Happy Valley Chow

gour-mand (noun): one who is excessively fond of eating and drinking

Filtering by Category: "Apple"

The McJagger

When trying to title this post, I was having some difficulty. I didn't want to call it what it actually is, because what it actually is a Granny Smith Apple, Gorgonzola Cheese, Bacon Lardons, Toasted Walnut Pizza topped with honey...That name just wasn't going to work. Since I cooked the pizza in a cast iron and in my previous post about cast iron care I featured the Rolling Stone song "Satisfaction." I thought BINGO! I'll call it The McJagger! Because this pizza brought me satisfaction on so many levels. Enjoy :)

  • 8 oz. pizza dough, homemade or store bought
  • 2 tablespoons garlic and herb infused EVOO*
  • 1/2 granny smith apple, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup gorgonzola, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup bacon lardons**
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
  • Honey, for drizzling

Set oven rack to the highest position and turn broiler on.

Roll out pizza dough into a circle the same diameter as a 12" cast iron pan. Heat your cast iron pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and herb infused EVOO (or just use regular EVOO) to the pan, should shimmer if the pan is hot enough. Add the pizza dough to the pan and cook until gold brown on one side, about 5 min. 

Flip the crust over, while the other side is browning add the toppings. First the apple, then gorgonzola, walnuts and bacon lardons. Transfer pizza to oven and broil until the cheese has melted. If you feel like pizza dough needs to cook a little longer, remove pizza from cast iron, place it directly on the oven rack and turn the oven down to 350℉. Bake until cooked to desired doneness. Remove from oven, slice and drizzle with honey. 

*Garlic and Herb Infused EVOO can be substituted for regular EVOO
**Bacon Lardons can be substituted with regular crumbled bacon

Note: This recipe is just enough for a small 12" pizza (enough for 2 people). You can of course make this into a larger pizza on a regular pizza pan. 

Grilled Turkey Apple Cheddar

This is definitely one of my favorite sandwiches to make, especially in the fall when apple's are in their prime. We have a fruit farm here called Way Fruit Farm which is probably one of my favorite places to get fresh fruit, vegetables and meats. Not to mention, they make some of the best apple cider I have ever had! This is a very simple sandwich and it will be sure to impress with all of its great flavors. Enjoy!


  • 8 Slices of artisan bread, 1/2" thick, cut on the bias 
  • 4 to 5 Tablespoons of margarine 
  • 1/4 cup apple butter
  • Sriracha, if desired
  • 1 pound deli turkey
  • 1/2 Apple, thinly sliced
  • 8 slices of sharp cheddar cheese

Spread each of 4 slices of bread with 1/2 tablespoon of butter. If desired, mix the apple butter and 1-2 tsp sriracha together in a bowl. With butter side down, spread each slice with 1 tablespoon of the apple butter. Top each slice of bread with a slice of cheddar, couple of slices of turkey, 3 or 4 slices of apple and then top with another slice of cheddar. Spread the remaining 4 bread slices with 1/2 tablespoon of butter and lay them, buttered sides up, over the cheese; press gently.

Heat a large cast-iron or other heavy skillet over medium-low heat. Add as many sandwiches as will comfortably fit (either 2 or 4) and cook 2 to 3 minutes until the bread is golden brown and the cheese begins to melt. Flip and cook 2 to 3 more minutes to brown the bread. Cut the sandwiches in half and serve hot.

Kitchen Word of the Day

"On the Bias" - Is a phrase used to mean cutting on an angle, at roughly a 45-degree angle. This angled cut created elongated, oval-shaped pieces and makes for more elegant presentation. In the case of baguette slices, it means you can get more surface area on even, thin slices of bread.

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