Baked Apple Sauce and Braised Red Radishes

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I'm straying from my promised Thanksgiving prep theme here - let me know if you want me to veer back . . . I'm just having so much fun with all these vegetables.  When I started my gig as a stay-at-home mom (which as many of you know, I NEVER in a million years thought I would do), I found (still do) great pleasure and intellectual stimulation in seeking out new ways to cook different foods.  This share's brought back that old feelin' again - yesterday's challenge was what do I do with 10 lbs. of apples and I don't love radishes, what to do? 

L. loves applesauce.  She also loves to cook - so the logical solution to the too many apples problem was applesauce (better for mama not to have a pie, or apple goodie around the house anyway).  This easy recipe was our afternoon activity yesterday - peeling apples is a kid-friendly task, as is MASHING.  Kids love to mash.  Who can blame 'em? (BTW, still have 8 apples left . . . hmmmmm).

Baked Apple Sauce

10 large apples, cored peeled and sliced
3/4 c. sugar
1 1/4 t. ground cinnamon
1 1/4 t. vanilla extract

 

Set aside 2 9x13-inch baking dishes.  Place the apples in the dishes, dividing evenly between the two dishes.  In a small bowl combine the sugar, cinnamon and vanilla; mix well. Sprinkle over apples. Cover each dish with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until apples are tender.  Uncover and mash with a fork or a potato masher.   This stuff is SO delicious.  Depending on your tastes and what sort of apples you use, you can play with the amount of sugar.  This is sweet as is, but not sickeningly so.  It'd be great on oatmeal, atop some fat-free Greek yogurt, mixed into wholegrain pancake batter (or on top of pancakes), as an accompaniment to latkes, etc. etc. 

Next task was radish rescue.  I've never been a fan of radishes - I mean, they're OK, but I'd never buy some to nosh - only to make a salad look pretty or to use as garnish.  I had a beautiful bunch of bright red radishes from the CSA share . . . so I consulted Deborah's Madison's Vegetarian Cooking For Everyone and made up this little ditty.  Cooked radishes are much mellower than their raw cousins - I like them a lot better.  The thyme in this went nicely with my leftover lentil soup.

Braised Red Radishes

1 bunch red radishes (approximately 10)
1 T. extra-virgin olive oil
1 shallot, minced
Several pinches of dried thyme
Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
Low-sodium chicken broth
 

 Trim the leaves from the radishes and scrub them clean.  Leave small radishes whole and halve or quarter the larger ones - you are aiming for uniform size (and therefore cooking time) here.  Heat the olive oil in a saute pan and add the shallot and the thyme and cook for 1 minute on medium heat.  Add the radishes, a bit of salt and pepper and enough chicken broth to cover the radishes about halfway.  Cover and simmer, stirring every 5 minutes or so, until the radishes are tender, about 20 minutes.  Remove the radishes to a serving dish.  Boil the remaining liquid (there won't be much left) until only a little bit remains - it'll be a lovely pinkish color and will be loaded with shallot and studded with the thyme.  Pour this over the radishes, taste for salt and pepper and add more if you wish, and serve.  Serves 2.