cardamom stewed apples in vanilla port


Nik Sharma

Hey Friends, I’m a multi-award-winning and best-selling cookbook author and photographer.

cardamom stewed apples in vanilla port | A Brown Table

I perpetually spend my time looking for shortcuts in the kitchen. Sometimes they’re easier to find and sometimes things can get a little more complicated or drawn out than I’d like them to be. When planning a meal for a bunch of people, I usually compromise with this rule – if dinner is going to require more effort, then make dessert simple or vice-versa, I find that this little rule brings harmony to my crazy kitchen and I have time to do a whole lotta other things in life. Some of these things currently include: find time to sign up for a sourdough bread class, plant a couple of trees, pick bathroom tiles, teach the cat to walk on a harness, make the dog meatballs.

This dessert checks all those requirements for me. It’s easy to prepare and looks and tastes fancier, it’s all about making an impression when it comes to entertaining! You literally take an apple, core it out, then stuff the core with some more apples and raisins and then cook them in port wine. The green cardamom and vanilla bean tie the flavor components of the apples and the wine by giving it a gentle floral and sweet flavor. If you want to make it even fancier, I’d highly recommend a scoop of good vanilla or coconut ice cream on the side.  You can grab the recipe here!

The folks at Wolf Gourmet are giving away one of these gorgeous 10-piece cookware sets made from shiny stainless steel and contain an inner aluminum core for uniform heat transfer. Their stainless steel cookware is easy to maintain, foods cook well due to the smooth transfer of heat and they’re easy to clean! To enter, all you need to do is leave a comment below and tell me what is your one favorite meal that you love to make every spring and how you keep the preparation simple. Due to shipping reasons, this contest is only open to residents of the United States and subscribers. The giveaway will run for a week and end on April 14th, 2016 at 12pm. I’ll announce the winner back on this page and contact them via email. Good luck and happy cooking!

cardamom stewed apples in vanilla port | A Brown Table

cardamom stewed apples in vanilla port | A Brown Table

cardamom stewed apples in vanilla port | A Brown Table

Here are some of my kitchen tips that you might find useful when preparing these apples,

  • Use good baking apples that hold their shape well on exposure to heat.
  • The green cardamom and vanilla bean are the big flavor boosters in this recipe so skip the extracts in this one.
  • Use a good port wine, one that you like to drink.
  • If there’s any leftover port sauce, I’ll collect it in a jar and refrigerate to use as a sauce over plain vanilla ice cream. It’s good!

cardamom stewed apples in vanilla port | A Brown Table

Disclaimer: Thank you to Wolf Gourmet for sponsoring this post and giveaway! All opinions expressed are solely my own.

36 Responses

  1. My favorite spring meal to prepare is grilled salmon with roasted seasonal veggies. I love lighter meals and throwing a big pan of roasted veggies in the oven is so easy with one pan to clean up.

  2. In Spring, I start to cook outdoors a bit more as the weather is warmer. Grilled salmon is easy and quick, and being out in the garden means that I can pick some young greens for a quick salad to go with it.

  3. My Favourite spring recipe is a simple lunch with langoustine tails – and I make this pretty much every week or every other week (and sometimes on a hot day in summer too). I don’t know what one might call it – but It’s one of the simplest dishes I know. Garlic and shallots sauteed to mild carmelization, adding green and red peppers finely chopped until they soften, toss in langoustine tails, lots of chopped cilantro and capers. Toss with lime juice. Serve over angel hair pasta al dente and pair with a chilled white wine (my spring fave is Haute Marin made with the colombard grape that is typically used to make cognac – it’s refreshing and tastes of sunshine and apples and fresh green grass.) The entire dish takes 15-20 mins tops to prepare with another 2 mins to dish out.

  4. Roast chickens! All I do is salt and pepper the outside and stuff with thyme. It goes into a cast iron pan and into the oven and…done. I have chicken for dinner and several other applications over the next few days.

  5. how do you manage do everythinggggg perfectly? i need some lessons, seriously. i usually opt for quick desserts too since im not a baker its usually cake (storebought) for me..

    my fav spring time meal is hearty salad with whatever veggies is available with chickpeas and vinaigrette of some sort.

  6. Yum these look amazing! I love cardamom and have some apples I need to bake with. My favorite easy spring meal is pizza (I get the dough from Trader Joe’s 🙂 topped with shaved asparagus (long strips with a vegetable peeler) and a couple of eggs and some grated cheese, whatever kind I have on hand.

  7. …if you can find out how to make a cat walk on a harness you have to share it with the world!

  8. My favorite meal to make every spring is caprese except this year I’ll do an updated version with burrata! It’s super easy, with only a few ingredients keeping the process simple for easy cleanup!

  9. One of my favorite meals to make during this season is grilled chicken with a salad of Spring mix with balsamic vinaigrette and grilled halloumi cheese. To keep it simple, I grill several chicken breasts and use them during the week in different salads such as this. I also make a good size batch of vinaigrette, so it’s always available.

  10. Nik:

    I like your style and your thinking in the kitchen. These apples look amazing. Thanks for the chance to enter this giveaway. My favorite spring meal is pretty much anything topped with spring greens. Roasted asparagus. Simple omelets. Anything quick so we can get out to work in the garden.

    Good luck with all the home projects! Cat on a harness. Very cool.


  11. My family enjoys the lamb chops which I think is quick to prepare. I let the chops marinate in aged balsamic vinegar, lemon juice , port wine, lot(I mean lots) of garlic, salt , pepper & a few sprigs of Rosemary along with some olive oil. Cook it in the oven. Sometimes I will cut up potatoes & place them around the lamb before placing it in the oven.
    Roasted beets with oranges, red onions& basil leaves seasoned with a lemon juice, white balsamic vinegar & olive oil is a good accompaniment .
    With the fresh seasonal produce at the farmers market simplicity can bring out the best.

  12. Lovely flavor combinations in a recipe that dates back to our grandmother’s grandmother’s time. Sometimes it’s the simplest of foods raise to a higher level by the spice combos that makes our tastebuds dance with joy. And that’s my favorite meal; anything I’ve prepared that makes my tastebuds happy having been elevated to a higher sense of taste.

  13. Braised red cabbage is a fun one to serve guest with a slice of rustic bread and farmer’s cheese or if your guest are hungrier serve with braised meat just season and put in oven. Offer many beverages while munching on bread & cheese and both the meat and braised cabbage will be well appreciated. You could slice the cabbage thinly prior to their arrival. Saute the cabbage in moderate heat with olive oil for 15 minutes and then seasoning it with salt, pepper and red wine vinegar.To prevent sticking add broth (store bought would save time if you don’t have any home-made broth in the freezer) then for the final half hour add kalamata olives and capers. I soak my kalamata olives in oil so they are not too briney. Simple enough to make with guest hanging around and always more fun.Enjoy!

  14. I make a zucchini, onion, and parsley pie (quiche), with the addition of several dollops of grainy Dijon mustard spread over the bottom crust.

  15. Oh spring! I have rhubarb this year! We took a chance and planted rhubarb last year. With a new planting, the rhubarb needs a year to establish and grow before any harvesting. A simple preparation that lets all that tart rhubarb goodness shine is a crumble. Prep the fruit and top it off with a buttery streusel topping for a dessert full of spring!

  16. These look so good!

    I don’t have much a regular repertoire, but I love throwing together a pasta with spring veggies. It’s quick and easy (and also a great "clean out the fridge" meal)

  17. Opening day at my local farmers market is the most wonderful time of the year! My favorite meal for any season is roast chicken, but I especially love adding a fresh fruit salad during spring and summer months. I keep all of my meal preparations simple by doing as much as possible in advance. Thank you so much for offering such a wonderful giveaway!

  18. Spring is when I make an asparagus soup. The bottom of the stalks are used to make a simple stock. The middle part of the stalks are then cooked in the stock with wine, shallot… When done, it is puréed. The tips of the asparagus are roasted with olive oil, salt, and pepper. The soup is served topped with the asparagus tips and a bit of creme fraiche. Springtime in a bowl!

  19. I like to make spaghetti carbonara with fresh peas, parsley, and basil. Lots of bright green color and fresh spring flavors 🙂

  20. Wow what a great idea, I love baked apples and I’ve seen them cored and stuffed, but never cooked like mini pumpkins like this.

    What a delicious idea.

  21. Those look delicious. I would definitely want to make a Baked Lemon Chicken with a side of taragon snap peas! This is only a two pot/pan meal prep which makes everything so very easy. Also, very easy clean up. I like delicious, flavorful dishes that won’t destroy my kitchen or take time away from spending time with my family! starla.batesAT yahooDOTcom

  22. I love fresh fish meals in spring. A simple citrus marinade packs a lot of flavor and is so easy to do!

  23. One of my favorite spring dishes is a poached salmon salad. I use mandarin oranges, bibb lettuce, toasted almond slivers, and a mustard vinaigrette. It’s simple and delicious!

  24. Favorite spring meal? Banh Mi sandwiches, of course. These are light and have simple ingredients but with incredibly sophisticated flavors! I’ll be honest – I do cheat a bit and drive out to Eden Center to pick up the ingredients! – Brianna

  25. I enjoy a moong daal with mustard greens with basmati and a side of spiced, sautéed zucchini and squash.

  26. When the weather finally warms up, I love making Vietnamese spring rolls. The key to keeping the preparation simple is using a mandolin to julienne the carrots and cucumbers. Otherwise, the rest of the ingredients require minimum preparation (sauteed shrimp, rice vermicelli noodles, butter lettuce, and thai basil). I highly recommend investing in a mandolin to assist with your vegetable prep.

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