Fall

Roasted Honey-Dijon Pork Tenderloins with Lady Apples and Rosemary

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by Joseph Erdos

porkapplesPork and apples go hand in hand, don't they? That image of a whole spit-roasted pig comes to mind with the apple stuck in its mouth. There is something special about the sweet taste of apples and the full flavor of pork that work so well together in a dish. Roasting the pork and apples together is the perfect way to marry the two flavors. That's exactly what I do in this pork roast recipe, which is flavored with honey, mustard, and rosemary. For this perfect flavor pairing, I roast tiny lady apples alongside the pork.

For a roast like this, pork tenderloin is the easiest to prepare and the most flavorful and moist. It's lean, roasts fast, and it stays tender, just as the name would suggest. The juices that collect in the pan go into the making of a gravy that has the flavor of the honey-Dijon rub, the rosemary, and the sweet apple juices. The rosemary sprigs that roast alongside the loins become crispy and are entirely edible, lending bursts of woddsy flavor to each bite. A meal such as this would be great for an elegant holiday dinner or even a simple Sunday supper.

Persimmons: Setting the Record Straight and Baking a Bread

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by Susan Russo

persimmondatebreadIt is a little known fact that I can speak Japanese. True, I only know two words, but I say them well.

1. Hachiya. No, it is not a greeting. It’s a persimmon.

2. Fuyu. No, not the clothing line (that’s FUBU). They are also persimmons. Not to be confused with Russell Simmons (who incidentally created Phat Farm, not FUBU).

There are about a dozen varieties of persimmons grown throughout the world; only two are generally found in the States: Hachiya and Fuyu (Fuyugaki). Both are Japanese.

Though Hachiya and Fuyu persimmons are both fun to say and have similarly pumpkin colored skin, they are different in shape, texture, and culinary use. It’s important to know the difference between them; otherwise, your persimmon eating experience will be memorable for all the wrong reasons.

Hachiya persimmons are acorn shaped and have deeper orange skin with black streaks on it. They are astringent, which means they can be eaten only when fully ripened. A ripe Hachiya is extremely soft and should be squishy in your hand. Removing the thin skin reveals coral colored flesh so thick and glossy it looks like marmalade, and tastes like it too -- it's pleasingly sweet with hints of mango and apricot. Though they can be enjoyed raw, Hachiyas are really prized for baking.

Autumn Veggie Soup

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by James Farmer III

autumnsoupRoast em and stew em - that's all there is too em!

I don't know about y'all, but I roast just about everything I can. Veggies, fruit and meats all get nice and toasty and caramelized from high heat and a little salt to draw out the moisture. Roasting veggies has become my MO for getting picky eaters (y'all know who you are) to eat all kinds of veggies. Broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, okra, zucchini, squashes of all sorts and onions too all find their way into the oven and onto plates. Roasted sweet potatoes with rosemary and onion... Oh my my!

I love, love, love vegetable soup. But I have a few stipulations to this stew of sorts. I don't care for potatoes in my veggie soup - can't say why exactly but I don't. Potato soup though is perfectly fine!

Roasted Pumpkin Soup with Spicy Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

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by Joseph Erdos

pumpkinsoup.jpgPumpkins are as much a part of fall as apples, cider, turning leaves, and chilly weather. The months of October and November call out for pumpkins—just think Jack-o'-lanterns and pumpkin pie! Like their brethren squash, pumpkins work well in countless recipes—and not just sweet desserts but savory dishes too.

Soup is one of my favorite ways to enjoy pumpkin. I make it every October. When I cook pumpkin soup, it officially feels like fall. Flavored with a little nutmeg for warmth and then garnished with pumpkin seeds, it's perfectly comforting. (Don't throw away the pumpkin's seeds, use them in this soup.) A hot bowl of soup always warms me right up.

I start this recipe by roasting the pumpkin. But with the shortage in pumpkins, you could also substitute butternut squash or acorn squash. The base of the soup is a vegetable stock, making it vegetarian-friendly. I like to use my own homemade stock because I can flavor it the way I want. 

Red Quinoa with Roasted Butternut Squash, Dried Cranberries, and Pumpkin Seeds

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by Joseph Erdos

squashquinoaI first heard of quinoa many years ago from a friend who was diagnosed with wheat sensitivity. Quinoa, which is the seed of a flowering plant, is related to spinach and beets. It is not a grain, but is treated like one in recipes. It is suitable for those who suffer from celiac disease and maintain a gluten-free diet. The pseudocereal, as it is officially termed, originates from the Andean region of South America. It was considered sacred in Incan society, second in importance to the potato, and followed by corn. The Spanish conquistadors disliked quinoa, suppressed its production, and it never gained popularity outside of South America.

What makes quinoa so special is that it is a complete protein with a full set of amino acids, the building blocks of proteins. This especially made it nutritionally significant to pre-Colombian peoples. It continues to be important to vegetarians and vegans. Quinoa can be used in many ways and is available in different forms, including flour, flakes, and the whole seed. The flakes can be eaten like oatmeal or, when combined with flour, baked into cookies, quick breads, pancakes, and waffles. Whole quinoa comes in a few colors, but only two are available in the States, white and red, of which the red has more fiber. Whole quinoa can be cooked and eaten like rice and made into pilafs or stir-frys.

Savory Roasted Pears

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by Amy Sherman

roastpearsI am an impatient person. I hate to wait. While some of the pears my mother gave me from her trees are ripe, others are not. Is there something you can do with not quite ripe pears? Yes! I discovered you can roast them.

Pears are sometimes added to savory dishes to add juice and moisture, or to make a sauce. My idea with this recipe was to make a side dish, something that could be served with pork chops, roast chicken, pork tenderloin, sausages, tossed with salad greens, on top of a pizza or maybe even used in a sandwich. Most recipes for roast pears call for pear halves or quarters, but dicing them just means they cook faster. You could also include pears with potatoes, parsnips, onions, beets or other similar vegetables that are good for roasting.

I really love the silky texture of cooked pears. The flavor intensifies too, which is why pears are so good in cakes and tarts. But you can get the same texture and flavor by roasting pears without baking them in a batter or crust. Necessity is the mother of invention and my mother's prolific pear trees accounts for the plethora of pear recipes I've created. Currently I'm really enjoying maple roasted pears with oatmeal or yogurt, but as the season progresses I'm sure I'll find even more ways to use them.

Rosemary and Red Onion Apple Pork

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by James Farmer III

porkapplesYeah... The name say it all. Those flavors all melded together in one pot no less is divine. Give me flavor complements like sweet and salty or sweet and tart or sweet and savory and I'm in love! This dish bodes well for such culinary complements!

Braising is probably next to roasting as my favorite cooking method for many things. Taking a meat and braising - not boiling it - is a delicate method to delicious cuts of meat! Gently infusing a gorgeous pork chop with apple cider is nothing short of divine. And this dish is easy and relativity quick! Wilt some kale in it and you've a one dish wonder!

I start with a Dutch oven and begin browning the pork chops on either side to form a slight crust. Salt and peppering the pork and high heat allows this. Searing them may be technically more apropos in culinary diction but y'all get me! Once the chops or even tenderloin are seared and crusted, I remove them from the pan onto a plate to rest.

Next, in the onion or two go to brown in the Dutch oven...No shock there folks! I use Mimi's adage, "butter for flavor, oil for temperature!" I really like to use red onions for this dish because they're color is so lovely - plus they caramelize fantastically! Brown the onions in some butter and oil and salt and pepper handsomely. This is the base of your meal y'all and adding salt at the end to me doesn't do salt and pepper their true justice of bringing out their companions' natural flavor.

Warm Brussels Sprouts Salad with Asian Pear and Bacon Vinaigrette

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by Joseph Erdos

brusselspearsEat your vegetables! Mom's famous words. Just like everyone else, I too hated many vegetables when I was a kid. Brussels sprouts were at the top of my list with peas not far behind. It was many years later that I realized I couldn't figure out why I hated sprouts. I had never even tasted them, but I was told by other kids that the taste and smell was revolting. But what's the point of hating a food if you haven't even tried it? When I finally did try Brussels sprouts for the first time, I was completely taken aback at how good they were. I was converted and from that point on I think I became the adventurous eater I am today. That's what a little sprout can do to a person.

Roasted or sautéed, Brussels sprouts can be simply amazing. The key to cooking them is to not overcook them. That's when they develop a sulfuric smell and taste. Boiling them does no good either because the good flavors are cooked right out and all that remains is bitterness. Sautéing is the easiest and most rewarding method for cooking sprouts. A little oil, bacon fat, or duck fat is all that's needed to make them taste exceptional. In this recipe, warm sautéed sprouts are brought together with complementary flavors and textures. The crispy Asian pear adds sweetness, the savory bacon crunchiness, and the dressing is a decadent finishing touch. It's the perfect salad for an appetizer or side dish. And leftovers are even better for tomorrow's lunch.

Brown Butter Apple Tart

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by Susan Salzman

TARTAPPLE sliceThis past weekend, it was a bit cold. After Levi’s flag football game, I came home, grabbed 4 cooking magazines and got under the covers. I earmarked half of each issue and not only did I read each and every one of them but I spent almost the entire next day in the kitchen.

I had been going back and forth on what desserts I was going to make this upcoming holiday season and although I have a few favorites, I was really hoping for something new. What I loved most about this tart (aside from the crust – because it is more of a cookie rather than a doughy crust) is that I sometimes find apple “pies” way too tart or too runny.

This had the texture of a Clafoutis, but didn’t taste as eggy as some I have eaten in the past. Eli topped this off with a scoop of our Cinnamon Ice Cream and he could, literally, not stop moaning. I think he ate 90% of this and he would proudly admit it, if asked.

Perfect Apple Pie

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by Joseph Erdos

perfectapplepieFall is here and what better way to celebrate it than by baking an apple pie from scratch. Making your own crust is so much more rewarding than using frozen pie shells from the grocery store.

This recipe for hearty apple pie can be put together in minutes once the dough is prepared ahead of time.

And to make the process even easier, roll out the dough between two layers of plastic wrap or parchment paper.

By not using bench flour you will have an even flakier, more delicate crust, plus cleanup is as easy as throwing away the wrap.

 

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