Spiced Hot CiderMy friends and I had so much fun eating and talking during our presidential debate get-togethers that I decided to host an Election Night party so we could all watch the returns and celebrate our wins or mourn our losses.
I scoured hundreds of healthy EatingWell recipes to plan this all-American Election Night menu-a meal that Democrats, Republicans, even Independents, Libertarians and Green Party sympathizers will all agree is delicious.
Here's what I'm serving:
In case it's a chilly night (or the kind of night where my friends need comforting, depending on how their candidates do), I'll offer guests mugs of Spiced Hot Cider to warm up.
Bring 4 cups apple cider, 1 cinnamon stick and 5 whole cloves to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add 1/2 cup applejack (apple brandy) and 2 tablespoons cinnamon schnapps. Garnish with a cinnamon stick and serve hot.
Hot Artichoke Dip is a perennial party favorite-our version uses lots of artichokes for lots of fiber and plenty of Parmesan cheese, garlic and lemon zest for flavor. Serve with plenty of whole-wheat crackers and even some mini bell peppers for dipping.
Why put cheese on top of a burger when half of it just melts off? Instead, form the burger around the cheese so you can char the meat and safeguard the more delicate flavors, like we do for Inside-Out Cheeseburgers. For your vegetarian voters, serve Southwestern Pumpkin Burgers.
A burger's gotta have fries. Oven-Fried Potatoes & Sweet Potatoes are healthier than French fries and the combination of regular and sweet potatoes appeals to everyone.
What's more American than apple pie? Our Deep-Dish Apple Pie eliminates that annoying hollow spot that can occur when the filling shrinks away from the top by precooking part of the filling before adding it to the pie shell. To achieve a juicy filling with plenty of tender bits of apple, we combine two types of tart-sweet apples.
Deep-Dish Apple PieDeep-Dish Apple Pie
1 1/4 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar, plus 1 teaspoon for sprinkling
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
3 tablespoons canola oil
4 tablespoons ice water
1 egg white, lightly beaten, for brushing
6 cups thinly sliced peeled McIntosh apples (about 2 pounds) (see Tip, below)
6 cups thinly sliced peeled Granny Smith apples (about 2 pounds) (see Tip, below)
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon, divided
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Pinch of ground allspice
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1. To prepare crust: Whisk whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, 2 tablespoons sugar and salt in a large bowl. Cut butter into small pieces and, with your fingers, quickly rub them into the dry ingredients until the pieces are smaller but still visible. Add sour cream and oil; toss with a fork to combine with the dry ingredients. Sprinkle water over the mixture. Toss with a fork until evenly moist. Knead the dough with your hands in the bowl a few times-the mixture will still be a little crumbly. Turn out onto a clean surface and knead a few more times, until the dough just holds together. Divide the dough in half and shape into 5-inch-wide disks. Wrap each in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour.
2. To prepare filling: Combine apples, brown sugar, lemon juice, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and salt in a large bowl. Reserving 4 cups, transfer the rest of the apple mixture to a Dutch oven. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until the apples are tender and beginning to break down, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the reserved apples and 2 tablespoons flour; let cool for about 30 minutes.
3. To assemble & bake pie: Position a rack in the lower third of the oven; preheat to 425°F.
4. Remove the dough from the refrigerator; let stand for 5 minutes to warm slightly. Roll one portion between sheets of parchment or wax paper into a 13-inch circle. Peel off the top sheet and invert the dough into a 9 1/2-inch deep-dish pie pan. Peel off the remaining paper. Scrape the filling into the crust. Roll the remaining portion of dough between sheets of parchment or wax paper into another 13-inch circle. Peel off the top sheet of paper and invert the dough onto the fruit. Peel off the remaining paper. Trim the crust so it overhangs evenly. Tuck the top crust under the bottom crust, sealing the two together and making a plump edge. Flute the edge with your fingers. Combine remaining 1 teaspoon of granulated sugar and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon in a small bowl. Brush the crust with egg white and sprinkle with the cinnamon-sugar. Cut 6 steam vents in the top crust.
5. Bake the pie for 20 minutes; reduce the oven temperature to 375° and continue baking until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling, 25 to 35 minutes more. Let cool on a wire rack for about 1 1/2 hours before serving.
Makes 10 servings.
NUTRITION INFORMATION: Per serving: 352 calories; 10 g fat (4 g sat, 3 g mono); 14 mg cholesterol; 65 g carbohydrate; 4 g protein; 7 g fiber; 153 mg sodium; 234 mg potassium. Nutrition bonus: Vitamin C (15% daily value).
Tip: The best apple pie filling combines "saucy" apples (that cook down to a sauce-like texture) and "shapely" apples (that hold their shape after baking). Pick one variety from each category-here we used McIntosh and Granny Smith. Saucy: McIntosh, Cortland, Macoun, Mutsu (Crispin), Paula Red or Empire. Shapely: Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, Jonathon, Jonagold, Northern Spy or Ida Red.
By Carolyn Malcoun
When associate editor Carolyn Malcoun came to Vermont to attend New England Culinary Institute, she knew she didn't want to work in a restaurant but knew that she wanted to do something in the food industry. Luckily she discovered EatingWell, where she's able to combine her love of food and writing.
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