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The Fusion Cook

Homemade Apple Chips

Apple pie and apple crisp are cherished American classics. However, if you have ever actually prepared one of these dishes yourself, then you probably know the feeling of looking down at a healthy pile of apple skins, not knowing quite what to do with them. While commonly accepted as an undesired byproduct, for some of us, throwing away food just doesn’t sit right.

Well, now there is a solution: apple chips! Apple chips can me easily made at home, are cheap, and are a huge crowd-pleaser. The chips are excellent served alongside Bacon-Wrapped Asparagus, or frankly anything savory. The are also a great alternative to regular fried potato chips for a healthy snack.

Below, I have shared my recipe for this tasty treat! Per the instructions, the chips are designed to be slightly chewy. If you prefer them more crispy, you should bake them for a shorter period of time at a higher temperature, about 450 degrees for 12-15 minutes.
Delicious, healthy apple chips!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups apple peels or thinly cut apples
  • 1 /2 cup bourbon
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Mix together bourbon and brown sugar in a medium bowl
  3. Stire in the apples
  4. Spread the covered apples evenly over a cookie sheet
  5. Sprinkle apples with cinnamon
  6. Bake for about 20 minutes, until sufficiently crisp.
  7. Let cool for 5 minutes, and enjoy!

The Fusion Cook

Peanut Butter and Jelly All Classed Up, Crostini Style

Who doesn’t love peanut butter and jelly?

It’s a classic combination, the sweet tart jelly is a perfect counter to the nuttiness of the peanut butter, with the acidity making a crisp cut through the natural oils of the peanuts. In fact, this same acidic versus fatty dynamic is what makes wine and cheese go so well together also.

While I love my PB and J, I tend to shy away from serving these delectable little sandwiches to guests. I guess that when I’m trying to have an elegant wine night with the ladies, I don’t want to be evocative of lunch hour alongside the elementary school playground.

Frustrated and determined, I thought to myself that there must be a way to serve the PB and J in a classed up kind of way. A way to have my sandwich and eat it too. And so from this concept was born a new breed of appetizer: the PB and J crostini.
PB&J has never been so fancy

Directions:

1. Prepare the bread – slice and toast the baguette, lightly oil if desired.
2. Spread the peanut butter over the crostini.
3. Finally carefully add a dollop of.jam over the peanut butter.

If you want to take the PB and J to another level of elegance, don’t back down! Any kind of nut butter is a great match for a fruit-based jam because the acidity of the fruit is a great contrast to the fattiness of a nut-butter. Here are some quick suggestions to impress on your friends with a global take on the classic PB and J!

Tahini Spread with Raspberry Jam: Tahini spread is made with sesame seeds and is about the same consistency as peanut butter. It tastes a bit more mild, and so the crisp flavor of the raspberries will shine through.

Almond butter with Fig Jam: Almond flavor and figs go very well together in French pastries; this remains true and manifests very nicely on crostini!

Macadamia Nut Butter and Guava Jam:
A delicious & unexpected, tropical twist on PB and J. Perhaps my favorite!

The Fusion Cook

Fusion: It’s a Beautiful Thing

Fusions are a beautiful thing. Here’s a short list of some of my favorite fusions:

  • Puggle (Pug + Beagle)
  • The New Mini Cooper (sporty + cute)
  • Mumford and Sons (rock + folk)

And of course…

  • FOOD FUSIONS

As something of a fusion myself (I’m half Japanese and half Jewish), growing up mixed has shown me that unexpected combinations of features, or “ingredients,” can offer a lot of unique and valuable experiences.

Take a look at this National Geographic image, Changing Faces of America. It does a great job of conveying what I feel.

A combination of unexpected features (those eyes with that hair?!) can lead people to feel intrigued or unsettled, or sometimes even both.

Not to minimize the complex issue of America’s multiracial landscape, but when I cook from a multiracial perspective, I get the same reactions! (Those spices with that dish?!) Sometimes people are intrigued. Or unsettled. Or both.

The truth is a lot of the time people don’t know how to react to what they’re not used to seeing. But once their eyes adapt, I think it’s safe to say that we can all see the beauty in how contrasting features (or flavors) can actually be startling in a very positive way.

In my opinion, claiming that, “those two cuisines could never harmonize!” is just as blasphemous as saying, “those races could never go together!”

In fact, my own mother was dubious when I talked about creating a series of Japanese-Jewish dishes. But, once I cooked up a few recipes for my family, her mind was changed and her outlook altered.

Without further adieu, here are a few Japanese-Jewish recipes I have come up with so far from my blog, MeltingGrape.com

Japanese-Jewish Latkes

Edamame Hummus

Israeli-Japanese Cous Cous Salad

Bagel and Lox Sushi Style