Sunrise Chef

Sunrise Chef: Dixie Picnic

Dixie Picnic, started in Malvern and now in Center City Philadelphia, celebrates the tradition of homemade comfort food.

They're known for their box lunches and signature "upcakes."

Check out some of their recipes below.

Crunchy Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette

½ cup Apple cider
½ cup Apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. Dijon mustard 
2 teaspoons kosher salt more or less to taste
1 ½ cups extra virgin olive oil

Fresh spring mix lettuce
¼ cup toasted pecan pieces 
1 Macintosh Apple 
1 Granny Smith Apple 
¼ cup sharp New York or Vermont Cheddar Cheese
1 Tablespoon finely diced Vidalia Onions 

Place Cider, cider vinegar, Dijon, salt, pepper, in a blender. Blend on medium speed. With the blender running, drizzle the oil in until emulsified.  Store in an airtight container because you will have more than enough for future dinners.

Place the spring mix on a nice plate. Slice apples in thin slices. I like to keep the skin on for color and nutrients. Arrange slices in a lovely pattern on top of the spring mix. Sprinkle your onions and pecans on top. Grate some of the cheddar cheese on top – lots of it if you are like me!  Drizzle the dressing on top just prior to serving.  Don’t overdress or it will wilt your lettuce.  Happy crunching!

Zucchini Potato Pancakes

3 Cups grated zucchini – don’t bother peeling!  
2 cups grated Yukon gold potatoes.  Wash thoroughly but no need to peel.
1 bunch of scallions – cleaned and chopped 
Garlic – 2 cloves minced 
3 whole eggs 
1/3 cup All Purpose Flour
½ tsp baking powder 
¼ tsp white pepper 
½ tsp iodized salt for batter 
¼ tsp grated nutmeg 

½ tsp salt to mix with grated zucchini and potatoes.

Wash zucchini and potatoes prior to grating.  Grate using a hand grater or a food processor.  I find a box hand grater works fine.  Mix in a bowl with ½ tsp salt and then place in a colander sitting in a bowl to catch the liquid that drips out of the vegetables.  Let this sit for about 10-15 minutes.  I like to squeeze this mixture out in a clean cotton cloth or cheesecloth to get some extra moisture out at the end.

In a small bowl whisk together the baking powder, flour, white pepper, nutmeg.  Whisk the eggs in another small bowl and mix in the flour mixture.

Mix the garlic, scallions, zucchini and potatoes together.  Add the egg flour mixture and mix until well combined. 

Heat some oil in a pan (I like cast iron) until shimmering. Drop the batter in portions to your liking (¼ cup makes a traditional size; smaller for the kids).  Make sure the oil is the right temperature.  Oil too low can make your pancakes soggy.  Too hot will make it burn before the inside is cooked. You can flatten the batter once you drop it in the pan so it touches the bottom of the pan.

Flip the pancake once it is crispy and brown on the edges.  Cook until the other side is brown and crispy.  Some people like to drain these on paper towels.  Best when served hot off the griddle.  When serving a crowd you can keep them warm in the oven until all of them are done.

Serve with Sour cream or applesauce – homemade is best but that’s another recipe!

Open-Faced Apricot Glazed Apple Tart

Tart Crust
All Purpose flour  - 2 cups
Cornstarch – 2 Tablespoons
Iodized Salt – ½ teaspoon
Sugar ½ teaspoon
Cold unsalted butter cut into small cubes – 1 ½ sticks (6 oz) 
Ice water – 7 tablespoons

Using a pastry cutter or a food processor, combine flour, cornstarch, salt and sugar in the bowl.  Cut in flour using quick pulses with the food processor or a pastry blender by hand.  The butter pieces should be worked down to pieces the size of small peas.  Add the water and pulse gently as the dough forms some small balls.  It will not come together as a large ball.  It will be crumbly.  This is okay.  Place this floury mess onto the middle of a parchment lined sheet pan measuring 12 x 18.  Smash the dough into the pan and push it to all edges of the pan until the dough is lining the pan and it is equally thick on the work surface.  No fancy rolling for this tart! Cover with plastic film and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Use a firm apple like Granny Smith – you will need about 4-5 medium apples.  Peel and core.  Slice into 1/8 inch slices.  Take care with your slicing because the tart will look more beautiful with evenly cut slices and  lovely edges.

Take the refrigerated dough out of the refrigerator and unwrap.  Start placing your apple slices on your dough as if you were putting shingles on a roof.  Overlap each row.  You can make lots of pretty designs – check out YouTube or Pinterest.  When all the dough is covered, dot the apples with unsalted butter – about 2 tablespoons and sprinkle with ¼ cup sugar.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place prepared tart in preheated oven and bake until the tart is golden brown and the edges of the apples have started to brown and caramelize. Make sure the bottom of your tart isn’t getting too dark about half way through. If it is you can reduce your temperature by 25 degrees.

I like to put a glaze on top of the apples after baking made with Apricot preserves. Mix 3 Tablespoons Apricot preserves with 1 Tablespoon of water. Microwave for about 1 minute and mix thoroughly.  Brush on apples gently and it will give your tart a beautiful sheen and a lovely light depth of flavor.

Eat and enjoy!!

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Allentown, PA 18102




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