Traverse City Record-Eagle

Life

October 17, 2013

Side of grilled apples goes with any meat

When it comes to sides, most of us tend to get stuck in a veg or starch rut. But the grill gives us an easy way to break out of this.

I love fruit with most any grilled protein as long as there are some savory notes in the seasoning to balance the inherent sweetness of it. Growing up, we would have homemade applesauce for dinner in the fall. And I still often make that with dinner. It goes wonderfully with so many meats.

But more often lately, I've been grilling and glazing apple slices with a gussied-up maple syrup glaze. This time of year, I serve these apples alongside everything and anything grilled.

The apple slices are brushed with a sweet and slightly salty maple syrup glaze that is enhanced with apple cider and warm autumn spices. A touch of soy sauce balances all the sweetness and turns what are most often thought of as dessert or breakfast ingredients (apples and maple syrup) into a side dish for pork, chicken, flank steak and salmon. And if a touch of the glaze hits your main, I won't tell anyone! It's divine on everything!

For grilling, a hard, tart apple such as a Granny Smith or a Pink Lady is best. Softer apples tend to get a bit mealy. But this time of year if you use fresh, crisp new apples, you can grill any of your favorites.

These apple rings are delicious hot-off-the grill or at room temperature. They also make a very pretty plate. The glaze recipe makes more than you need for one batch, making it easy to store in the refrigerator and have it at the ready for several weeks.

Once the glaze is made, this simple side dish can be prepared in under 10 minutes. To save even more time, you could spare yourself from cooking a main dish and just serve the apple with a rotisserie chicken.

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