Embellish Autumn Mealtimes with Apples

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Apples are an original fast food, only requiring a good wash before eating. They also add texture and flavor to familiar recipes, including tuna or chicken salad, green salads, slaw, grilled-cheese sandwiches, yogurt, oatmeal, pancakes and more!

North Carolina ranks 7th nationally in production, with the majority of harvest in the Western part of the state. Peak harvest is mid-August through October, so there’s still time to discover a lesser-known variety at an apple orchard or farmers’ market. Some orchards grow up to 100 different types.

Apples bring a refreshing flavor dimension to traditional pan-fried potatoes. This side goes well with chicken, pork or sausage.

Pan-fried potatoes with onions and apples

3 medium (around 3 cups) russet potatoes, cut into ½” cubes
2 medium (around 2 cups) onion, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1 cup white wine
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon butter
2 small or 1 large (around 2 cups) granny smith apple, cut into ½” cubes
Parmesan cheese, optional garnish
Fresh parsley or thyme, optional garnish

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile cut the potatoes and onions. Once the water is boiling, add your cut potatoes and blanch for 4 minutes. Drain and dry.

Place a large skillet over medium-low heat and add the olive oil. Once hot, add onions and potatoes, then salt and pepper. Stir frequently, cooking until golden brown.

Move mixture to a bowl and place the skillet back on the burner. Deglaze the pan with the white wine, then turn up the heat to reduce it. Add the maple syrup and thyme and cook until there is a small amount of liquid. Turn heat down and add butter, stirring to melt.

Add the apple cubes and stir to coat. Once hot, mix the onions and potatoes back into the pan. Cook a few minutes until the apples and potatoes are tender.

Garnish with Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley or thyme, if desired.

Serves 4 – 6

Margie Mansure is an extension agent with N.C. Cooperative Extension. As a registered dietitian/nutritionist chef, she offers nutrition and cooking classes to community members.

Cooking with Margie