The Sweet Taste of Apples

My husband, Vince, and I have just returned from a much-needed vacation to the mountains of Tennessee and North Carolina. We both have salt water in our veins and love the ocean. Still, it’s always great to admire the breathtaking majesty of the mountains. The cooler temperatures were pretty wonderful, too! Always on a quest for new recipes and catering ideas, I found myself surrounded by trees loaded with apples and couldn’t resist the temptation to test some inspirations. North Carolina is known for it’s many varieties of apples. Gala, Gingergold and Honeycrisp apples were available at the farm stands, so Vince and I bought a peck on our way back to the Lowcountry and I’ve been making apple recipes ever since. The recipes this week are two of my favorites, so far. The Apple-Mango Salsa recipe makes about 5 cups and will last for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator. I used the extra salsa tossed with chopped romaine lettuce for an easy chopped salad. I think it would also be delicious on a slice of pound cake or with homemade vanilla ice cream. The Baked Apples are wonderful! They’re just the right size for dessert, can be baked a day before serving and then reheated, and are much healthier than a slice of apple pie. I hope you enjoy this sampling of yumminess from the mountains!

Grilled London Broil with Apple-Mango Salsa

Grilled London Broil with Apple-Mango Salsa
For the Salsa:
2 medium apples, diced (skin-on)
¾–1 cup diced fresh mango
½ cup diced red bell pepper
⅓  cup diced red onion
1-2 tablespoons diced jalapeno peppers, to taste
⅓ cup chopped fresh cilantro
4 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Zest of 1 lime
Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate before serving. Makes about 5 cups.
For the London Broil:
1 (1½–2 pound) London Broil or flank steak
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
¼ cup bourbon
Combine vinegar and bourbon in a shallow glass baking dish or gallon zip-lock baggie. Add meat. Marinate in the refrigerator for 24 hours, turning occasionally. Grill meat over medium heat for 20 to 30 minutes or until meat reaches desired doneness. Cover meat with aluminum foil and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing. Serve with Apple-Mango Salsa. Serves 4.

Baked Apples

Baked Apples
4-6 medium apples
3 tablespoons butter, melted
½ cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
Dash ground nutmeg
⅓- ½ cup chopped pecans
Wash and core apples. Place apples in a lightly greased backing dish. In a small bowl, combine melted butter with brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Fill each cored apple with equal amounts of the sugar mixture. Top apples with chopped pecans. Spray apples lightly with cooking spray (to keep skins from drying out). Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until apples reach desired tenderness. Drizzle apples with sugar sauce in bottom of baking dish. Serve warm. Serves 4 to 6.

Catering by Debbi Covington

The writer owns Catering by Debbi Covington and is the author of two cookbooks, Celebrate Everything! and Dining Under the Carolina Moon. Debbi’s website address is She may be reached at 525-0350 or by email at