Come Dine Challenge Accepted
What began as a group of friends cooking together remotely during the pandemic has turned into one of our favourite blog topics. The premise is simple: create a three-course menu that features Ambrosia apples in each dish. Home cooks can choose their recipes from the Ambrosia Apples website, and can substitute anything on the recipes – or create their own — but all the dishes must include Ambrosia apples.
Our next instalment is from Nick and Sabrina, a busy suburban couple.
“We both work long hours,” explains Sabrina, “so we don’t get a lot of time to cook, although we both love it. Our friends, Susan and Brad, were coming for dinner and told us about their gourmet Ambrosia feast. They raved about the experience and challenged us to participate. Why not, we thought?”
Nick and Sabrina’s menu included dishes that are easy to prep ahead of time, giving them more time to spend with their guests. “We live in an old house, where the rooms are quite separate from one another, so we didn’t want to spend all of our time in the kitchen,” Sabrina explains. “When we were searching for recipes, we wanted to make sure that only one of us needed to be in the kitchen at a time.”
They settled on:
Ambrosia Apple and Pumpkin Soup (from the Ambrosia Apples website)
Spiced Roast Pork with Fennel and Ambrosia Apple Salad (from the Epicurious website)
Ambrosia Apple Pinwheels with Vanilla Ice cream
Ambrosia Apple Old Fashioned (from the Steamy Cocktails on the Ambrosia Apples website)
“We started with the soup because it just looked so decadent and could be made ahead of time,” says Sabrina. “It did not disappoint. It was fairly straightforward to make, and quite delicious.”
“I used pork chops instead of the roast that the recipe called for in the main course,” says Nick. “I love fennel, so the salad sounded good.”
“It was better than good,” says Brad. “It was amazing. The sweetness of the Ambrosia apples was perfect with the vinaigrette, and it went really well with the pork chops, which Nick cooked to perfection.”
Dessert was simple but delicious. “I just chopped some Ambrosia apples in puff pastry and served them with ice cream,” says Sabrina. “I’ve added the “recipe” here, mostly for the method. Next time I’d add maybe a tablespoon or so of brown sugar to the apples to add a bit of caramelization, but they were fantastic just as they were, and the Ambrosia apples were the star of the show.”
All in all the foursome thoroughly enjoyed this experience. “We all really like to cook and are always looking for a new challenge,” says Nick. “The cocktails were really good, and we paired the meal with a Grey Monk Pinot Gris, which was a perfect compliment to a perfect meal.”
Sabrina’s Ambrosia Apple Pinwheels
1 sheet frozen puff pastry
1 Ambrosia apple – chopped
1 T brown sugar (optional)
Start with the puff pastry thawed but cold. Flatten the pastry out on parchment and spread apples quite liberally. Sprinkle the brown sugar over them. Roll as tight as you can, using the parchment as an aid to rolling. Freeze the roll for at least an hour. Cut it into ¾” slices and put them on parchment. Leave a little room for expansion. Bake for 15-20 minutes at 375F, or until golden brown. Serve hot with vanilla ice cream.
Would you like to share your Come Dine with Ambrosia apple experience? Reach out on social media: #ComeDineWithAmbrosiaApples.