Yup, I am not ashamed to toot my own horn, especially when this time of year brings out the cook in all of us. My cookbook, The Yankee Chef, is absolutely perfect during this time of year and for the next few months.

After all, comfort food and the New England fireside are the two symbols that truly define what it is to be a Yankee.

Take a peak at my new website (still a work in progress) filled with food simply prepared and bursting with comforting aromas, theyankeechef.com In the meantime, here is a recipe that I think will whet your appetite for even more comfort food cooking in the cold months to follow.

Yankee Fried Apple Rings

These battered and fried apple slices taste so overwhelmingly delicious and moist, I think you will find this recipe equally delightful made anytime of year.

(courtesy photo)
Want an impressive dessert made even more impressive? Toss a few of these slices over a mound of Vanilla Bean Ice Cream and top with a drizzle or two of melted apple jelly.

4-5 cups vegetable oil, or other high smoke-point oil such as canola oil or peanut oil

2 eggs

1 1/4 cup hard apple cider*

1 1/2 cup flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

3 Granny Smith or other firm, baking apple, peeled and cored

Course salt or powdered sugar (depending on adventurous streak)

Pour about 2-3 inches of oil in a large pot (or use deep fryer according to manufacturer's instructions) and bring the oil to 350-degrees F over medium heat using a thermometer.

Meanwhile, whisk the eggs well in a large mixing bowl and stir in the cider, flour, cinnamon and cayenne pepper until smooth. You will need a corer to prepare the apple rings (or use a pointed steak knife to carve out the centers of each apple slice).

Core each apple and slice into 1/4-inch thick rings; pat dry.

Working in batches, add the apple slices into the batter, then remove them one by one with a fork or chopstick, allowing some excess batter to drip off. Carefully place into the oil and fry for about a minute on each side until golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a paper towel-lined plate while continuing with remainder of the apples. You may need to take a 2 minute break in between each batch so the oil can come back up to temperature.

As soon as you remove them from the oil, sprinkle each slice with a pinch of coarse salt or powdered sugar.

*You can find hard cider in bottles at every store imaginable. If you can't, use any dark beer if preferred. If the alcohol is not your thing, simply substitute apple cider or juice.