Kitchen Experiments: Apple Turnovers & Sausage Chili
Posted September 26, 2009on:
I recently made some fresh puff pastry. The last time I made this was during the pastry module while I was in culinary school. I was fascinated with how the layers would form just from folding some dough and wrapping it around butter. Seriously, whoever thought of this procedure is a pure genius and for me, he/she is right up there with Albert Einstein! Since I made the dough, I stored it in the freezer for another day. Yesterday happened to be the day when I decided to take it out and make something wonderful with that puff pastry: apple turnovers! Who doesn’t love warm, sweet apples nestled in layers of flaky dough? With a cup of coffee, this simple treat is a great way to start my morning!
Apple Turnovers Yield, 10 to 12 turnovers
- 1 large sheet of puff pastry (Of course you can use your preferred brand of store bought puff pastry!)
- 3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and diced
- 1 lemon, juiced and zested
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg (freshly ground is best)
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves (optional, but if using freshly ground is best)
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 T milk
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, add the apples, lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar, cinnamon salt, nutmeg, and cloves, if using. Set aside.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out your puff pastry into a large sheet.
- Using a pizza cutter or very sharp knife, cut your puff pastry in half. Set one half aside. Cut the remaining half into 6 even rectangles.
- Fill each rectangle with about a tablespoon of the apple mixture, draining it of any juices that may have developed in the bowl.
- Brush the edges of the rectangle with beaten egg and fold the rectangle over, pressing lightly to remove any air. Use a fork to crimp together the edges.
- Place each turnover on a parchment-lined baking sheet and brush each with the beaten egg.
- Using a sharp knife, cut 2 or 3 slits in the top of each turnover, to create slits. These slits will serve as vents and will keep your pastries from exploding!
- Bake in a 350 degree oven for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown.
While your turnovers are cooling, you can make the icing!
- In the bowl of a mixer, combine confectioner’s sugar, vanilla extract and milk.
- Mix until it reaches a thick consistency, resembling icing. If you need to thin it out a bit, add a few drops of more milk.
- Using a spoon, drizzle the icing on top of your turnovers.
After spending the day surrounded by sweets, I decided I wanted something spicy for dinner, so I made some sausage chili.
Sausage Chili, Yield 4 to 6 servings
- 2 T olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 4 links of hot italian sausage, casings removed
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 jalapeños, seeds and stems removed and diced
- 1/2 dried habañero, stems and seeds removed and minced
- 3/4 cup red wine or 1 bottle beer
- 2 T of cajun seasoning
- 2 T of chili powder
- 2 T of cumin
- 1 (1lb, 13 oz) can of pink beans
- 1 (28 oz) can of tomatoes
- Top with crumbled cotija cheese or cheddar
- Warm a stock pot or dutch oven to medium heat.
- Add olive oil.
- Once olive oil is heated, add onion and cook until soft and edges are brown, about 5 – 6 minutes.
- Add sausage. Crumble the sausage while cooking. Cook until browned through about 10 minutes.
- Add garlic, jalapeños and habañero and cook 2 minutes more.
- Add wine or beer and scrape the bottom of the pot to remove any bits that are stuck. Cook another 2 minutes until liquid is reduced.
- Add cajun seasoning, chili powder and cumin, stirring to incorporate. Cook another minute.
- Add beans and tomatoes.
- Simmer, covered, for about 20-30 minutes until thick.
- To serve, ladle into bowl and top with crumbled cotija or cheddar cheese