Pumpkin, Shiitake and Chestnut Soup

These are three ingredients that just seem to belong together, like the Three Little Pigs.  Each brings something deep and comforting and their flavors play off each other beautifully.  Add to that marsala and a touch of maple syrup and you have a great fall soup. We used a dry marsala, so the soup definitely benefitted from the maple syrup at the end.  If you use a sweet marsala, you may find you don’t need it at all.  If you don’t have marsala, try a medium-dry sherry instead.  You want something that has a nutmeg-y flavor. Read More

Cajun Chicken Stroganoff

Photo courtesy main.kitchendaily.com

This comes together fast and is packed with flavor.  Not too spicy to serve even to those who stay away from the heat.  Carb-watchers can sub out cooked spaghetti squash for the egg noodles.  Just put two halves of a spaghetti squash in the microwave and nuke for 10 minutes.  Discard the seeds, and scoop out the spaghetti-like flesh. Read More

Harvest Braise

photo Fine Cooking

This recipe calls for pork. Chuck roast may be substituted. Six hearty servings.

3# boneless country-style pork ribs, trimmed
salt and pepper
2 T oil
½ C dry red wine
1 can (14.5 oz) beef broth
2 C yellow onions, diced
5 fresh sage leaves, minced, or 1 t. dried
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T oil
3 T all-purpose flour
8 oz button mushrooms, halved if whole, or sliced
8 oz. Shitakes, stems removed, large pieces torn
3 T oil
1 can (14.5 oz.) Diced tomatoes
2 C pearl onions, blanched & peeled, or one bag frozen
salt & pepper to taste

Remove bone & excess fat from rib; cut meat into1-inch, finger-length pieces; you’ll have about 2½ pounds of meat. Season meat with salt and pepper. In a large saucepan, heat 2 T oil until almost smoking; add meat in batches and sear until browned on all sides, about 15 minutes. Remove meat and reserve.  Reduce heat to medium and add wine; deglaze until wine is nearly evaporated,  about 5 minutes. Put meat back into pan and pour in beef broth halfway up the meat; you may not use all the beef broth. Cover pan with tight-fitting lid and simmer over very low heat, 30 minutes.

While meat simmers, in another pan saute onions, garlic and sage over medium heat in 1 T oil. Cook until onions become translucent, but do not permit them to brown, 8 minutes. Remove pan from heat and add flour, blend thoroughly.
Remove onion mixture and reserve. Heat reaming 2 T oil in pan and add mushrooms; saute until golden brown.

After braising pork 30 minutes, remove cover, stir in diced tomatoes & their juice and replace lid. Continue braising another 30 minutes. Add mushrooms, pearl onions and the onion-flour mixture. Stir to mix well, add salt and pepper and replace lid. Continue braising 30 minutes. Check meat for doneness – it should be very tender. Turn off heat and adjust seasonings.

Serve over noodles or boiled potatoes, with fresh Tomato Relish on the side.