Celebrate SweeTango Season

September 2, 2011

Loyal Peepshow readers likely are familiar with our apple client, Next Big Thing, A Growers’ Cooperative, responsible for introducing apple lovers to delicious SweeTango. If the weather cooperates during the next few days, the 2011 SweeTango season is expected to kick off just after Labor Day with apples rolling out across the country in the coming weeks.

While SweeTango has had limited availability in the past, this year’s crop is expected to be triple the size of last year.

For those not yet familiar with SweeTango, it is a cross between the popular Honeycrisp and Zestar! varieties. The apple’s satisfying crunch and complex flavor deliver a superior apple-eating experience. Both sweet and tart with hints of fall spices, SweeTango’s flavor, balanced by vibrant acidity, dances to a long and satisfying finish on the palate.

The same apple breeders at the University of Minnesota who gave us the Honeycrisp released SweeTango after more than a decade in development.

To celebrate the biggest SweeTango season yet, we wanted to share a few of our favorite apple recipes from Fast Horse employees. Give them a try this fall!

[learn_more caption=”Apple Pizza (a favorite in the Hoffman household)”]

Canned Refrigerator Biscuits (1 per person)

1 cup grated mild cheese

5 peeled apples

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

2 Tbsp. flour dots of margarine or butter

Measure flour, sugar and cinnamon. Place in a small bowl. Mix well. Roll biscuits to flat circles and place on lightly greased cookie sheet. Sprinkle with grated cheese. Slice apples and arrange on top of cheese. Cover with brown sugar mixture and dot with margarine. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes. Cool slightly before eating. [/learn_more]

[learn_more caption=”Macaroni Salad With Apples from Amanda (original source 101 Cookbooks) “]

1 pound elbow macaroni

1/4 cup / 60 ml extra virgin olive oil

4 cups thinly sliced green onions {~3-4 bunches}

3 medium cloves garlic, chopped

fine grain sea salt

lots of freshly ground black pepper

zest and juice of one lemon

1/3 cup / 2 oz grated Parmesan

4 big handfuls arugula

1 large apple, diced

Cook the macaroni in a large pot of well-salted water per package instructions. Set aside at least 1/2 cup / 120ml pasta water. Then drain pasta and set aside.

In the meantime, heat the olive oil in a large skillet until hot. Add most of the green onions, all of the garlic, and a pinch of salt. Cook until the onions soften, and the garlic begins to take on some color, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool for a couple minutes.

Use a hand blender or food processor to puree the green onion mixture along with 3/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, zest of the lemon, half the lemon juice, and the reserved pasta water. Puree and taste. The green onion flavor should be assertive. Stir in the Parmesan.

Combine the macaroni with the green onion sauce in a large bowl. Toss well. Add the arugula and most of the apple and toss again. Taste, and add more pepper, salt, or lemon juice if needed. Serve topped with the remaining apple and green onion.

Makes enough for a crowd or potluck. Prep time: 10 min – Cook time: 10 min [/learn_more]

[learn_more caption=”Apple Bread from Jenny (she recently made this bread for the office and it was delicious!)”]

3 c. plain flour

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. soda

1 tsp. ginger

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. baking powder

3 eggs

2 c. sugar

2/3 c. oil

2 1/4 c. chopped apples

Sift together the flour, salt, soda, ginger, cinnamon and baking powder and set aside. Beat the eggs and add the sugar and oil; mix well. Add egg mixture to the flour and mix. It will be stiff. Add 2 1/4 cups chopped apples. Mix well. Pour into an oblong pan. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 45 minutes, or until top starts to get golden brown, and you can insert a toothpick in the center and comes out clean.

Glaze with your favorite frosting or serve with butter.

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[learn_more caption=”Maple-Brined Pork Roast with Apples, Onions, and Mustard Breadcrumbs from Jen (this one calls for tart apples and looks delicious if you have the time to try it out) “]

Brine: 2 cups water

1/3 cup coarse kosher salt

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

4 unpeeled garlic cloves, smashed

3 large fresh sage sprigs

2 bay leaves (preferably fresh)

1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

2 cups ice water

1 5-to 5 1/2-pound bone-in pork loin rib roast, chine bone removed

Vegetables and breadcrumbs:

1 1/2 pounds tart crisp apples (such as Granny Smith), cored, cut into 1-inch-wide wedges

3 cups coarsely chopped onions

3/4 cup chopped celery 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

Coarse kosher salt

2 1/4 cups apple cider

1 1/2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

2 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard, divided

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1 1/2 cups fresh breadcrumbs (from crustless French bread coarsely ground in processor)

Special equipment: 2-gallon resealable freezer bag

For brine:

Stir 2 cups water and 1/3 cup coarse salt in medium saucepan over medium heat until salt dissolves. Remove from heat. Add maple syrup, garlic, sage, bay leaves, and peppercorns. Add 2 cups ice water; cool brine to room temperature. Place roast in large resealable freezer bag; place bag in large pot. Pour brine into bag with roast; seal bag. Place in refrigerator and brine pork overnight. Remove pork from brine; discard brine. Let pork stand 1 hour at room temperature.

For vegetables and breadcrumbs: Preheat oven to 325°F. Place first 4 ingredients on heavy 18x12x1-inch rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with 3 tablespoons oil. Sprinkle with coarse salt and pepper; toss to coat. Push mixture to sides of sheet, making room for roast in center. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in heavy large skillet over high heat. Pat pork dry. Place roast, fat side down, in skillet and cook until browned, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer roast, browned side up, to center of baking sheet with apple-onion mixture.

Add apple cider to drippings in skillet. Boil cider until reduced to 1 cup, 15 to 20 minutes. Pour reduced cider over apple-onion mixture. Mix maple syrup and 11/2 tablespoons mustard in small bowl for glaze. Brush half of glaze over browned side of pork. Roast pork until instant-read thermometer inserted into center registers 140 degrees F, brushing every 45 minutes with remaining glaze, about 2 hours total.

Transfer pork to work surface and let rest 15 minutes. Meanwhile, stir melted butter and remaining 1 tablespoon mustard in medium bowl. Add breadcrumbs; toss to coat. Season to taste with coarse salt and pepper. Spread out on small rimmed baking sheet. Increase oven temperature to 375°F. Bake breadcrumbs until golden brown and crisp, 10 to 12 minutes.

Cut pork into scant 1/2-inch-thick slices off bone. Divide among plates. Using slotted spoon, divide apple-onion mixture among plates. Pour juices from baking sheet into small pitcher. Sprinkle mustard breadcrumbs over pork and serve, passing juices alongside.

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/355231 [/learn_more]

[learn_more caption=”Apple Butter (Cydney found this crockpot recipe at Woman’sDay.com)”]

This recipe looks like a great way to use up apples if you have a lot of them.

The website includes photos and step by step instructions. Check it out here.

[/learn_more]