More apples! This obsession will end soon, I promise.
I feel like I spend an overly large percentage of my life explaining my allergies, but still, I will explain my apple situation to you if for no reason but a defense of why I have been buying at least 1 bag a week.
So, when I was in high school, I used to sometimes eat an apple at lunch and say to my friends “sometimes I think I am only allergic to apples at lunchtime”. It seemed that there were times that I ate them and was completely fine, and times that I took a few bites and my mouth and throat swelled up. Over the next 2 or 3 years, I started having more reactions to apples. I was always fine drinking apple juice or eating applesauce but no fresh apples. My allergist finally gave me a series of allergy tests, and was told that I was “slightly” allergic to “some types” of apples, namely, Granny Smiths. My doctor also said that people who have problems with nuts also seem to have problems with apples (I was also in the process of trying to figure out my nut allergies and whether I had them).
Since then, I have basically stayed away from apples. My reactions were so inconsistent and I am pretty sure that the more times you have an allergic reaction to a food, the worse it gets.
This year, I found myself a new allergist in New York. I explained to him all the weird, inconsistent reactions I had been having to various foods (apples, peaches, plums, pears, peanuts, hazelnuts), and he basically started finishing my sentences. It turns out that I have something called “Oral Allergy Syndrome”, where my body basically mistakes various foods for the pollens that I am allergic to. Just read about it here rather than me explaining it to you.
So it turns out that I can eat apples!! As long as I peel them or cook them. I have not yet experimented with the other fruits. So, Chelsea’s apple obsession mystery REVEALED.
And now, here’s a recipe I found that kept popping up on Epicurious whenever I was browsing for a food fall dinner to cook. I altered the original recipe a bit, which was Schnitzel with Apple-Frisee salad, because I couldn’t find frisee that day and so used cucumbers instead. Simple recipe, seasonal, and YUMMY.
Chicken Schnitzel with Apple-Cucumber Salad
2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts (you can also use thighs)
1 tablespoon minced fresh Italian parsley
2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon canola oil
Individually wrap chicken breasts in plastic wrap or put them in sealed plastic bags (make sure there is no air in them). Using a mallet, pound chicken breasts down into 1/4-1/3 inch thickness.
Place large scoop of flour in shallow dish. Beat eggs and parsley in another dish. Place breadcrumbs in a third dish. Unwrap chicken cutlet and season all over with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Coat cutlet completely in flour, then egg mixture, then breadcrumbs. Transfer cutlet to baking sheet and repeat with the next one, adding more flour or breadcrumbs if needed.
In a large skillet, melt butter into oil on medium-high heat. Add cutlets to skillet and and cook until bottom is golden brown, about 3-4 minutes. Turn over until the other side is golden brown and cutlets are cooked through (about another 3-4 minutes).
4 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 large shallots, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon peel
4 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cucumber, sliced thinly and then in half
2 small heads of Belgian endive, cut crosswise into thin strips
2 small apples, quartered, cored, cut into matchstick-size strips
4 radishes, trimmed, thinly sliced
1 small red onion, sliced into thin strips
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh Italian parsley
Combine lemon juice, chopped shallots, and grated lemon peel in small bowl. Gradually whisk in oil. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.
Combine cucumber, endive, apples, radishes, and parsley in large bowl. Toss salad with dressing and serve.