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Video: Last-minute Labor Day dishes

TODAY recipes
updated 9/7/2009 11:59:27 AM ET 2009-09-07T15:59:27

Recipe: Crunchy chicken salad

This recipe works as a salad on its own or as a filling for a wrap sandwich.

  • 5 scallions, white and green parts, finely chopped
  • 1 small fennel bulb, core removed, very thinly sliced
  • 1 Granny Smith (or other firm, tart apple), peeled and cored, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa (or substitute wheatberries, farro or brown rice)
  • meat from 1 whole roasted chicken, roughly chopped, about 3 pounds
  • 1 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup flat-leaf parsley
  • kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a large mixing bowl, combine ingredients and toss well to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serving Size

Makes 8 servings

Recipe: Apple chips

Tart, firm apples such as Granny Smiths work well in this recipe. Apple chips are great as an eat-from-the-bowl snack or as a garnish for cider-based drinks. (Make a cut in the side of the apple slice before you bake so that you can attach it to the side of a glass.)

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 Granny Smith apples

Heat oven to 200 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine sugar and spices. Slice apples horizontally with a mandoline or sharp knife, very thinly (1/8 inch thick). Remove and discard seeds. Toss apple slices gently but thoroughly in the spice mix; coat well.

Arrange in a single layers on rimmed baking sheets lined with parchment or Silpat. Bake about 2 hours, turning every 30 minutes. Cool on wire racks.


Chips may be soft when they come out of the oven, but they'll crisp when the sugar cools.

Recipe: Open-face apple and almond tart

  • 4 apples (your choice), peeled, seeds removed, cut into 1/2-inch wedges
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • flour (for dusting work surface)
  • Joanne's Tart Dough (recipe below)
  • Almond Paste (recipe below, or store bought)
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced almonds (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon white granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 tablespoon water

Heat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, combine apple wedges, lemon juice, brown sugar, almond extract and cinnamon; toss well to coat. On a lightly floured work surface, roll Joanne's Tart Dough (see recipe below) out into a 16-inch round (about 1/8 inch thick) and place on a baking sheet.

Now roll Almond Paste (see recipe below) into a 12-inch round and place it in the center of the dough. (It's OK if it breaks apart; it'll be covered with apples.)

Leaving a 2-inch border of dough, arrange apple wedges in an overlapping spiral from the edges to the center. Sprinkle with sliced almonds (if desired) and approximately 1 teaspoon white granulated sugar. Gently fold a 3-inch section of dough over the edge of the apple wedges; repeat with the remaining dough.

In a small bowl, whisk together egg white and water. Brush outside edge of dough with egg mixture. Sprinkle edge with remaining sugar. Bake 30 minutes or until dough is well browned. Let cool about 10 minutes before serving.

Serving Size

Makes 8 servings

Recipe: Joanne's tart dough

This is my good friend Joanne Chang's recipe, which originally ran in Fine Cooking magazine. She was happy to share it with us. Come next autumn, we'll have a whole collection of her recipes with the release of her first cookbook.

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for work surface
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 11 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk

In a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine flour, sugar and salt. Cut butter into 1/2-inch cubes and add to flour mixture. On low speed, combine butter and flour, just until flour is no longer white and mixture holds together when pressed. If there are lumps of butter larger than a pea, break them up with your fingers.

In a small bowl, mix egg yolk and milk; add to flour mixture and combine on low speed. Place dough on a lightly floured work surface. Work it with the heel of your hand, pushing and smearing it away from you, then gathering it back together with a bench scraper until the dough comes together.

Wrap dough in plastic wrap; then flatten it into a disk and refrigerate for at least a half hour (up to four days, or freeze for months).

Recipe: Almond paste

  • 1 cup water
  • 5 ounces granulated white sugar
  • 1/4 cup corn syrup
  • 10 ounces blanched almonds
  • 10 ounces powdered sugar

Make a sugar syrup: Place water, granulated sugar and corn syrup in a saucepan, and stir to combine. Bring mixture to a boil. Let it cook for a few moments; then let it cool.

Place almonds in a food processor and grind to a fine powder. Add powdered sugar. Then with the food processor running, add sugar syrup slowly, until the mixture forms a paste.


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