Welcome to our fall edition. With the air cooling and parts of the country mesmerized by the splendor of autumn colors, my kitchen turns to its own colorful display of braising pots, baking and roasting pans and bowls of apples, jars of apple butter and cranberries and. cinnamon sticks.
My oven has already started the season work out with apple crisp, bread pudding and of course a beautiful rump roast with pan gravy simmering on the stove.
Some simple tips to prepare for more indoor cooking I follow a few simple plans
Use your heavy Le Creuset Dutch ovens as decoration on your dining room table and buffet. This way they are always at arm’s reach and an assortment of colors will add a pop of autumn.
Keep hearty freezer-friendly dishes like beef stew, pumpkin bread, scalloped potatoes and mushroom barley soup ready for a quick homemade meal as you cuddle on the couch and turn on Netflix. All you will need is some crusty warm French baguette, a wedge of sharp cheddar and apple butter and of course a pair of warm fuzzy slippers.
Hearty Beef Stew
Somewhere between a beef stew and a classic beef Bourguignon, this recipe was born.
Number One rule- use a good quality stew meat like Hereford Beef
Number Two Rule- use a good Cabernet
2 pounds stew meat, cut into cubes (Fresh market has the Hereford brand already cubed
Approximately ¼ cup all-purpose flour
Garlic salt and fresh ground black pepper
¼ cup canola or vegetable oil
1.5-ounce container of Demi-Glace Gold (this brand is only $4.99 and well worth it for a rich hearty stock)
2-3 cups hot water
1 cup plus rich cabernet wine
1 cup baby carrots
1 cup sliced celery
2 cups peeled fresh baby onions
1 cup cut red potatoes
½ cup dried porcini mushrooms
1 bay leaf
1 cup frozen peas- thawed but not cooked
Buttered noodles- cooked
To thicken if needed:
1 teaspoon cornstarch
½ cup cold water
Heat oil in large pot. Season meat with garlic salt and black pepper. Let rest 5 minutes or so. Toss gently into flour shaking off excess before adding to pot. Gently brown on both sides. Add water and demi-glace mix. Lower heat and simmer for ½ hour
Add wine and simmer another ½ hour.
Add red potatoes, onions, carrots, and celery. Adjust seasoning and add more wine if needed. Simmer until vegetables are tender. Add peas and taste to see if you would like the stew thicker or more seasoned.
Remove bay leaf
Add slurry to low boiling stew if you need to thicken. Serve over buttered noodles
Apple Coffee Cake French Toast with warm apple compote
If you aren’t serving a crowd you may have some leftover pastry. I freeze the extra pieces and make either a bread pudding or apple french toast with the remaining pieces. Perfect for a main course at brunch the coffee cake ring is so sweet and delicious by itself that you won’t have to work too hard to create this dish. You may substitute fresh apricots when they are in season for the apples. Use a splash of apricot brandy or regular brandy instead of the Apple brandy
1 stick unsalted butter- cut into tablespoons
1-bag Macintosh apples- peeled, cored and sliced
2 teaspoons cinnamon plus 1 teaspoon
1-1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1-cup sugar- separated into half cups
¼ cup Calvados (apple brandy)
¼ cup water (if needed for apples)
1 coffee cake ring
1 jar pumpkin butter or plum butter
1-cup fresh whipped cream
1 cup half and half
In a medium saucepot, add apples, 1-teaspoon cinnamon, ¼ cup sugar. Heat until apples are soft and chunky.
Add water if needed during the cooking process. Blend in Calvados and let sit on the stove without heat.
In the meantime- slice the coffee cake on the bias. Heat a large sauté pan and add 1-Tablespoon butter. Whip eggs with half-and-half, 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Dip the coffee cake slices into the batter, turn to fully cover both sides and add to hot griddle or pan with melted butter. Grill cake slices on both sides until golden brown. Add more butter to the pan as needed.
Arrange French toast slices on a platter. Brush with pumpkin or plum butter. Top with warm apple compote and a dollop of fresh whipped cream. Garnish with cinnamon and sugar.
Butternut Squash Ravioli with Pancetta Sage brown butter
Chef Judi Gallagher
- 1 24-ounce package fresh cheese or butternut squash ravioli
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 medium shallots, thinly sliced
- 16 fresh sage leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 3/4 cup (3 ounces) grated Parmesan
- 2 chunks pancetta, diced
Cook the ravioli according to the package directions. Drain and return the ravioli to the pot.
Meanwhile, heat the butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat until it foams. Add the shallots and cook, stirring, until golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the pancetta and cook until slightly crispy.
Increase heat to medium. Add the sage and cook until the leaves turn crisp, about 1 ½ minutes. Remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper.
Add the shallot-sage butter to the pasta pot and toss gently. Add ½ cup Parmesan and toss again.
Divide the pasta among bowls and top with the remaining Parmesan.
Yield: 1 Quart
½ Cup Spanish Onions, Small Dice
1 Tbs. Ginger, Minced
1 Each Orange, Zested & Juiced
3 Cups Sugar
1 Cup White Vinegar
2 Each Cinnamon Sticks
12 Oz. Package Cranberries
- In a sauce pan, combine the onions, ginger, orange juice and zest, sugar, vinegar and cinnamon sticks
- Bring to a boil and cook down to a syrup (about 15 minutes)
- Add cranberries and continue to cook until the cranberries have all “popped”
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Napoleon with Caramelized Ginger
I love this recipe because it is refreshing, even if the temperature on the Florida Turkey Day is in the 80’s. Try the pumpkin filling on top of golden brown cheese blintzes for a decadent Holiday Brunch dessert
1 sheet puff pastry- thawed and cut into 9 pieces
* 1- 10 ½ ounce jar Pumpkin Curd
8 ounces of cream cheese
8 ounces whipping cream
1-teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup powdered sugar plus extra for dusting
½-teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, plus extra for garnish
¼ cup pumpkin pie filling
* Crystallized ginger
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Chill beaters and medium-sized metal bowl in freezer
Place thawed puff pastry (30-40 minutes to thaw) on floured counter top. Cut into 9-
3-inch squares. Place on non-greased cookie sheets and bake at 400 degrees until brown (Approximately 12 minutes.) Cool on wire rack.
Whip cream until almost peaked. Add vanilla extract and powdered sugar. Whip until peaks form. Set aside 2 ounces of whipped cream for garnish
Whip softened cream cheese and jar of pumpkin curd with pumpkin pie spice and pumpkin filling. Add 1 teaspoon of sugar. Lightly fold this filling into the whipped cream.
Chill for 1 hour
Carefully slice the puff pastry square in half. Top one layer with filling (about 3 Tablespoons), and top with half of puff pastry, repeat, top with puff pastry. Garnish with a teaspoon of whipped cream and sift powdered sugar and pumpkin pie seasoning over
the top and plate. Garnish with smashed pieces of crystallized ginger. Let sit for 4-6 hours in the refrigerator, uncovered.
* Found in most gourmet stores. (Coconut Bay Trading Company out of Palmetto, Fl. makes a wonderful Cinnamon-Ginger Candy that is perfect with this dessert.)
I asked the butchers over at Fresh market what holiday cooking questions they get asked the most and this is what they said:
So, I have two full proof methods for you to try. The absolute key is to have a calibrated oven and a good working meat thermometer.
Also, remember to take the roast out and leave at room temperature for 2 hours before roasting-this is VERY important.
Perfect prime rib is an easy undertaking if you follow a few key steps. The most important is using an accurate digital thermometer. This is the only way to ensure the desired doneness, which hopefully is a perfectly pink medium-rare, when the flavor and texture are at their best.
This prime rib recipe will work no matter what size roast you’re using. A great rule of thumb is each rib will feed 2 guests. So, a 4 rib roast will serve 8 guests.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours, 10 minutes
- 1 standing beef rib roast (4 to 7 ribs, 9 to 18 pounds)
- fresh course-ground black pepper, as needed
- kosher salt (or other larger grain, flake-style salt), 1/2 teaspoon per bone—I prefer truffle salt with the black pepper and be generous
- softened butter, 1/2 tbsp per rib of beef
- large metal roasting pan with at least 3-inch sides.
- 2 tbsp flour
- 1 quart cold beef broth
- Remove the prime rib from the refrigerator and place in the pan. No rack is needed as the rib bones form a natural rack, and will keep the prime rib off the pan. Rub the entire surface of the cold roast with butter, and coat evenly with the kosher salt and black pepper.
- Leave the prime rib out at room temperature for 2 hours. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. When the oven is hot, put the roast in and cook for 20 minutes to sear the outside of the roast. After 20 minutes turn the oven down to 325 degrees F. and roast until the desired internal temperature is reached (see guide below). For medium-rare this will take approximately 15 minutes per pound.
- Transfer to a large platter, and let the prime rib rest, loosely covered with foil for 30 minutes before serving. Cutting into the meat too early will cause a significant loss of juice.
To Make the “Au Jus” Sauce
While the prime rib is resting, pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the fat from the pan and place on the stovetop over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes to form a roux. Pour in the beef broth and whisk into the roux, scraping all the caramelized beef drippings from the bottom of the pan.
Turn heat to high and cook the sauce for 10 minutes until it reduces and thickens slightly (this is not a gravy, so don’t expect a thick, heavy sauce). Adjust seasoning, strain and serve alongside the prime rib.
Internal Temperature Guide
Below are the internal temperatures to go by, depending on how done you like your prime rib. Remember, these are the temperatures to remove the beef, and not the final temperature. The roast will continue to cook after it’s removed.
Rare: remove at 110 degrees F. (final temp about 120)
Medium-Rare: remove at 120 degrees F. (final temp about 130)
This method is said to work for any size prime rib. The meat is brought to room temperature (this is critical), and seasoned anyway you like. Then you multiply the exact weight times 5 minutes. For me it was 3.75 x 5 = 18.75 minutes. The roast is cooked at 500 degrees F. for exactly that many minutes. The heat is turned off, and you wait 2 hours without opening the oven door.
Once you remove the prime rib, you’ll be slicing into the juiciest, tenderest, most perfectly medium-rare meat you’ve ever seen.