Ah, the humble apple, it's a pretty amazing fruit. It can be grown all over the place, it lasts for months, it has 8 bazillion varieties and it's one of the more chameleonic ingredients a cook can use.
On a recent Saturday evening, what began as a craving for Guinness Stew turned into a spot of spontaneous cooking fun with apples! Kari and I had decided that we were going to go on a shopping trip to pick up the fixins for a hearty stew using beef and Guinness and a few more goodies. First we picked up leeks, carrots and Cortland apples at a Byward Market stall. Not even sure why we decided to buy apples... Maybe Kari can fill in the gaps in her comments.
Next I suggested we pop in to the Sausage Kitchen on the Byward Market for the stewing beef, I'd been quite impressed by it in the past. While there, we caught notice of a product on special: Danish Bacon. I'd never tried it before so the nice fellow at the deli counter gave us a simple. It had a lovely delicate flavour, sort of a cross between back bacon and a subtle ham. So, buying a pound of the stuff was kind of a given. Once we had our ingredients, it was back home for food making!
Now, as we were prepping the veggies, etc. for the stew, we were asking what to do with the apples we had. We decided a few chunks of apple in the stew would be a good idea, but then the juices started flowing. I asked aloud what it might taste like if we wrapped some chunks of apple in this heretofore unknown type of bacon and, oh, I dunno, deep fried them? Kari voiced her agreement and proposed one of her own: rice paper wraps with apple tossed in sesame and lots of other amazing flavours. Yeah, this happens a lot at our house.
And so, we went ahead with making some lovely hors-d'oeuvres while letting the stew simmer away. Here they are!
Deep-Fried Apple-Bacon Bites
- 1-2 hard apples, Cortland or Macintosh work well (or Granny Smith for extra tartness), cut into large chunks (about 1 inch thick and wide) - up to you if you want to peel them or not - you're looking to have 8-12 pieces of apple
- 8-12 pieces of either back bacon or Danish bacon. If you insist on using regular bacon, I suggest cutting each piece in half. You don't need a lot of bacon to cover the pieces of apple.
Makes 4 spring rolls
- 1 Cortland apple, cored, peeled and julienned
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1/2 cup vermicelli noodles, cooked and coarsely chopped (optional)
- pinch ginger powder
- 1/2 tsp hoisin sauce
- 4 sheets rice paper, prepared according to package
|Rice wraps with peanut dipping sauce that solidified, so really, spicy peanut butter.|
|So much tastiness from our humble friend, the apple!|