Fall Favorites | Print |  E-mail
Thursday, 27 September 2012 14:22

092712fThere’s something almost magical about shopping at the Farmers’ Market this time of year. All of the fall harvest of fruits and vegetables spilling out of the baskets takes us back to our roots.

AUTUMN BEEF STEW

3 pounds beef chuck roast, cut into 1-1/2 in. cubes

Salt and ground pepper

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 medium onions, chopped

3 medium garlic cloves, minced

3 tablespoons flour

1 cup dry red wine

2 cups beef broth

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon dried thyme

4 medium red potatoes, peeled, cut into 1-inch cubes

4 large carrots, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick

1 cup frozen peas

Dry beef throughly and season generously with salt and pepper.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in heavy-bottomed pot over medium high heat. Add half the meat so that pieces are not touching and cook not moving until brown (about 2-3 minutes). Use tongs and rotate pieces until all sides are browned (about 5 additional minutes). Transfer beef to medium bowl and add another 1 tablespoon oil to pan, repeating previous steps with other half of beef.

Reduce heat to medium and add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to now empty pan and swirl to coat bottom. Add onions and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook, scraping bottom of pan for brown bits until softened (about 5 minutes).

Add garlic and continue to cook for 30 seconds. Stir in the flour and cook until lightly colored (1-2 minutes). Add wine, scraping the bottom and stiring until thick and flour is dissolved.

Gradually add the beef broth, stirring constantly, scraping up the remaining browned bits on bottom of pan. Add bay leaves and thyme and return to simmer. Add beef, return to simmer, reduce heat to low, and cover. Simmer for 1 hour.

Add potatoes and carrots, leave uncovered, increase heat to medium and cook for additional hour. (After adding the carrots and potatoes, add a slurry of approximately 1/4 cup broth and 1 tablespoon flour.

Add the peas, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 5 min.

Discard bay leaves, adjust seasoning and serve immediately.  Serves 6 to 8.

BAKED ACORN SQUASH

1 acorn squash

1 tablespoon butter

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 teaspoons maple syrup

Dash salt

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Using a strong chef’s knife, and perhaps a rubber mallet to help, cut the acorn squash in half, lengthwise, from stem to end.

Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and stringy stuff in the center of each half. Score the insides of each half several times with a sharp knife. Place each half in a baking pan, cut side up. Add about a 1/4 inch of water to the bottom of the baking pan so that the skins don’t burn and the squash doesn’t get dried out.

Coat the inside of each half with 1/2 tablespoon of butter.  Add a tablespoon of brown sugar to the cavity of each half. Dribble on a teaspoon of maple syrup to each half.

Bake in the oven for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes, until the squash is very soft and the tops are browned. Do not undercook. When finished, remove from oven and let cool a little before serving. Spoon any buttery sugar sauce that has not already been absorbed by the squash over the exposed areas. Serves 2 to 4.

PARMESAN BRUSSELS SPROUTS

1 tablespoon butter

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 tablespoon butter

6 Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved

1 tablespoon butter

2 tablespoons shredded

Parmesan cheese, or more

Salt and ground black pepper to taste

Heat a frying pan over medium heat until hot, 3 minutes. Melt 1 tablespoon butter; cook and stir garlic until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add 1 tablespoon butter and Brussels sprouts, cut-side down; cover and cook until golden brown, 4 to 6 minutes.

Flip Brussels sprouts; add 1 tablespoon butter. Cover and cook until other side is browned, about 3 more minutes. Transfer to a serving plate. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, salt, and black pepper. Serves 2.

JALAPENO-CHEDDAR CORNBREAD

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup yellow cornmeal

1⁄4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons baking powder

2 teaspoons kosher salt

2 cups milk

3 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten

1⁄2 pound (2 sticks) butter, melted, plus extra to grease the pan

8 ounces aged extra-sharp Cheddar, grated, divided

1/3 cup chopped scallions, white and green parts, plus extra for garnish

3 tablespoons seeded and minced jalapeño peppers

Combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the milk, eggs, and butter.

With a wooden spoon, stir the wet ingredients into the dry until most of the lumps are dissolved. Don’t overmix! Mix in 2 cups of the grated Cheddar, the scallions and jalapenos, and allow the mixture to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9x13x2-inch baking pan. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top, and sprinkle with the remaining grated Cheddar and extra chopped scallions. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool and cut into large squares. Serve warm or at room temperature. Yields 12 pieces

CRANBERRY-SPINACH SALAD

1 tablespoon butter

3/4 cup almonds, blanched and slivered

1 pound spinach, rinsed and torn into bite-size pieces

1 cup dried cranberries

2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

1 tablespoon poppy seeds

1/2 cup white sugar

2teaspoons minced onion

1/4 teaspoon paprika

1/4 cup white wine vinegar

1/4 cup cider vinegar

1/2 cup vegetable oil

In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Cook and stir almonds in butter until lightly toasted. Remove from heat, and let cool.

In a large bowl, combine the spinach with the toasted almonds and cranberries.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the sesame seeds, poppy seeds, sugar, onion, paprika, white wine vinegar, cider vinegar, and vegetable oil. Toss with spinach just before serving. Serves 8.

 

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