I just counted my cookbooks. You see, we bought this table to go behind the couch in our great room (we have an open floor plan), and there is a shelf on the bottom of the table. I thought it was perfect for my cookbook overflow. It started with just a few books, and then a few more were added and so on and so on. Before I knew it, the shelf was full and sagging alarmingly in the middle. So I reorganized. I pulled the most used and loved of all my books and placed them strategically around my kitchen and sent the rest to the basement – where they will still be loved and used and accessed easily. So while I was up to my neck in cookbooks, I figured I would count. Grand total: 156.
156 cookbooks makes me a bit of freak among the people I know. It’s a crazy amount of cookbooks. But ever since working at Book Larder, I have had conversations with people who own thousands of cookbooks. One charming woman who I have chatted with at length owns over 1,000 baking books alone. So owning 156 really just makes me a novice in the cookbook ownership department. Or so I tell my husband.
Anyway, in addition to having recipes in all of these books, I also get food magazines. And I read food blogs. I get monthly recipes sent to my inbox from a favorite local bakery, and I also get a daily recipe from Chow. It is recipe overload for sure. Most of the time, it’s just too much to process but sometimes, my foggy brain fixates on something and dinner is born.
This happened last week just before the snow made getting around impossible. Chow’s offering was Apple and Cheddar Quick Bread. Sounded intriguing. But in the body of the email they mentioned that it is delicious served with Celery Root Soup and that is what sold me. The two together just sounded like dinner. Not fussy but not boring. Just good dinner. Sometimes we need just good dinner, am I right?
I love savory quick breads. I have several on this site that I will direct you to at the end of this post. I love their ease, taste, texture, and I love how they turn soup and salad into something really special. I like to make them when the soup is on the simpler side. This one uses a new-to-me cheese – Irish Cheddar. It is described as having Cheddar flavor but more of a Parmesan texture. I would say that is pretty spot on. Some of it is grated and melts into the bread. Some of it is cubed so you get bites of actual cheese as well. It’s pretty awesome. As with the soup, the apple is there for sweetness but it isn’t identifiable as apple, just as yum. Next time I’m doubling and putting one of these babies in the freezer.
Savory Quick Breads Previously on Dana Treat: Quick Olive and Cheese Bread, Chile Cheese Gratin Sandwiches, Pull-Apart Cheesy Onion Bread (not really quick but savory and amazing)
One Year Ago: Cowboy Cookies
Two Years Ago: Peanut Butter Cookies with Milk Chocolate Chunks
Three Years Ago: Lemon Bars
Apple and Cheddar Quick Bread
Adapted from Chow
Makes one 9×5-inch loaf
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon fine salt
½ teaspoon ground sage
¾ cup medium-dice Irish cheddar cheese, such as Dubliner (about 3 ounces)
¾ cup grated Irish cheddar cheese, such as Dubliner (about 1½ ounces), grated on the large holes of a box grater
3 large eggs
2/3 cup whole milk
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (½ stick), melted, plus more for coating the pan
1 ½ cups grated Granny Smith apples (about 2 medium), grated on the large holes of a box grater
Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Generously coat a metal 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with butter.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, and sage together in a large bowl until aerated and any large lumps are broken up. Add the diced and shredded cheese and toss until the pieces are separated and evenly coated with the flour mixture; set aside.
Place the eggs, milk, and melted butter in a medium bowl and whisk until smooth. Add the apples and stir until combined. Add the egg mixture to the flour-cheese mixture and stir until the flour is just incorporated, being careful not to overmix (a few streaks of flour are OK). The batter will be very thick.
Using a rubber spatula, scrape the batter into the prepared pan, pushing it into the corners and smoothing the top. Bake until the bread is golden brown all over and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (test several spots because you may hit a pocket of cheese), about 45 to 50 minutes. (DT: Do make sure the top of the bread is brown. I pulled mind when it was a bit pale but the toothpick came out clean. It was still a little doughy in the center.)
Place the pan on a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the perimeter of the bread and turn it out onto the rack. Let it cool for at least 30 minutes more before slicing.