Tag Archives: apples

Fried Cabbage Hot Dogs

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I’d like to start by pointing out that I used both leftovers and frozen veggies from last season’s CSA in this somewhat unconventional hot dog.  Yippee!

Many times when I’m putting a dish together in my head, I find that I’m one or two ingredients shy of what I really want.  Today, when I was thinking of ways to use my weekend leftovers, I was determined to only use the food that I had in the house.  And I did!

We had some lovely weather in Northeast Ohio this weekend, so on Saturday, Brian grilled hamburgers and brats (spicy Andouille brats!  Yum!).  I sometimes feel that Brian loves condiments more than the actual base of the meal, so burgers and dogs are always accompanied by many, many toppings.  (To give you an idea, we had lettuce, broccoli sprouts, chopped onion, Hungarian hot peppers, cheese, and of course, ketchup, and several kinds of mustard.  I might be missing some, but that’s close.)

Brian's hamburger.  Yep, that's broccoli sprouts on the bottom bun.  They're good on hot dogs, too!

Brian’s hamburger. Yep, that’s broccoli sprouts on the bottom bun. They’re good on hot dogs, too!

As per usual on hamburger and hot dog days, we had an odd conglomeration of leftovers – quite a bit of chopped onion, one and a half hot peppers, a couple of brats that got grilled but not eaten, etc.

I knew that I wanted to use the leftover brats and hot dog buns, but I couldn’t decide what to top them with (sadly, we ate all the broccoli sprouts).  So, I started making mental inventory of my fridge and my new, big shiny freezer.  Ah ha!  I have frozen cabbage from my CSA!  And apples from my last farmer’s market trip!  And leftover onions and hot peppers!  Perfect.

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The flavors reminded me of this Fried Cabbage dish, but the addition of the apples added some needed sweetness.  I made extra because my plan is to have leftovers of this dish tomorrow with grilled pork chops.  (Leftovers of leftovers!  I’m about to blow my own mind!)

This made enough to easily top six good size hot dogs/brats.  I’m thinking it will reheat well, but I’ll find out tomorrow!

Fried Cabbage Hot Dog Topping

  • 1 cup white onion, diced
  • 1 apple, diced (I used an Ida Red – a little bit sweet, but holds up well to cooking)
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 2 cups chopped cabbage (I used cabbage from my CSA that I had shredded, blanched and frozen)
  • Olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Caraway Seed
  • Salt and fresh ground black pepper

Sauté the onion and garlic with a bit of olive oil over medium heat.  When the onions are translucent, add the apples, Caraway seed, salt and pepper.  Continue cooking until the apples are soft.

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Remove the apple and onion mixture from the skillet and put off to the side.

In the same skillet, add the cabbage.  Now, because I did not plan ahead, I did not thaw the cabbage first.  I just tossed the frozen hunk of cabbage right into the hot skillet and it worked just fine.  Once it had thawed, I drained the excess water and turned the heat up to high.  Stir the cabbage often so it doesn’t brown.

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When the excess water is cooked off and the cabbage is heated through, add the apple and onion mixture back into the skillet.  Turn the heat down.  Add the apple cider vinegar, stir and taste it – if you need to, add more salt and pepper.  Continue cooking over medium/low heat for a few minutes to let the flavors meld.

That’s it for the fried cabbage topping!  I then started assembling my hot dog.  Lightly toasted hot dog bun, whole grain mustard, spicy brat.  Top the hot dog/brat with the fried cabbage topping and rings of Hungarian hot peppers. Eat and enjoy!!

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Warning:  These peppers range from mild to HOT!! and there’s no way to tell until you take a bite.  If you’re not a fan of heat, you may want to skip these.  In case you’re wondering, this particular pepper was hot enough that my lips were tingling after I ate it!  Just the way I like it.

This post is linked to What’s In the Box?  at In Her Chucks.

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Baked Apples and the Holiday Spirit

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Christmas is less than two weeks away, and normally, I would already have my tree set up and decorated, my jingle bell wreath on the door, and assorted other holiday decorations thoughout the house.

This year, I just can’t get in the holiday mood.  Oh, I’m doing my Christmas shopping and everything, but it just doesn’t FEEL like Christmas!  Maybe it’s because we haven’t had any snow.  Or maybe it’s because I haven’t watched the Rudolph and Charlie Brown Christmas specials on TV.  But whatever the cause, I decided today to fix my holiday funk.

And how do I readjust my holiday attitude?  With food of course!  In this case, with baked apples.  For whatever reason, baked apples and vanilla ice cream feel like Christmas.  And even better – it’s easy and yummy!

I remember learning how to make baked apples in middle school Home Ec class, and I’m pretty sure I made them constantly for a whole fall and winter after that.  (Thanks for letting me use the oven, Mom!)  So tonight, I made them the same way.

I took two honeycrisp apples and dug out the cores – but not all the way!  Just create a kind of a well in the middle of the apple.  Fill the wells with brown sugar, a little butter and cinnamon.  I put them in a tiny adorable cassorole dish, and baked them at 350 degrees for about 35 minutes.

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When I opened the oven, the warm cinnamon scent of the apples just filled the kitchen.  There are some foods that just smell like happiness – baked apples are certainly one of those foods.  (In case you’re interested, sushi is another.  Ummmm…sushi….)

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Then you break the apple apart, and the brown sugar that doesn’t soak into the apple makes it’s own syrup for the ice cream…awesome!

Welcome back, jingle bell wreath!

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Happy Holidays!

Pork Chops with Apples and Onions

Today I started tracking my calories.  That’s right – every single thing I eat or drink.  I need to watch my portion sizes, and I need to start making some better choices (no more soda or snacking from the candy dish!) and I know that tracking works for me.  It makes me more conscious of what I eat, and more importantly, why.  Am I bored?  Do I need a quick sugar rush at 3pm to keep me going through the workday?  And if that’s the case, can I make a better choice than the fun size Snickers bar in the candy dish on my desk?  I’m betting the answer is yes.

That being said, I don’t want to stop eating -or cooking- what I love.   So my goal now is to continue to find yummy, beautiful recipes that use local, seasonal food – and be healthy.  I still want to put cheese on my pasta, and butter on my bread, darn it!  I just have to be smarter about how I do it.

Challenge accepted!

Now, as much as I love a good steak, I know that I need to cut back on red meat.  So for dinner tonight, I decided to do something with the boneless pork chops in my fridge.  And what goes better with pork chops than apples!  Espesially this time of year when there are fresh apples everywhere!  It turned out to be a great dish – tasty and pretty healthy.  A good start, I think!

I’ll admit, I did have a little bit of the leftover mashed potatoes I made a couple days ago, but I balanced that out with some steamed green beans.  (Plus the green on the plate made it look better!)

If you have any tips for making recipes healthier, please share!  And in the meantime, here’s the recipe I made tonight.  Enjoy!!

Pork Chops with Apples and Onions

  • 3 boneless pork chops
  • 2 medium apples, sliced
  • 1 medium white onion, sliced
  • olive oil
  • 1 cup chicken stock (low sodium)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • dried sage, about 1/2 teaspoon

Salt and pepper both sides of the pork chops.  Sear the boneless chops on both sides with a little olive oil.  Remove the chops from pan (they’ll get added back later).

Turn the heat down to low.  Give the pan a minute to cool off and add olive oil.  Add onions, salt, pepper and sage and saute until the onions are transulcent.

Add apples and chicken stock and turn up to medium heat.  Add the pork chops back into the pan.  Cook on medium/medium high heat until the sauce is reduced and the chops are cooked through.  Once that’s done, eat and enjoy!!