From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I'm back home and playing catch-up again. While I managed to post, not much else was done this week. Those things moved to the sidelines now have my undivided attention and I'll be in touch with those of you who left comments and emails for me before the sun rises on Monday. Promise! Tonight's recipe is a simple seasonal quick bread that was developed by Lisa Lavery for the food site CHOW. It combines two fall favorites, apples and cheese, to make a savory quick bread that I think you will enjoy. While the recipe specifies Irish cheese, I used a white cheddar made here in Oregon and had splendid results. I have, however, left Lisa's recommendations in the recipe that appears below. The bread makes wonderful toast and pairs beautifully with fall soups. The recipe is simple to make and while the bread is delicious, it probably should be categorized as a cheese bread. While the apples contribute moisture to the loaf, their flavor is overwhelmed by the copious amount of sharp cheese that is used in the batter. Next time I make this, I'll cut back on the amount of cheese I use and see what happens. The bread has many merits, including the fact that I was able to catch-up with my favorite TV program, Covert Affairs, as it baked. I don't watch a lot of TV, but I'm fanatical about the shows I do enjoy. I love the writing done for this series and this episode was outstanding. It even sent me on a search for the haunting background music that supported the final moments of tonight's plot. I love to see things, be they large or small, done well, and tonight I got a twofer. I know you'll enjoy the bread. I suspect you'd like also like the program. If you are a fan of Covert Affairs, and would like a link to the simple melody heard at the end of the episode, let me know and I'll be happy to send it to you. Here's the recipe for the bread.
Savory Apple and Cheese Bread...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Lisa Lavery via CHOW
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon fine salt
1/2 teaspoon ground sage
3/4 cup medium-dice Irish cheddar cheese, such as Dubliner (about 3 ounces)
3/4 cup grated Irish cheddar cheese, such as Dubliner (about 1-1/2 ounces), grated on the large holes of a box grater
3 large eggs
2/3 cup whole milk
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick), melted, plus more for coating the pan
1-1/2 cups grated Granny Smith apples (about 2 medium), grated on the large holes of a box grater
1) Move a rack to center of oven. Preheat to 350 degrees F. Generously coat a metal 9 x 5 loaf pan with butter.
2) Whisk flour, baking powder, salt, and sage together in a large bowl until aerated and any large lumps are broken up. Add diced and shredded cheese and toss until pieces are separated and evenly coated with the flour mixture. Set aside.
3) Place eggs, milk, and melted butter in a medium bowl and whisk until smooth. Add apples and stir until combined. Add egg mixture to flour-cheese mixture and stir until flour is just incorporated, being careful not to overmix (a few streaks of flour are OK). Batter will be very thick.
4) Using a rubber spatula, scrape batter into prepared pan, pushing it into corners and smoothing top. Bake until bread is golden brown all over and a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean (test several spots because you may hit a pocket of cheese), about 45 to 50 minutes.
5) Place pan on a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes. Run a knife around perimeter of bread and turn it out onto cooling rack. Let it cool for at least 30 minutes or more before slicing. Yield: 1 loaf.
One Year Ago Today: Pasta all' Amatriciana
Two Years Ago Today: Huevos Ahogados en Salsa Verde
Three Years Ago Today: Tomato Jam