When I was little, everyone served ham with pineapple. That’s good, but I think this apple glazed ham steak is better. There’s an enzyme in pineapple that breaks down protein and tends to make it a bit mushy. Plus you have to get a good pineapple, wonder what to do with the rest of it, or settle for canned. Apples on the other hand, add a touch of sweetness, plus a hint of tartness. It’s less overpoweringly sweet and it complements the salty ham better.
The other good thing about this recipe is that it’s fairly quick. Sauté the ham steak, set it aside, make the apple topping, and you have dinner in about 15-20 minutes.
Score! There are more quick dinner recipes at the bottom of the post.
If you can, get the ham steak from a butcher. The pre-packaged kind tends to be bulked up with water and additives. I’m lucky enough to have a butcher nearby that sells them frozen, so I can buy it and use it when I’m ready.
I made this with brandy, but if you don’t have that, apple cider will work too. For a more intense apple flavor, try it with apple brandy, such as Calvados, or a hard apple cider.
The Brusssels sprouts, by the way, are tossed with some olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper and then roasted. My new favorite way to eat them!
1/4 C brandy (or apple cider or apple brandy or a combination)
Put the ham steak in a frying pan large enough to hold it without crowding. Cook the ham until heated through (about five minutes per side). Remove and set aside.
Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the sliced apple and sauté them until slightly tender (about 5 minutes). Add nutmeg, brown sugar, cloves, and brandy (or cider or Calvados) and deglaze the pan (stir the sauce with a wooden spoon, scraping the bottom of the pan to incorporate the brown bits from the ham into the sauce). If this sauce is too thin, add a bit of flour or turn up the heat and cook for a few minutes until it thickens.
Apple Glazed Ham Steak Substitutions and Variations
skip the cloves and add a bit of tangy mustard
try some cinnamon
sauté some sweet onions and include them in the sauce (Vidalia onions would work nicely for this)
mix up the apples; I used Gala but Granny Smith would add a bit of extra tartness to the recipe and make a nice complement to the ham
if you don’t have brandy, use Calvados, or apple cider
Now that fall has finally arrived, it’s time to start switching light meals and salads for something more substantial. This cider braised pork chop with sauerkraut is full of classic fall flavors, from rich pork, crisp apples and sweet cider. That sweetness is balanced by savory onions, piquant sauerkraut, and just a touch of brown sugar.
It’s great simple comfort food. This is a good dish for a weeknight dinner or even for company. You only need to use one pan, so there’s not a lot of clean up involved. And, after a bit of chopping and slicing it’s ready in about half an hour. Just be careful not to overcook the pork. Put everything together, deglaze the pan, and then cook it gently for 15 or 20 minutes.
There are lots of variations on this idea. Some add bacon. Others roast the pork. I added carrots, but you can also skip the carrots in the main dish and make my honey mustard glazed carrots as a side dish. The sweet honey and the savory mustard complement the pork nicely.
It’s officially fall, so that means it’s also officially apple season! This easy one serving apple crisp recipe really satisfies that apple craving, while indulging your sweet tooth at the same time. I had a serious hankering for something sweet, but not too gooey, and this hits the spot.
Try to use apples that are large, crisp, and juicy, but not too sweet. I am lucky enough to have access to a greenmarket with a farmer who grows 75 kinds of apples. So, I used Esopus Spitzenberg (supposedly Thomas Jefferson’s favorite apple). If you don’t have 75 kinds of apples, Granny Smith or Mutsu or similar will do just fine.
The original recipe called for 2 cups of sugar (for 12 servings), which was waaay too much. Every other recipe I saw used half that. So, I followed suit and cut it in half. It’s still sweet and delicious, without endangering your teeth.
A mini chopper is essentially a food processor’s little cousin. This is perfect for grinding up the oatmeal in this recipe. And, it takes up a lot less space than a food processor. It’s great for chopping nuts, dicing onions, making pesto, or even grinding a small batch of meat for meatballs.
This dish is ideal for baking smaller casseroles, cakes, crisps, and crumbles. Use it for brownies, peach crumble or a mini-meatloaf. It’s perfectly content in the oven, the dishwasher, and the microwave. And, it also takes up very little space in your cupboard.
There’s nothing better and more comforting than hot soup on a chilly, blustery day. This curried butternut squash soup with apples is perfect for cold fall or winter weekends when squash are plentiful. I had quite a bit of squash left over from making roasted cinnamon nutmeg butternut squash, so this was the perfect way to use it up. I have adapted the recipe from The Silver Palate cookbook, with a few tweaks.
First, I cut the recipe in half, as the original recipe made 6 large servings. Plus, I only had most of one squash left (not two!). I also substituted apple cider for the apple juice called for in the recipe. This gives it more flavor than just plain apple juice.
One more note, I recommend that you use a mild curry in this recipe (not something super-hot and spicy as it will overwhelm the flavor of the squash and the apples). I have a West Indian curry blend which is more savory than spicy; it works perfectly.
An easy soup that's perfect for chilly fall or winter days.
2 T unsalted butter
1 C yellow onion (about one medium-large), finely chopped
3 teaspoons mild curry powder (preferably West Indian)
1 butternut squash (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 apple, peeled, cored, and chopped
1 1/2 C chicken stock
1/2 C apple cider
salt and pepper to taste
Melt the butter in a three quart dutch oven or soup pot.
Add the chopped onions and the curry powder. Cover the pot and let the onions cook, on low heat, about 20 minutes.
Peel the squash and cut it into chunks. You don't have to be too neat about this as you're going to puree the soup. The easiest way is to take a large, sharp knife and cut the squash in half (width-wise) and then into smaller hunks. Make sure you scrape out the seeds and discard them. I find a grapefruit spoon works nicely.
When the onions are soft, add the stock, the chunks of squash, and the apple to the pot.
Raise the heat to medium-high and bring the soup to a boil. Once it's boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook (with the cover partially off the pot), until the apples and squash are soft. This should take about half an hour.
Turn off the flame and remove the pot from the heat.
Now, take a stick blender and puree the soup until it's smooth.
Add the apple cider and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Tools and Ingredients for Curried Butternut Squash Soup with Apples
Butternut squash is notoriously hard to peel, but this gadget makes the job a snap. Using this peeler, peeling a squash is no harder than peeling a carrot.
The little hole at the end is great for removing the eyes from potatoes, or taking out bruised spots from veggies. Oxo was originally designed for people with arthritis, so the handle is soft, round, and easy to grip.
It’s apple season! It’s also the time of year when it’s traditional to eat apples and honey (for a sweet Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year). I brought a full batch of this cinnamon sugar apple bread to my brother’s house for the holiday. They gobbled it up! Pretty good, considering it was competing with mom’s New York cheesecake.
I originally planned to post the entire recipe, which I adapted from Cookies and Cups. Then I remembered (duh), that this is the “single serving chef” blog, and the portions should be smaller!
I have reduced the sugar and the vanilla, because the original recipe was far too sweet for me. The result is a delicious, and easy to make quick bread (think banana bread, but with apples rather than bananas), that’s full of apple flavor and topped with a sprinkling of cinnamon sugar.
If you can get them, use a Canville Blanc D’Hiver apple (which is a French tart apple). If not, Granny Smith, Mutsu, or GingerGold will work well. You want an apple that’s firm, crisp, and not too sweet.
I once accidentally made this with cayenne (!) instead of cinnamon. I mention it because it was much better than I would have expected. I’m not sure I’d do it again deliberately, but it did give me an idea (see the substitutions section).
A rich, delicious cake full of apples and dusted with cinnamon sugar. Serve it warm or cold. It's great topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or gelato.
1/4 tsp kosher salt
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 C flour
1/4 C butter (half a stick), at room temperature
6 T light brown sugar
4T granulated sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 C milk
1 tart apple, peeled and diced
1/4 tsp granulated sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Preheat the toaster oven to 350 degrees.
Butter and flour a small baking dish.
Mix the salt, baking powder, and flour in a small bowl.
Beat the butter, sugars, and cinnamon in your mixer until the mixture is fluffy. If you have a KitchenAid, this should take about a minute, on speed 2. If not, mix on medium speed for two minutes, scraping down the sides.
Add the egg and vanilla, and mix another few seconds (KitchenAid), or about a minute for standard mixers, scraping the sides.
On low speed, alternately add the flour and the milk. Start with some flour, then some milk, then flour, then milk, then flour again. You should begin and end with flour.
Add the chopped apple, and stir just enough to combine.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Mix the remaining sugar and cinnamon together in a small ramekin and sprinkle over the batter.
Bake for 35-40 minutes.
Serve warm or at room temperature.
Substitutions and Variations for Cinnamon Sugar Apple Bread
Add 1/2 tsp ground ginger to make the cake a bit spicy
Give it a bit of a kick with some brandy or Calvados
If you’re brave, or like spicy sweets, go for the cayenne
Top the bread with bourbon sauce (2 T bourbon, 1/4 C sugar, 2 T butter, heated in a small pan) instead of the cinnamon/sugar.