Stout, Brown Ale, Scotch Ale

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs pork tenderloin ($7.99/lb)
  • 16 oz brown ale (price varies)(we actually used an old autumn ale, you can use English ale, winter ale or almost anything other than an overly hoppy IPA or barley wine)
  • 2 C apple cider ($3.49/gallon)
  • 1/3 C kosher salt ($2.29/48 oz box)
  • 1/3 C  pure grade A maple syrup (about $7/8 oz)
  • 8 large rosemary sprigs ($1.50/sprig or bunch)
  • 1 TBSP whole black peppercorns ($3.69/2.25 oz jar)
  • 1/2 C dried cranberries ($2.99/6 oz bag)
  • 1/2 C walnuts (about $8.99/lb)
  • 1 box of instant stuffing (about $2.50/6 oz box) (don’t judge us, just be sure you check the instructions on the box, the recipe typically requires a few tablespoons of butter and water)
  • 2 large apples ($2.99/lb)

Preparation:

  • You’ll want to plan ahead a bit on this one because you’ll want to brine the pork loin for at least 2 hours before you cook it. 6-10 hours is ideal.
  • For the brine combine your beer, cider, maple syrup & salt in the 5 QT pot. Whisk it all together, place it over high heat and bring it to a boil, stirring regularly until the syrup and salt are dissolved.

Beer here!

  • Once it’s boiling, transfer the brine to your large container add a tray of ice cubes to accelerate the cooling process and thin it out a bit. Pop it in the fridge until it’s chilled (this should take about 45 minutes to an hour).
  • While you’re waiting for things to cool, trim any excess fat off of your pork loin and give it a good rinse.
  • When your brine is cold, place the pork in it an add the rosemary & peppercorns. Cover the dish and pop it back in the fridge for at least 2 hours; the longer you leave it in the more tender it’ll get.

Make sure you have enough brine to fully cover your meat.

  • When you can’t holdout any longer preheat the oven to 375°F and take the pork out of the brine. Rinse it, pat it dry, and put it on a plate to bring it to room temperature (at least 15 minutes). Save the rosemary sprigs for later.
  • While you’re waiting for the pork to warm, cook up your stuffing. This typically involves bringing water and butter to a boil, stirring in the stuffing and letting it sit in a covered pot for 5-8 minutes. Chop up the walnuts and stir them in along with the dried cranberries.

Chop the walnuts into manageable chunks but be careful not to pulverize them.

  • When the pork is un-chilled, butterfly it (a.k.a. cut it almost in half lengthwise so you can open it like a sub roll).
  • Slice up your apples into thin pieces, lengthwise and use them to line each interior side of the loin. Spoon in your stuffing and lay the rosemary sprigs from the brine across the top.

Be careful not to over-stuff the meat, you need to be able to tie it up without too much excess.

  • Squeeze everything together and tie up the loin with butcher’s twine.

It's a good idea to pre-cut your twine so you don't have to do it with porky hands.

  • Pop the pork in the oven and cook it for about 45-60 minutes until it registers at about 165° F on your meat thermometer.
  • As with all meat let it rest for 5-10 minutes before you cut it. Remove the twine, slice into 1-2 inch discs and serve.

The Gobbler

Like a holiday for your mouth.

This seasonal homage to the shandy makes your taste buds feel like they’re jumping into a pile of leaves on a sunny fall day (e.g., awesome). Works great as a crisp and refreshing pre-dinner drink or as a fruity counterpart to dark poultry. Try different darker beers like pumpkin ale, brown or autumn ale to change the flavor profile.

Equipment Needed: Glass, Spoon, Paring Knife, Cutting Board

Ingredients:

  • 6 oz dark beer (we tried Southampton Pumpkin and Fire Island Pumpkin Barrel. No, not at the same time.) (price varies)
  • 4 oz apple cider ($3.49/gallon)
  • 1 Rosemary sprig ($1.50/sprig or small bunch)
  • 1 apple (about $2/lb)

Preparation:

  • Wash your apple thoroughly and cut it crosswise into thin discs. Slice out the core of your disc and make a cut from the center to the edge (yes, geometry  nerds, the radius of the disc).
  • Pour your beer into the glass and add in the apple cider. Stir gently.
  • Garnish with the rosemary sprig as a swizzle stick and put one of your apple discs on the rim of the glass. Quaff by the fire or while cutting your celebratory meat of choice.

Orchard Sauce

Looks like applesauce, tastes like apple sauce with pears. Whoa!

Ok, we picked a cutesy name because it was shorter than saying apple and bosc pear sauce. Ginger and honey give this side dish standby a novel twist. Take it a step further and use apple cider instead of water for a richer flavor.

Equipment Needed: 3 QT Pot, Potato Masher, Wooden Spoon, Vegetable Peeler, Chef’s Knife, Cutting Board, Immersion Blender (optional)

Serving Suggestion: Family Style

Servings: 6

Suggested Wine Pairing: Chardonnay, Viognier

Suggested Beer Pairing: Pilsner, Lager, Hard Cider if you want a fruit overload

Ingredients:

  • 3 lbs apples (about $1.50/lb)
  • 4 medium bosc pears ($1.99/lb)
  • 1/4 C water (free)
  • 1 TBSP light brown sugar ($1.39/lb)
  • 2 TSP ground cinnamon ($3/2.4 oz jar)
  • 1-2 TBSP ground ginger ($3.39/2 oz jar)
  • 1-2 TBSP honey ($3.99/12 oz)

Preparation:

  • Peel the apples and pears. Scoop out the core of the pears with a spoon and cube them into 1/4 inch pieces.

If you've got a corer you can use that but a spoon works just as well.

  • Cut the sides of the apples away from the cores and cube them into 1/4 inch pieces too.
  • Toss all the fruit into the pot and put it over medium-low heat. Add the water and stir occasionally. After about 5 minutes toss in the brown sugar, cinnamon, 1 TBSP of ginger and 1 TBSP of honey. Stir again and cook down for another 15 minutes.

Ginger gives the sauce a slightly spicy yet harmonious flavor.

  • At this point you should be able to mash things down a bit. Squish what you can, give it another stir and keep cooking. Continue to mash everything once every 5 minutes until it’s no longer chunky. Season to taste with more cinnamon, honey and ginger. If you have an immersion blender stick it in there to smooth things out a bit, otherwise cool, serve and call it rustic-style.

This is a good dish to make if you've had a tough day at work. The harder you mash the better it gets.

Autumn Harvest Wraps

Roasted harvest goodness all done up.

This wrap is an easy way to use a hodge podge of veggies to create a cornucopia of fall’s best flavors. Lose the kielbasa to make it a satisfying vegetarian delight. Lose the cheese to make it a vegan delight, then never call us again.

Equipment Needed: 2 Baking Sheets, Wooden Spoon, 3 QT Pot w/ Lid, Steamer Basket, Chef’s Knife, Cutting Board, Cheese Grater, Toothpicks

Serving Suggestion: Individual Plating

Servings: 6 wraps

Suggested Wine Pairing: Old Vine Zinfandel, Pinot Noir, Malbec, Rioja

Suggested Beer Pairing: Brown Ale, Oktoberfest, Dunkelweizen, Dopplebock, Brown Belgians

Ingredients:

  • 1 package of turkey kielbasa ($4.99/16 oz)
  • 1 butternut squash ($1.99/lb)
  • 1 bunch baby turnips (about $2.99/bunch)
  • 3 apples (about $1.50/lb)
  • 1 bunch kale ($1.50/lb)
  • 1 medium onion ($0.99/lb)
  • 3 cloves garlic ($2.99/lb)
  • 1 lb. fontina cheese ($7.99/lb)
  • 6 whole wheat wraps ($2.89/8 pack)
  • 2 TBSP apple cider vinegar ($2.79/32 oz)
  • 2 TBSP grade A maple syrup ($7/8 oz)
  • 2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil ($9.99/32 oz)
  • 1 TBSP ground allspice ($3.79/1.95 oz jar)
  • 1/2 TBSP cayenne pepper ($2/3.5 oz jar)
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Preparation:

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Put the fontina in the freezer to make it easier to grate.
  • Wash and peel the squash. Cut it in half, scoop out the seeds with a spoon and cut it into 1/2 inch chunks.

Cut the squash into bite-sized cubes for even roasting and easy eating.

  • Peel and halve your onion then cut it into thin strips. Mince the garlic  spread both evenly over the squash.
  • Wash the turnips and cut off the stems. Depending on their size either halve or quarter them; you want the pieces to be roughly the same size as the squash. Toss it in with everything else.

It's hard to come up with a witty caption for turnips. Fail.

  • Wash the apples and cut the sides off as close to the core as possible without getting any seeds or husk.

Don't slice the apples too thinly or they'll be too mushy.

  • Pour the vinegar, maple syrup, olive oil over the top of the veggies. Sprinkle about 2 tablespoons of salt and pepper in addition to the allspice and cayenne pepper evenly over the mix and stir everything together to evenly coat things. Toss the veggies in the oven for 30 minutes.
  • While the roasting is making it all happen, put your steamer basket in the 3 quart pot and add water until it just touches the bottom of the basket.
  • Cut the end of the stems off the kale, wash the leaves and cut them into 1 inch strips. Toss them in the steamer, cover the pot and put it over medium heat. Cook everything down for about 30 minutes or until tender.

We've never eaten as much kale as we have with this CSA.

  • While everything is cooking in its own special ways, take the kielbasa and cut it on a bias (diagonally) into 1/2 inch discs. Cut each disc in half and add it to the roasting mix with about 10 minutes left on the timer to heat it up (it’s pre-cooked).
  • Grate the fontina and set it aside. Once the veggies are roasted and the kale is soft take each wheat wrap and layer on the fillings. We like to lay down the roasted veggie mix, then the kale, then the cheese. Leave about an inch of space on each end of the wrap (just pick 2 opposite sides to be the ends) and fold the end up over top of the filling. Fold each side over and hold the whole thing in place with a couple strategically placed toothpicks.
  • Repeat the process until you’re out of ingredients and put them on your other baking sheet. Pop them back in the oven for another 5 minutes to melt the cheese, remove the toothpicks (very important) and enjoy.

Autumn Harvest Apple Sauce

...or you could just have some of that sh*t they sell at the grocery store if you're into terrible food.

...or you could just have some of that sh*t they sell in a jar at the grocery store, if you're into that kind of thing.

One of our favorite things about fall is homemade apple sauce. We refuse to let our beloved remain the afterthought of all side dishes, reserved for the three times a year you actually eat pork chops. Nay fair citizens, justice will be served once you experience how easy it is to make and how delicious fresh apples taste when they’re mashed up with obscene amounts of cinnamon. Join us and get blissfully sauced.

Equipment Needed: 3 QT Pot, Chef’s Knife, Cutting Board, Vegetable Peeler, Wooden Spoon, Potato Masher

Serving Suggestion: Family Style

Servings: About 6

Suggested Wine or Beer Pairing: You probably shouldn’t be drinking if you’re only eating apple sauce. Drink whatever you’re drinking with dinner otherwise.

Ingredients:

  • 6-8 medium apples (about $1.50/lb)
  • about 2 TBSP sugar ($1/lb)
  • about 2 TBSP brown sugar ($1.19/lb)
  • about 1/4 C water (free, unless you’re using bottled water to cook with, weirdo)
  • Cinnamon to taste (we use about 4 TBSP) (about $3/3 oz)
  • Salt
  • OPTIONAL: Grade A Dark Amber maple syrup ($8.99/16 oz bottle)

Preparation

You’re probably wondering why all of the ingredient measurements are approximate. The appropriate sweetness for applesauce is an acquired taste, as is the amount of cinnamon. The Brothers Brown use a heavy hand with the latter, and add sugar until we think it looks right. We’ll explain more in a bit.

  • Peel the apples with a vegetable peeler. You can try to use a paring knife if you’re feeling badass but a peeler is safer and quicker. Be sure to remove any stems or those little leaf-like things at the bottom (not sure what they’re called, a Google search only yielded Apple Bottom Jeans).
Peel directly over the trash can. That's working smarter, not harder.

Peel directly over the trash can; work smarter, not harder.

  • Cut the apples in quarters and remove the seeds. Cut each quarter into smaller pieces about an inch wide.
Chop, chop, chop all day long. Chop, chop, chop while you sing this song.

Chop, chop, chop all day long. Chop, chop, chop while you sing this song.

  • Put your pot over medium heat and toss the apples in. Add just enough water so they don’t stick to the bottom.
Add about a quarter cup of water so the apples don't stick and burn.

Add about a quarter cup of water so the apples don't stick and burn.

  • Now here comes the “about” part of the recipe. Add white sugar so there’s a thin, even layer across the top layer of apples. This will probably be about 2 TBSP, but can be more if you want sweeter sauce. Add a little less brown sugar, a dash of salt to even everything out and coat the entire thing with cinnamon (we like to add it until you can’t see apple). Throw in a few tablespoons of maple syrup for another flavor dimension if you wanna get wild.
  • Stir occasionally so the apples don’t stick to the pot. Once things start bubbling pretty well and the fruit softens (about 10 minutes or so), reduce to low heat and go to town with your potato masher. Mush all the apples up until it’s no longer chunky and has the consistency of oatmeal. You can serve it hot for shits and giggles or chill it for about an hour before diving in.
Now is a good time to take out any aggression from your day.

Now is a good time to take out any aggression from your day.