Saturday, June 8, 2013
Sometimes I feel as though I should rename this blog “Roving Lemon’s Cast-Iron Skillets,” given the number of photos in which one features. But they are so reliable and versatile that I find a reason to use one nearly every day. I don’t even bother assigning them cabinet space anymore – they just live on the stovetop, stacked up in a pile.
For my latest skillet trick, I used one to make Skillet Apple Crumble. Having agreed to host a guest lecturer on a weeknight for DP, I was racing around the kitchen, trying to shoehorn starter and dessert prep in with dinner prep, and have the kitchen looking remotely presentable when company arrived. When I make apple crumble, I usually sauté the apples quickly in butter and cinnamon sugar on the stovetop, before dumping them in a baking dish, piling crumble topping on, and sticking in the oven. It was in the midst of the sauté step that I thought, “Why dirty another dish?” So I added a batch of crumble topping directly to the skillet, and into the oven the whole thing went.
DP is not usually a crumble fan, but after he got back from dropping off our guest, he said, “Hey, that crumble was actually good. I would eat that again.”
I’m not saying it was the skillet. But then again, I’m not saying it wasn’t.
Skillet apple crumble
half a can of ginger ale*
a large handful of dried cranberries
4 Granny Smith apples
~ 2 Tbsp/1 oz/30 g butter
~ 2 Tbsp/1 oz/30g cinnamon sugar
½ cup/2 oz/60 g whole wheat flour
½ cup/1.5 oz/45 g rolled oats
½ cup/3 oz/90 g raw sugar
¼ cup/2 oz/60 g butter
2 Tbsp/1 oz/30 g maple syrup
Preheat the oven to 350F/180C. Pour the ginger ale into a shallow bowl and add the cranberries. Leave to steep while you get on with everything else.
Peel and core the apples, then chop into chunks. Melt the butter in a medium cast-iron skillet over low-medium heat, and add the apples when the butter starts to bubble. Sauté the apples in the butter until lightly browned, stirring frequently and sprinkling with cinnamon sugar. Remove from the heat and stir in the soaked cranberries until evenly distributed, then spread out the fruit mixture into an even layer in the bottom of the skillet.
While apples are cooking, place crumble topping ingredients in a food processor and blitz to a uniform rubbly consistency. Scatter thickly over fruit, then place the skillet in the oven and cook for about 30 minutes, or until the top is browned.
* I used this because I had an open can needing to be used up. You could substitute any kind of juice.
** I served this with pouring cream, which was good. Then I ate leftovers the next day
for breakfast with a big dollop of Greek yogurt, and that was so much
Saturday, June 1, 2013
|Cooking chocolate from Germany - food souvenirs are the best kind|
How can it be the beginning of June already? Here’s the roundup of the latest doings round here.
Work/school Term 2 is nearly half over, and Miss B is trucking along happily. (Bouncing along might be more accurate in her case.) The other week she had her first experience of full-blown standardized testing, taking the NAPLAN along with every other Year 3 student in Australia. Her school did their best to make it a non-stressful experience, but I for one am glad it’s two years until the next round. DP, who promised us his workload would ease up somewhat around this time, has been as good as his word and has been sighted at home on the occasional weekday between the hours of 7am and 6pm. I’ve had a fairly quiet week – not one nighttime conference call! – but my To Do list remains chronically overstuffed. I did record a significant milestone earlier this month: my organization’s Twitter account, which I manage, hit 20,000 followers, a little more than four years (and nearly 3,000 tweets!) since we first joined up. So I’m pretty pleased with that.
Recreation The big news is that this week we booked tickets for our trip to North America later this year, which involved sorting out a fairly complicated itinerary and then spending 2.5 hours working through it with a travel agent (after both DP and I crashed the Qantas website trying to do it ourselves). But it all looked right at the end and we should be good to go (fingers crossed). Other than that, Miss B has been having a steady stream of afterschool playdates, and I’ve been plowing through this month’s book club selection: Cloudstreet by Tim Winton, widely hailed as a ‘modern Australian classic.’ The jury is still out on that, but it’s definitely educational for a non-Australian. More to come when I finish, perhaps.
Food Shorter days and colder nights have meant lots of familiar, rib-sticking comfort foods lately:
for breakfast at least twice a week (savory oatmeal, that is)
disruptive bolognese sauce continues to prove its worth - and the longer you
cook it, the better it gets
- lemon-mustard chicken remains a reliable workhorse in my recipe rotation; one of the first
things I learned to cook on my own, and still going strong
found curly kale at the farmers’ market for the first time in nearly a year! So
it’s back to a steady supply of kale salad
- and an old favorite – Nigella Lawson’s Dense Chocolate Loaf Cake (known around here as Brownie Cake) - which I was reminded of recently and have made twice in the past two weeks in response to demand (apparently it’s the best thing for morning tea ever)
Weather Cold, grey and wet this weekend; described by a fellow transplant to Canberra as ‘fabulously miserable’.
Miss B’s Quote of the Week During a conversation about jellyfish:
Miss B: So why does it hurt when they sting you?
RL: Well, they must release some kind of chemical when they touch you that makes your skin hurt.
Miss B (obviously finding this explanation similar to another one I had provided recently): Oh, so they’re like the onions of the ocean!
How are your onions?