Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Comfort of Apples (Book Review)

The Comfort of Apples
When I think of recipes for apples, I think of sweet dishes: apple pie, applesauce, apple crisp, and so on. Philip and Lauren Rubin have gone way beyond those dishes in The Comfort of Apples.

Subtitled "Modern Recipes for an Old-Fashioned Favorite," this book contains nearly 100 recipes for snacks, appetizers, meat and poultry dishes, fish, sides, and pasta, as well as breakfast dishes, desserts, condiments, and cocktails.  Some of these recipes are twists on traditional dishes--apple risotto, apple bread pudding, apple vinaigrette, BLT with cider aioli, apple ice cream.  Some, like a Snapper Napoleon with ginger sauce, were completely new for me.

The Comfort of Apples contains many recipes that I'll probably never try, mostly because they don't fit into my family's taste preferences.  But it also includes many that I'm looking forward to trying:  German apple pancakes, cider-glazed nuts, baklava, green apple gelato.  Eventually I hope to venture beyond the breakfast dishes and desserts!

To give you a taste of what this book is about, I'd like to share a recipe from it:

Butternut Squash and Apple Soup
by Philip & Lauren Rubin,
Authors of The Comfort of Apples: Modern Recipes for an Old-Fashioned Favorite

Soup should be a smooth, friendly spoonful, which is why this is a lasting combination. Some ingredients just work well together: Butternut squash and apples have a complementary, mellow sweetness. Sweet potatoes and apples have a similar agreement, hence our sweet potato side dish.

Ingredients:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed
  • 4 cups apples, peeled, cored, and chopped
  • 4 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • Salt and pepper
  • ½ cup walnut halves
  • 4 ounces goat cheese, sliced in ¼ -inch rounds

Procedure:
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent about 3 minutes. Add the squash, apples, carrots, stock, and cinnamon and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low, cover the pot, and simmer until the vegetables are soft when pierced with a fork, 20 to 30 minutes.
  2. Ladle the vegetables and half of the broth into a blender or food processor. Puree until very smooth. Return soup to the pot and stir in the remaining broth, one ladleful at a time, until you reach the desired consistency. Season well with salt and pepper.
  3. To serve, place a few walnuts in the center of a soup bowl. Shingle 2 slices of goat cheese on top of the walnuts and ladle the soup around the goat cheese. The idea is to have the goat cheese visible atop the soup. (Hint: it may be easier to ladle the soup into a large measuring cup with a spout and pour from there.)
Serves 6
The above is an excerpt from the book The Comfort of Apples: Modern Recipes for an Old-Fashioned Favorite by Philip & Lauren Rubin. The above excerpt is a digitally scanned reproduction of text from print. Although this excerpt has been proofread, occasional errors may appear due to the scanning process. Please refer to the finished book for accuracy.
Copyright © 2010 Philip & Lauren Rubin, authors of The Comfort of Apples: Modern Recipes for an Old-Fashioned Favorite

Author Bios
Philip and Lauren Rubin, authors of The Comfort of Apples: Modern Recipes for an Old-Fashioned Favorite, and graduates of the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City, own 2 Peas & A Pot, a Manhattan catering company. They previously worked in several restaurants, including Cafe Luxembourg, Union Pacific, and Tribeca Grill. Lauren has also worked as a personal chef and recipe tester at Good Housekeeping. They have been featured in the Wall Street Journal, and were the subjects of a full-length feature in BizBash, the premier trade magazine for event planners. They live in New York City with their son, Henry.
For more information please visit www.2peasandapot.com and follow the authors on Twitter.

I'm linking up to Tasty Tuesdays!  See the linky below my disclosure paragraph.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book, at no cost to me, for review purposes. All opinions in this review are my own.  This posts contains affiliate links.  If you click through my Amazon.com links and complete a purchase, I will receive a small commission.  Thank you!

6 comments :

  1. How interesting. Never woulda thunk. Would it be ok if I link this later on my blog? Fab idea. Thanks for linkin up to tasty tuesdays.

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  2. Great review!

    I am still working my way through some of the recipes. I am making the double baked sweet potatoes and the apple pie with cranberries later in the week.

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  3. I love cookbooks devoted to single ingredients. It is so much fun to see how many things can be made out of them. Apples are one of my favorite fruits, so I know I'd enjoy this book.

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  4. Always looking for a new cookbook :). The boys love apples, I'll have to check this out. Thanks :)

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  5. this is the time for soup....sounds yummy! and unique!

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  6. looks like a great book..nothing beats an autumn apple!

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