Apples. I never used to be a big apple fan. I could take them or leave them. Growing up we had three options: 1) shiny red apples, 2) green apples, or 3) crab apples which came from my grandmother’s tree. It wasn’t until I moved to California and started shopping at the Farmer’s Market did I experience what I considered to be “real” apples.
Come late September, early October, there were baskets full of apples available. Some were sweet. Some were tart. Some of them had a slight blush to their skin. Some were slightly yellow. They were not perfectly unblemished, nor were they waxed. These were tree-ripened apples. When you took a bite, their juices ran down your chin. They had texture and made a loud crunch with that first, second and third bite. Suddenly I had experienced a good apple.
When I am working on a savory dish and want to toss apples in the mix, I normally opt for a tart apple. A good ole fashioned Granny Smith does just the trick. Not too sweet, just enough tartness to make a dish interesting. For this Fall inspired side dish, I decided to add lots of salty pancetta as well as brussels sprouts to my diced green apple recipe. I used to detest brussels sprouts, thanks to them being overcooked and doused in vinegar. Now I use them raw in salads or fried with savory seasonings as a side dish. This side screams fall and winter. It is kid-friendly as well. Just tell the little ones it has bacon added and they will be eating out of the palm of your hand.
Denise believes anything can be made at home as long as you have a little patience, and time. All of her recipes are made using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Her recipes have been featured on Eat Boutique, the Mushroom Channel, Saveur.com, Foodies of the World, PBS and Fine Cooking.
She, also creates the recipes on the popular food blog Chez Us. Saveur has featured Chez Us as one of 50 Food Blogs You Should Be Reading as well as one of the Sites They Love. Be sure to read more about what they are cooking up over at Chez Us.