The temperature dropped 20 degrees in 2 days here in Arizona so we are finally enjoying some Fall temperatures. And with the cooler weather comes my favorite foods of the year – earthy, hearty, comfort food. Here are a few Fall recipes that will put a smile on your face. There’s a little something for everyone – from sweet to savory. There’s even a salad. And I saved a dessert that stopped my kids dead in their tracks for last.
This one is a favorite – it’s simple, rustic peasant food and for once I think the peasant’s came out on top. Healthy and delicious is a pretty strong combination. This is a staple around here, but we make a few variations of this classic ribollita – which is just a vegetable stew – often substituting escarole for kale. With a nice piece of crusty bread this makes a great meal.
Well, as they say, you had me at ribs. Most recipes you see for braised short ribs use red wine or sometimes a port reduction. And I love those. But this calls for braising using white wine not red – a simple substitution, but one that brings out such different flavors. This dish is still the poster boy for Fall comfort food, but somehow the acidity of the white wine stands up to the richness of the beef (short ribs are beef) and yields a dish with light flavors and nuances that is still hearty and satisfying. Recipe here.
I told you there would be a salad, but this is not a light Summer salad. This recipe screams Fall. From the caramelized brussels sprouts to the blue cheese and bacon, this salad is a meal that can hold it’s own. I like everything about this one, but caramelizing the brussels sprouts is genius. I would eat this for dessert!
This recipe does everything right. How do I know this? Because I don’t like squash and I like this. I actually like this a lot. Roasting squash brings out all of the nice sweetness while retaining the native earthy flavors while the spice from chili garlic sauce balances against the salty tartness of the feta. All in all this one is a winner. Fortunately for me, I can make this using Gina’s feta which I love. And when peach season rolls around again, I want to try this exact recipe, but substituting peaches for the squash. Could be interesting. I’ll post when we do it.
This is the classic fall recipe. Everybody makes it at least once – or at least they should. A chuck roast is a pretty cheap cut of meat and it can be tough, but throw it in the crockpot with some carrots and potatoes and at the end of the day you have a rich, gorgeous meal. Add in the balsamic and dijon called for in this recipe for the slow cooker and you are going to make some friends.
Is it getting cold? Need a recipe that is quick and easy but warms everyone up? A nice cassoulet will always make you happy. At least it does for me. We use Cannellini beans instead of Great Northern – they’re very similar, it’s just personal preference. But the one thing you can do to make this good dish great is get great sausage. If you have a butcher or sausage maker or deli near you that makes fresh sausage go there. You can change – and improve – the flavor of the dish just by changing the sausage you use. We are fortunate to have several delis and butchers within 15 minutes of us making great sausages.
Dessert is next!
I told you we were having dessert. And this one is a winner. We call this one the diet killer. But who cares? This is just good. Seriously – a huge chocolate chip chip cookie filled with salted caramel? (Learn how to make caramel.) I think that speaks for itself. And yes, this is the one dessert that has defeated my kids. They love it, but they can’t finish it.
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