Autumn

Easy Apple Crisp

This is an easy apple crisp recipe that is a winner at any get together.  Now, the word “easy” should be taken very lightly here.  This recipe is easy in that you pretty much dump your apples in a pan, sprinkle on the crumb topping and bake.  The steps are simple, but apple crisp requires (you guessed it) apples and getting your apples to an absolutely perfect state for baking is a bit more time consuming.  It can feel tedious, but I like to peel my apples on the couch in front of the TV to help pass the time.  Before I know it, I have a big bowl of peeled apples ready for the slicing and an episode of Doctor Who in the books.

Fish sticks with custard anyone?

Image and recipe courtesy of Betty Crocker.

Easy Apple Crisp

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yields: 6 servings

Easy Apple Crisp

Ingredients

  • 4 medium tart cooking apples, thinly sliced (4 cups), as uniformly as possible
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup quick-cooking or old-fashioned oats
  • 1/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Ice cream, if desired

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 375ºF. Grease bottom and sides of 8-inch square pan with vegetable shortening.
  2. Spread apples in pan. In medium bowl, use a pastry mixer to stir remaining ingredients until well mixed; sprinkle over apples.
  3. Bake about 30 minutes or until topping is golden brown and apples are tender when pierced with a fork. Serve warm with ice cream if desired.

Notes

I doubled this recipe and placed it in a 9x13-inch pan instead, adding 5 additional minutes to the bake time.

http://foodiemcbooty.com/easy-apple-crisp/

 

Juicy, Thick-Cut Pork Chops

Happy September!

This has been a long hot summer.  I am ready for the new season, are you?  I love coming home to simmering crock pot dinners and snuggling up with my Mister on those crisp autumn nights.  I’m a fan of change, especially when it comes to seasons.

When the temperature starts to drop, cozy pork dishes warm the belly and the soul.  This thick-cut pork chop definitely fits that bill.  If you haven’t cooked a thick chop before, have no fear.  With a little care and attention (and a meat thermometer) you’ll cook these like a pro in no time – no grill necessary.

Serve these with onions and butternut squash or freshly picked apples.  Or do like I did, and plop an incredibly edibly egg on top of your chop and scrap up the runny yolk with each bite.  Mmm…

Thick-Cut Oven Baked Pork Chops

Thick-Cut Oven Baked Pork Chops

Ingredients

    For the Rub:
  • 2 Tablespoons cumin powder
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons fresh ground pepper
  • 3 teaspoons coriander powder
  • 1 Tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • For the Rest:
  • 2-4 2-inch thick pork chops
  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter

Directions

  1. Prepare the dry rub and distribute it evenly on your pork chops. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat (use a cast iron skillet if you have it). Cook the pork chops until both sides are nicely browned, about 1-2 minutes per side. Remove the skillet from the heat.
  3. Place the pork chops in a baking pan if you do not have a cast iron skillet and bake the chops, uncovered, for about 20-30 minutes, or until the meat is cooked through (internal temperature of 145). Allow the chops to rest for five minutes and serve.
http://foodiemcbooty.com/juicy-thick-cut-pork-chops/

Orzo with Apples, Cranberries and Toasted Almonds {Vegetarian}

Tis the season for comfort food.  During these chilly days and nights, it is easy to indulge in heavier dishes — with all the soups and chilis and bacon out there (oooh bacon, how I love thee).  This dish warms the soul with its creamy, rich orzo yet the fruit and fresh herbs keep it light and fresh.  It’s a dish fit for holiday meals or chilled and enjoyed on a picnic blanket with your loved one. <3

Orzo with Apples, Cranberries and Toasted Almonds

Rating: 41

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yields: 8 Servings

Orzo with Apples, Cranberries and Toasted Almonds

Ingredients

  • 4 cups of low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 cups of orzo (or couscous), regular or whole wheat
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 medium green apple, diced
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds

Directions

  1. In a medium saucepan, add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Follow the directions to cook your orzo (you may need to add some water to your pot to meet their requirements).
  2. While the orzo is cooking, toast your almonds until golden brown by stirring them in a sauté pan over medium heat. Remove from heat and set aside. You can also toast your almonds in the oven at 350 degrees F. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in a single layer and cool.
  3. Once your orzo is cooked, strain the liquid out (as much as possible) and add the parsley, rosemary, thyme, apple, cranberries, and almonds. Combine and serve.

Notes

Add some fresh arugula, either cooked or uncooked, for some added greens.

http://foodiemcbooty.com/orzo-with-apples-cranberries-and-toasted-almonds/

Pumpkin Risotto

Pumpkin risotto is extremely creamy and dreamy.  Serve this as an appetizer or as a side dish for your next autumn meal.  Add some cooked diced sweet potato or squash along with the pumpkin to make this a heartier autumn recipe. So simple, so good.

Pumpkin Risotto

Rating: 41

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yields: Serves 6

Pumpkin Risotto

Ingredients

  • 2 (14.5-ounce) cans low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice, uncooked
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries (optional)
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • Sunflower seeds, for garnish

Directions

  1. Bring vegetable broth to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat to a low, keep warm.
  2. Add oil to a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until sweated, about 2 minutes. Add rice and toast until you can see the white pearls in each piece of rice. Add the wine, simmer and stir until all liquid is absorbed.
  3. Add a ladle of broth to the rice mixture. Reduce heat, simmer, and stir frequently until the liquid is absorbed. Continue adding the broth one ladle at a time. This takes about 20 minutes.
  4. At about the 18 minute mark, add the pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, sage and cranberries if you wish. Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with parmesan cheese and sunflower seeds. Serve and enjoy.
http://foodiemcbooty.com/pumpkin-risotto/

Andouille and Sweet Potato Pie

It’s not often that I am impressed by a new recipe, but this one caught me by surprise!  This savory pie is spicy from the andouille but sweet from the potatoes.  If you’ve never had andouille, it is a sausage made mostly of pork and garlic and is cajun and smokey in nature.  If you cannot find this at your local grocer, you can order online or make your own:

An adaptation from John Folse’s Cajun-Style Andouille recipe:

  • 5 1/2 lb. ground pork (fattiest you can find)
  • 1/2 c chopped garlic
  • 1/4 c cracked black peppercorns
  • 2 tb cayenne pepper
  • 1 tb dry thyme
  • Liquid smoke

I recommend using the real thing for this recipe, considering there isn’t anything quite like real andouille sausage, but any smoked sausage will work in a pinch.  This smokey sausage, combined with the sweet potatoes and corn meal crust creates such a divine combination your guests will go gaga for it.

If you’d like to lower the overall fat content, substitute a chicken or turkey andouille sausage instead.

Andouille and Sweet Potato Pie

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours

Yields: 6 Servings

Ingredients

  • 1 pound small sweet potatoes, pierced with a fork
  • 1 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 1 stick plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons ice water
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 pound andouille sausage, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried sage, crumbled
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 3 large egg yolks

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Wrap the sweet potatoes foil and bake for 45 minutes, until they are soft. Let the sweet potatoes cool. Meanwhile, in a food processor, combine the cornmeal and flour with the 1 teaspoon of salt. Add the chilled butter cubes and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add the ice water and pulse until the dough comes together. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and knead until smooth.
  2. Lightly flour the work surface and roll out the dough to a 13-inch round, about 1/4 inch thick. Ease the dough into a 9-inch glass pie plate. Trim the overhang to 1 inch, then fold it under itself and crimp decoratively. Prick the bottom crust several times with a fork. Line the dough with foil and fill with pie weights. Bake for about 30 minutes, until the crust is barely set. Remove the foil and weights and bake for 10 minutes longer, until the crust is dry and very lightly browned.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the andouille sausage and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until it is lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the onion, garlic and dried sage and cook until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Let cool slightly.
  4. Peel the sweet potatoes and transfer them to a food processor. Add the cream and puree until very smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Add the egg yolks and process until incorporated. Transfer the filling to a large bowl and stir in the andouille mixture. Scrape the filling into the crust and bake for about 45 minutes, until the custard is set. Let cool for 20 minutes, then cut the pie into wedges and serve.

Notes

The pie can be made ahead and refrigerated overnight. Rewarm before serving.

http://foodiemcbooty.com/andouille-and-sweet-potato-pie/

Photo Courtesy of Huffingtonpost.com

Mr. Magoo’s Mushroom Ragout

Okay, I freely admit that I have no idea if Mr. Magoo would approve of this dish or not, but it helps me remember that “Ragout,” is not pronounced like “RAG-OUT.”

{Shakes her fist at the English language}

For this recipe I used a mix of earthy crimini mushrooms, meaty shiitake mushrooms and agaricus (more commonly known as white) mushrooms for my sauce.  I could not stop sneaking spoonfuls of this sauce!  The mushroom flavor came out so well in the sauce itself, I didn’t need to taste it with a piece of mushroom at all to understand the beautiful chemistry that was happening.  Also, the sauce was thick enough to coat the pan, but not too thick that it became too rich to devour a whole mess of it.  Perfection!

The only change I would make to this recipe regards the pancetta (which, in my opinion, more recipes could use some pancetta).  This recipe instructs you to cook the pancetta until golden.  When I made this for the first time, this ragout was a precursor to the inevitable Wild Mushroom Soup.  I should have cooked the pancetta a little longer than the recipe calls for, until it was much crispier.  My result, although still delicious in flavor, was a bit too chewy in texture for my liking.  Keep this in mind depending on what you decide to do with your Mushroom Ragout.

Recipe adapted from Get Saucy, by Grace Parisi

Mr. Magoo’s Mushroom Ragout

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yields: 2-3 Cups

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 pound (4-ounces) thinly sliced pancetta, coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/4 pounds mixed mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced
  • 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped thyme
  • 1/4 cup madeira or marsala wine
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. In a large deep skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the pancetta and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until golden, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pancetta to a plate; leave the fat in the skillet.
  2. Add the mushrooms to the skillet and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned and softened, about 8 minutes. Add the shallot and thyme and cook, stirring, until the shallot is softened. Add the wine and cook until evaporated, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the skillet. Stir in the cream, season with salt and pepper and simmer until the ragout is slightly thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Just before serving, stir in the pancetta.

Notes

The ragout can be stirred into pasta or risotto, folded into omelets, spooned onto crostini or poured over polenta.

http://foodiemcbooty.com/mushroom-ragout/

Photo courtesy of Matthew Tivy

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