New Yorkers are tough, and this week certainly proved it with a hurricane followed by a freak nor’easter.
I’m lucky. Everyone I love and know is safe and sound, and so many people lost everything. I remind myself of this constantly because sometimes it can be easy to forget, even just for a little bit. Last night was one of those nights.
This was my commute home.
See that train coming? I waited twenty minutes for it. It was packed, so I cursed a lot and then waited for what felt like a thousand minutes more.
By the time I got to my apartment, I was wet and cold and miserable.
And then I remembered. I had a home. And heat. And electricity. And a hot shower. And clean clothes. And enough soup in the freezer to fill a nice big bowl. And the ingredients for these apple leek cheese twists to go along with it.
Lucky and thankful, indeed.
Ingredients (makes about fifteen):
- 2 leeks, white parts only
- 1 apple
- 1/4 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 sheet of defrosted puff pastry
- 1 - 2 tablespoons of flour as needed for the puff pastry
Make the twists:
Cut off the roots and green parts of the leeks and discard. Slice the white parts into thin rings, about an eighth of an inch thick or less. Separate each ring and wash well.
Cook the leeks in one tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat until they begin to soften about ten minutes. Stir frequently to avoid the leeks from browning.
Meanwhile, slice the apple to be even with the leeks.
Toss with the vinegar and cook for an additional ten to fifteen minutes, until the apples have softened.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Grate the cheese and set aside in a bowl.
Let the apples and leeks cool, and then add to the grated cheese. Stir to combine.
Spread a light coat of flour on a wooden board and roll out the puff pastry dough. Spread the mixture evenly over the dough. Starting along one end, roll the dough into a log.
Cut the log into half-inch slices. Take each slice and then pinch two opposing edges together so that it almost looks like a heart.
Bake for fifteen to twenty minutes at 400 degrees, and then turn each slice over and bake for an additional ten to fifteen minutes, until golden on both sides. Eat a few now and freeze the rest for another time.