Sunday, November 10, 2013

Enjoying the fall harvest

With the recent arrival of cold weather, our CSA share pick-ups have come for an end the year.   In recent weeks there have been more crops we can store for awhile including red and gold potatoes and numerous varieties of winter squash.  

One of our favorite fall dishes is an adaptation of a dish my husband enjoyed while studying in France many years ago, choucroute, an Alsatian dish, using some of those potatoes and apples from the local orchard.


4 slices    bacon, cut in 1/2" pieces
1 med.     onion, chopped
14.5 oz. can sauerkraut, Bavarian style with caraway seeds preferred
6 small     new potatoes, unpeeled, cut in bite-sized pieces
2  tart apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
10                juniper berries
6      whole   peppercorns
2      whole   cloves
1       sprig     parsley
1                   bay leaf
4                   smoked pork chops
4 pre-cooked bratwurst, Johnsonville
                     from Wisconsin, preferred, of course
12 oz.  can beer
14.5 oz.  can chicken broth

Cook bacon in Dutch oven until crisp, drain and set aside.
Fry onion in bacon grease until translucent.  Add bacon, sauerkraut, potatoes and onions to the pot.  Tie crushed juniper berries, peppercorns, cloves, parsley, and bay leaf in a cheesecloth bag or place in a tea ball and add to the pot.  Add pork chops and bratwurst.  Pour beer and chicken broth over the meat.  Heat to boiling.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer 30-60 minutes until potatoes are tender.  Remove spice bag.  Remove sauerkraut, potatoes, and apples to a large platter with a slotted spoon.  Arrange pork chops and bratwurst around the edges of the platter.

Muliigatawny is another tasty dish to make with some of the fall bounty. Mulligatawny is the Anglicized version of the Tamil (a southern Indian Dravidian language) words for "pepper water" or "pepper broth." It became popular with the British stationed in India (employees of the East India Company) during colonial times during the late 18th century and later.  When they returned home, they brought the recipe back with them to England, and to other members of the Commonwealth including Australia.
Picture of Emeril's Mulligatawny Soup Recipe


4       T.   ghee or clarified butter
1 1/2 lbs. diced boneless, skinless chicken thighs
2       T.   garam masala
1 3/4 t.     salt
2       c.    small diced onions
1/2    c.    small diced carrots
1/2    c.    small diced celery
2       T.   minced garlic
2       T.   minced ginger
2       c.    peeled, cored and diced Granny Smith apples
1       c.    peeled and diced Yukon gold potatoes
1       c.    peeled and diced sweet potatoes
1       c.    dried red lentils
6       c.    chicken or beef stock
3/4    t.     freshly ground black pepper
3/4    c.    diced zucchini
3/4    c.    diced yellow squash
1       c.    tightly packed baby spinach
14     oz.  can unsweetened coconut milk
1       c.    peeled, seeded and chopped tomatoes
1       T.   apple cider vinegar
3       c.    steamed white basmati rice
1/2    c.    toasted, finely ground cashews
1/4    c.    chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Set a 4 or 5-quart saucepan over medium heat and add the ghee. While the ghee is heating, season the chicken with the garam masala and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Once the ghee is hot, add the chicken and cook, turning often, until golden brown and fragrant, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside to cool.
While the chicken is cooling, add the onions, carrots and celery to the hot pan and saute until lightly caramelized, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger and apples to the pan and saute until the apples are caramelized, about 7 to 8 minutes. Add the potatoes, sweet potatoes, and lentils to the pan, along with 4 cups of the chicken stock. Raise the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook the soup until the potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Add the reserved chicken, the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, the pepper, remaining 2 cups of chicken stock, zucchini, squash, spinach, coconut milk, and tomatoes. Continue to cook the soup at a simmer until the lentils and chicken are both tender, 10 to 15 minutes longer. Remove from the heat and stir in the cider vinegar. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary. To serve the soup, place 1/4 cup of the rice in a warmed bowl, and pour 8 ounces of the soup over the rice, garnish with a tablespoon of the cashews, and 2 teaspoons of the cilantro.

My husband first discovered this Moroccan dish, couscous, while he was touring the Left Bank in Paris during his study abroad program with Stanford in Tours, France.


1     lb.  cubed lamb AND/OR
1 chicken, cut into pieces
olive oil
4 onions, chopped
2 carrots, diced
3 tomatoes, chopped
(or 1 small can stewed tomatoes)
1         rutabaga (or several smaller turnips), peeled, quartered, cut into 1/2" slices
1/2 t.  ginger
1/4 t. ground coriander
1/4 t.  turmeric
1    pinch saffron (opt.)
20  oz. canned chick peas (also known as garbanzo beans)
1    c. raisins

In a large pot brown lamb cubes and chicken cubes with harissa in olive oil.  Add onion slices, carrots, tomatoes, rutabaga, and seasonings to pot.  Add enough water to cover.  Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 1- 1 1/2  hours.  Add chick peas and raisins and simmer another 1/2 hour.  Prepare couscous according to directions on the package.  Spoon prepared couscous onto a large serving platter. Moisten with stew broth.  Place meats and vegetables on top of couscous.  Ladle off some of the stew broth and add harissa to taste to make a sauce to pass for those preferring a spicier dish.


8-10  dried hot red chilies, preferably guajillo
1    T.  olive oil
4    clove   garlic
1    t.  ground coriander
1    t.  ground caraway
1/2 t.   salt
2   T.  water

Stem and seed chilies.  Break into pieces.  Rinse under cold water.  Let chilies stand 5 minutes; do not pat dry.  Combine chilies, olive oil, garlic, coriander, caraway, and salt in food processor and mix to paste.  Blend in water.
(Can be prepared 1 week ahead and refrigerated.)

Beef Bourguignon is another French favorite.  This version was found in La Bonne Cuisine cookbook, a much-loved church community cookbook from New Orleans.


1/4    c.       diced bacon
1/4 c.       flour
1 t. paprika
1 1/2 t. salt
3 lbs.     lean beef chuck, cut in 1 1/2" cubes
6 T.       margarine
1/3 c. chopped carrot
1 med. onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/4    t. thyme
1/4 c. chopped parsley
1 bay leaf
1/2   t. Tabasco
2 c. beef bouillon
1       c.+ dry red wine
8       small white onions, peeled
8 small carrots, cut in pieces
8       small new potatoes, scrubbed
1/2    lb. mushrooms, sliced

In a Dutch oven cook the bacon until crisp, remove, and reserve.  In a bowl combine the flour, paprika, and salt.  Roll the beef cubes in the flour mixture.  Melt 4 T. margarine in the bacon grease and over medium-high heat.  Fry cubes of beef until they are browned on all sides.  Add chopped carrot, chopped onion, and garlic and saut√© until onion is limp.  Add thyme, 1/2 the parsley, bay leaf, Tabasco, bacon, bouillon, and wine.  Simmer covered for 2 hours until the meat is nearly tender.  Add more bouillon and wine if liquid does not cover meat.  Add onions and carrot pieces cooking for 15-20 minutes.  Add the potatoes cooking for 30 minutes.  Saute the mushrooms in 2 T. margarine and add to the beef mixture cooking until vegetables are tender.    If thicker consistency is desired add 1 T. flour mixed with 2 T. water.  Season with salt and pepper to taste and sprinkle with remaining parsley.

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