Guest Author - Kathy L. Brown
Leftover turkey and stuffing must be eaten, but your taste buds soon yearn for something fresh. That is the danger zone, where we tend to head for the phone to order pizza. Teach the old bird some new tricks by pairing it with fried apples, sweet carrots, and onions.
2 medium to large tart, firm apples (Jonathan, Gala, etc. Red Delicious would most likely fall apart), cored and sliced. Either peel or not, according to your preference.
½ Cup slices sweet onions
1 Cup baby carrots
1-2 Tablespoons canola oil (or vegetable oil of your choice)
2 slices pre-cooked bacon, crumbled
1 teaspoon butter
1 teaspoon raw sugar or brown sugar
1 Tablespoon finely chopped pecans
¼ cup pecan ale
Warm a large frying pan to medium heat, then thinly coat the bottom of the skillet with canola oil. Give the oil a few moments to heat, then add the sweet onions and gently saute until they begin to soften and become translucent. Turn down the heat to medium-low and add the sliced apples. (Rearrange the onions as needed so that the surface of the apples is in contact with the skillet.) Continue to fry the apples and onions gently and slowly.
While the apples are frying, steam the baby carrots with a little water in the microwave for about 5 minutes, until soft (but not mushy).
It is important not to mess with the apples as they fry; this is much like frying potatoes. After 10 to 15 minutes, the apples should begin to look soft and the edges curl and brown a little. Lift one apple slice carefully with the spatula and see if it is brown on the bottom yet. If it is, turn all the apples over and continue to cook for around 10 more minutes.
Drain the water from the carrots, and add the carrots to the fried apples along with the bacon and warm gently. Dot the carrots and apples with the butter and sprinkle with the sugar. Give them a minute to warm and melt, then transfer the apple-carrot mixture to a serving dish.
Deglaze the frying pan with the ale (pour the ale into the hot skillet and cook, loosening any fried bits of onion and apple. The ale will thicken slightly as it evaporates), then pour the sauce over the apples and carrots. Sprinkle with the finely chopped pecans.
NOTE: I used Abita Pecan Ale. If you cannot find pecan ale, a dry hard cider, such as Woodchuck Dark and Dry or Strongbow would be good as well. Non-alcoholic apple cider should also work fine.