Saturday, October 17, 2015

Fall Foods

We all laugh at the sudden appearance of all things pumpkin spice in the fall, but there are certain flavors, and certain foods, that somehow only feel appropriate in the fall. Roasted turkey, anything involving cranberries, casseroles and crock pot dishes are all on my personal list of foods that I’ve avoided all summer long and am now eager to enjoy in the fall. Here are a few of my favorite recipes that have been waiting for October’s arrival to make their way back to my table.

Brandy Alexander

2 parts cognac
1 part half and half
Large splash of crème de cacao

Shake over ice, strain, serve in a chilled martini glass and sprinkle with nutmeg or cinnamon.

Pumpkin Pie Soup

2 cups apple cider
2 cups chicken broth
1 (29 ounce) can pumpkin puree
1 cup granulated sugar (adjust depending on how tart your cider is)
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 tablespoon cloves
1/2 tablespoon nutmeg
1/2 tablespoon allspice
1 pint heavy whipping cream

In large pot over low heat, combine all ingredients except whipping cream; while stirring frequently, bring to simmer. Allow to simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in heavy cream; serve.

Fish Chowder

2 slices bacon
1 lb fish fillet, cut into 1” pieces
1 small onion, sliced
1 c thinly sliced potatoes
1 c scalded milk
1-1/2 tsp salt
Dash pepper
1-1/2 tbsp butter

Brown bacon well in saucepan. Remove and crumble. Leave drippings in pan, place layers of potato, onion, and fish in pan. Add ¾ c water. Cover, bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer 10-15 minutes, until potatoes and fish are just cooked. Add milk, salt and pepper, butter, and crumbled bacon. Keep warm over low heat. Makes 2 generous servings; recipe may be doubled.

Lobster Mac & Cheese

1 8 oz pkg pasta, any shape
4 Tablespoons butter
4 Tablespoons flour
½ teaspoon salt
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup milk
1 cup cream or half and half
2 cups shredded cheddar
Lobster meat (~1 cup)
½ cup buttered breadcrumbs

Cook pasta according to package directions; drain and set aside. Melt butter in large saucepan. Whisk in flour, salt, and pepper until well-blended. Gradually pour in milk and cream, stirring constantly. Continue to stir; bring to a boil and boil for 2 minutes. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Add shredded cheddar little by little; simmer 5 minutes more or until melted. Remove from heat, add pasta and lobster to pan and toss to coat. Transfer to buttered baking dish. Sprinkle breadcrumbs over pan. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes until top is golden brown.

Beef-Stuffed Acorn Squash

1 med acorn squash
½ lb ground beef
2 tbsp chopped onion
2 tbsp chopped celery (optional)
2 tbsp flour
¼ tsp salt
¾ c milk
½ c cooked rice
¼ c shredded American cheese

Cut squash in half, scoop out and discard seeds. Sprinkle with salt. Bake cut side down at 350 for 45-60 minutes. Brown beef with onion and celery; drain fat. Stir in flour, salt, and milk. Cook and stir till thickened and bubbly. Stir in rice. Turn squash right side up and fill. Bake at 350 ~30 minutes. Top with cheese and bake 3 more minutes. Serves 2; recipe can be doubled with no changes in baking time.

Cider Pork Chops

4 lean center-cut pork chops about 3/4-inch thick (1 1/2 lbs.)
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
4 tablespoons Dijon mustard, divided
2 teaspoons dried sage leaves, crumbled
Black pepper
1 cup apple cider or apple juice, divided

Cut a small piece of fat from edge of one chop. Saute in medium-large skillet until the fat runs. Use to grease skillet. Add garlic. Cook until golden brown. Add chops. Brown on both sides. Spread each chop generously with mustard, then sprinkle with sage and pepper. Repeat on other side of chops. Add 1/2 cup cider or juice. Cover and cook slowly for 15 to 20 minutes, turning occasionally. Uncover, remove chops to platter. Add remaining cider to skillet. Cook rapidly until reduced to a sauce consistency. Stir 1 tablespoon mustard into sauce. Pour over chops and serve

Maple Glazed Duck

1 duck breast
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp butter
1 shallot, minced
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
½ tbsp. Dijon mustard
½ tsp thyme, chopped
Salt to taste

Cut small slits in the skin side of the duck breast, without slicing all the way into the flesh. Season the duck on both sides with the salt and pepper. Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat and sear the duck breast, skin side down, for 7 minutes, reducing the heat to medium-low after 3 minutes. Flip the duck breast over and cook for an additional 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm. Pour all but 1 tbsp of the rendered duck fat into a clean container and save it for other culinary uses. Sauté the shallots in the remaining fat for 2 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients. Turn the heat up to medium and deglaze the skillet with the syrup blend, scraping up the browned bits as the sauce cooks. Simmer the glaze for 2 to 3 minutes, until it turns slightly thick. Season it with just a dash of salt. Return the duck breast to the pan, turning a few times to coat evenly with the glaze. Carve and serve immediately, garnished with a drizzle of extra glaze.

Chicken Pot Pie w/ Puff Pastry

1 package puff pastry, thawed and rolled for top
¼ cup butter
1 medium onion, chopped
¼ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon poultry seasoning
salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup chicken broth
¾ cup light cream or milk
2 ¾ cups cooked chicken, cut up
1 ½ cups mixed vegetables

Thaw pastry according to package directions. Heat butter in large saucepan. Cook onion in butter until tender. Add flour and seasonings, mixing until smooth. Gradually stir in broth and milk. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil and is smoothly thickened. Stir in chicken and vegetables. Cool slightly. Spoon into baking dish. Place rolled out puff pastry on top and make slits for steam to escape. Bake on lower rack at 375 degrees. until filling is bubbling and crust is puffed and golden brown, 30-35 minutes.


2 c flour
¾ tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
1 tsp ginger
¾ tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp cloves
½ c Crisco
2/3 c sugar
2 eggs
2/3 c molasses
¾ c boiling water

Combine flour through spices. Cream together Crisco and sugar. Add eggs one at a time. Gradually add molasses, beating constantly. Blend in flour mixture at low speed. Add boiling water and mix till smooth. Pour into well-greased and floured 8 or 9” pan. Bake at 350 for 35-45 minutes. Serve warm with whipped cream.

Now go throw another log on the fire and get cooking!!

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