Apple Hand Pies
Start to finish: 1 hour. Makes 18 hand pies
2/3 cup sugar
AP Photo - - Hand pies with apple filling provide the all-American comfort of apple pie, minus the need for fork and plate. Hand pies turn apple pie into a convenient, easy and mess-free treat for Fourth of July celebrations. To add visual appeal, small cookie cutters can be used to create the steam vents in the top rounds of dough. Be sure to do so before placing the dough over the filling.
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon butter
A pasta salad is easy, versatile, summery
With all the backyard parties, barbecues and picnics in summer, pasta salads tend to go into heavy rotation. And with good reason.
Pasta salads are quick and easy to make and can be prepped way in advance. They also are easily adapted to cater to whatever flavors you favor. This version adds some bright colorful veggies to wagon wheel pasta, but feel free to substitute whichever vegetables and pasta you prefer.
We've also added the meat (shredded) from a rotisserie chicken; this saves time and keeps you from having to heat up the kitchen to roast your own. You also could leave out the chicken for a vegetarian version, or use cut-up ham or small shrimp in its place.
-- Associated Press
3 small baking apples, such as Granny Smith, peeled, cored and diced (about 2 cups)
2 teaspoons cornstarch or more if different fruit filling is used to achieve desired texture
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon water
Two 14.1-ounce packages refrigerated pie dough each package contains 2 rounds of dough
1 tablespoon milk
In a small bowl, combine the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside.
In a deep skillet over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the apples and 1/3 cup of the sugar mixture. Saute for 3 to 4 minutes, or until just tender.
In a small bowl, stir together the cornstarch, lemon juice and water, then add to the apples and stir. Cook until the juices thicken and bubble, about 1 minute. Set the filling aside to cool.
Heat the oven to 350 F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
One at a time, on a lightly floured surface unroll each of the 4 rounds of pie dough. Using a 3-inch circular cookie cutter, cut out 9 rounds from each piece of dough for a total of 36 rounds.
In a small bowl, beat together the egg and the milk.
To assemble the hand pies, place 1 dough round in front of you. Lightly brush around the edges of the round with the egg mixture. Place 2 teaspoons of apple filling in the center of the dough. Top with a second round of dough. Gently press down so that the filling is enclosed and the edges of the top round meet the edges of the bottom round. Use a fork to crimp and seal all around the edges. Brush the top with more of the egg mixture and sprinkle with the reserved cinnamon sugar. Use a paring knife to poke a hole in the top to vent steam. Repeat with the remaining dough rounds and filling.
Place the hand pies on the baking sheets, leaving 1 inch between them. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. Let cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.
Honey Poppy Seed Pasta Salad
Start to finish: 30 minutes. Serves 12.
1 pound wagon wheel pasta
30-ounce rotisserie chicken
1 yellow bell pepper, cored and diced
1 orange bell pepper, cored and diced
1 cup snow pea pods, halved lengthwise
1 apple, cored and diced
1 cup grapes, halved
3 scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup honey
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
Zest of 1/2 orange
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds, optional
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package directions. Drain the pasta, then transfer to a paper-
or kitchen towel-lined rimmed baking sheet. Set aside to cool and dry for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, remove the meat from the chicken, then use your fingers or 2 forks to shred and pull it apart.
In a large bowl, combine the chicken, both bell peppers, snow peas, apple, grapes and scallions.
In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, honey, vinegar, mustard, orange zest, poppy seeds, salt and pepper. When the pasta
has cooled, add it to the bowl with the veggies and chicken, then toss to combine. Add the dressing and stir to coat. Sprinkle with the almonds, if using.
Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 387 calories; 106 calories from fat (27 percent of total calories); 12 g fat (2 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 66 mg cholesterol; 46 g carbohydrate; 26 g protein; 3 g fiber; 452 mg sodium.
Grilled pizza gives the delivery guy a break
Summer grilling season is a great excuse to give the pizza delivery guy a break. Grilling infuses pizza with a wonderful smoky flavor and a crisp, chewy crust.
But you need to know a few basics. First, your toppings need to be precooked because the pizza won't be on the grill long enough to cook them there. Second, it's important to start with clean, well-oiled grates. The dough will stick to any charred bits of food left on the grates.
Finally, start by grilling the dough plain until the bottom is lightly browned. Then oil the top, flip and add your sauce and other toppings, then finish cooking.
Grilled Sweet Potato and Sausage Pizza
Start to finish: 30 minutes. Makes 8 large slices
1 medium sweet potato
2 sweet or spicy Italian chicken sausage, each cut diagonally into 8 slices
20-ounce ball of pizza dough
2 tablespoons olive oil
16-ounce ball fresh mozzarella, sliced
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Peel the sweet potato and slice it into 1/8-inch slices. Drop the slices into the boiling water and boil until just tender, but not falling apart, about 5 to 7 minutes. Drain the sweet potatoes, then set aside.
Heat the grill to medium-high.
Grill the sausage slices until charred and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Remove from the grill and set aside.
Clean the grill grates and brush with oil. Stretch the pizza dough into a rough circle, about 14 inches in diameter. Lower the grill to medium heat, then set the dough on the grate. Close the lid and grill for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the bottom is toasted and golden.
Brush the top of the pizza crust with half of the olive oil and flip over. Brush again with the remaining oil. Top with the sweet potato slices, the cooked sausage pieces and the mozzarella slices. Close the grill and cook for 7 to 8 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the bottom of the crust is golden and crispy. Remove from the grill and sprinkle with salt, pepper and thyme.
Nutrition information per slice (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 310 calories; 60 calories from fat (20 percent of total calories); 7 g fat (1 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 25 mg cholesterol; 36 g carbohydrate; 28 g protein; 4 g fiber; 800 mg sodium.
Not-so-sinful deviled eggs for a healthy, heavenly Fourth
Not-so-Sinful Deviled Eggs
Start to finish: 45 minutes. Makes 24 halves.
12 large eggs
1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese
3 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
Fresh chives, to garnish
Smoked paprika, to garnish
Place the eggs in a large saucepan and fill with cool water. Cover the pan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove the pan from the heat and let sit for 15 minutes. Drain the hot water, leaving the eggs in the pan. Fill the pan with cold water and a cup of ice. Allow the eggs to cool completely.
Meanwhile, in a food processor combine the cottage cheese, mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar and horseradish. Puree until smooth. Set aside.
Peel the eggs but keep them intact. Slice the eggs in half lengthwise. Retain the egg whites. Discard half of the yolks.
In a medium bowl, mash the remaining yolks. Add the pureed dressing mixture and the relish. Stir to combine, then season with salt and black pepper. Using a pastry bag or a zip-close bag with the corner cut off, or using a spoon, refill the wells in the egg whites. Garnish the tops with a little sprinkle of smoked paprika and some chopped chives.
Nutrition information per half egg (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 35 calories; 15 calories from fat (49 percent of total calories); 2 g fat (0 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 55 mg cholesterol; 1 g carbohydrate; 3 g protein; 0 g fiber; 105 mg sodium.