Caramelized Apple Salad

Caramelized Apple Salad with Maytag Blue Cheese 
and Black Walnuts with Spicy Orange Vinaigrette

Mesa Grill Restaurant Recipe

Spicy Orange Vinaigrette:
4 cups orange juice
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped red onion
1 jalapeno pepper, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon ancho chile powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
salt and pepper to taste

Place orange juice in a small nonreactive pan over high heat and cook until thickened and reduced to about 1/2 cup, stirring occasionally.  Place reduced orange juice, vinegar, onion, jalapeno, ancho powder, salt and pepper in a blender and blend until smooth. With the motor running, slowly add the olive oil until emulsified. Add the honey and blend a few more seconds.

3 Granny Smith Apples, peeled, cored and quartered
Spicy Orange Vinaigrette
1/2 pound watercress
1/4 pound frisee, torn into bite-sized pieces
salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup black walnuts, toasted
6 ounces Maytag blue cheese, crumbled

Heat 1/2 cup of the spicy orange vinaigrette in a medium saute pan over medium high heat. Add the apples, cut-side down and saute until golden brown, turn over and saute until just cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes.

Place the watercress and frisee in a medium bowl and toss with a few tablespoons of the remaining spicy orange vinaigrette, season with salt and pepper and divided among four plates. Arrange 3 apple quarters on each plate, garnish with walnuts and blue cheese and drizzle with some of the vinaigrette.
Serves 4.

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