The Ardent Epicure

An Ode to the Pleasures of Food

Apple Stock, Talk of Sauce Velouté and Awards

Let's get the first order of business out of the way... The probable first question you have for me is - You said Awards, so where is the dessert? Sorry everybody, but no dessert.
Well that is not completely true. I did make you a dessert but will be posting it later this week. Today we are making Apple Stock, a primary component of our dessert. Now the dessert itself is also "Part Three in my Classic Reductions with a Twist Series"
Have you guessed the dessert yet? Did you guess Baked Apple Velouté...if you did, then you would be correct :) For anyone that is not familiar with Sauce Velouté, it is one of the Classic French "Mother Sauces". The sauce is composed of a white stock (most commonly chicken)and blond roux. We will go into more detail in the next post.

Since we need a stock, and our stock needs to be congruent with our primary ingredient. We need apple stock. And I don't know about you, but I have never come across this in any grocery store? So we will prepare our own :)  

What you will need:
2 pounds apples or apple pieces, chopped
(I used organic McIntosh that I had odds 
and ends saved from other recipes)
1/2 lemon, cut in half
1 Bouquet Garni, with the following whole spices
1 cinnamon stick
1 cardamom pod
2 star anise
5-6 cloves
1/2 teaspoon orange peel
Your whole herbs should lightly crushed but not ground
Large stock pot with lid

Let's get cooking:
Place apple pieces in stock pot, add bouquet garni bag and lemons.
Fill pot with water, enough to cover apples plus 3 or so inches.
Bring to a low boil over medium-high heat, then reduce flame and simmer 
covered for about an hour. Keeping an eye on your water level periodically 
to insure that it does not  boil too far down. Once your apples are tender but not mushy, remove from heat and allow to stand for 10-15 minutes, then strain
 through a mesh strainer.
*Note: Do not mash through the strainer, we are looking for a clear stock.

The Award

  This lovely award was presented to me by Biren of Roti n Rice.
Biren's site is a comprehensive collection of amazing dishes and stunning 
photography. In addition to the eye popping dishes she serves up, she is one of 
the warmest individuals I have ever had the pleasure to know. If you have 
not had the pleasure, I encourage you to stop by and get acquainted.

I am going to do something a bit different here, and eliminate the traditional rules for excepting this award. I am going to choose 15 people to pay it forward to, but with "No Rules"
attached to acceptance...My reasoning for this is quite simple. I am passing this award onto people that I find make both this virtual world and real world of ours a much better place. But not necessarily due to their beautiful recipes, plating or even photography. Quite simply this group of bloggers are not only generous with their talents that they share with us so openly, but with their hearts. These individuals take time and care to support others. They use their voices, talents and blogs to do everything from environmental awareness, charitable activities, supporting fellow bloggers efforts, all the way down to simply bringing a well needed smile to someone else's face.

One more thing then on to my list...There are a few people missing from my list. This is due to the fact that Biren, whom would be on this list has already beat me to it here
Good thing though, since my list would take two posts then :) 

 1. Lazaro of Lazaro Cooks
 2. Rebecca of Chow and Chatter
 4. Shirley of Shirley's Luxury Haven
5. Nancy of Spicie Foodie
6. Priscilla of She's Cookin'
7. Dennis of  More Than A Mount Full
9. Claudia of What's Cookin' Italian Style Cuisine 
    and  Blogs Got Heart 
11. Faith of An Edible Mosaic
12. Victoria of Mission: Food
13. The Ladies of Zomppa 
15. Heather of Girlchef 

Enjoy~ Magic of Spice-Alisha

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