Thursday, October 4, 2007

Thursday Thirteen: 13 Favorite Fall Recipes

13 Favorite Fall Recipes

It's Autumn--a time for football, pumpkin picking, and raking leaves. It's also when I pull out the unusual spices and flavors that keep the family's hungry tummies satisfied. Here are some of my favorite recipes for those cooler days and nights!

1. Cranberry Pork Roast:

Place 1 boneless rolled pork loin (approx. 2-1/2 to 3 lbs) in a slow cooker. In a medium bowl, mash one 16 oz. can of jellied cranberry sauce, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 cup cranberry juice, 1 tsp dry mustard and 1/4 tsp ground cloves. Pour over roast. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.

For gravy, remove roast and keep warm. Skim fat from juices, measure 2 cups, and pour into saucepan. Combine 2 tbsp cornstarch with 2 tbsp water to make a thick paste. Stir into gravy. Cook, stirring constantly, until thickened.

2. Cinnamon Fried Chicken:

Using a skillet at least 12 inches in diameter (with a good-fitting cover!), add enough oil to the pan to come up about 1/2 inch and set on medium-high heat. In a plastic zipper bag, mix together 2 cups flour, 1 tbsp coarse salt, 2 tbsp ground cinnamon and 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper. Toss one cut-up chicken into bag, a few pieces at a time, until all pieces are well coated. Slowly add chicken pieces to hot oil in skillet. Cover and cook for 7 minutes. Uncover, turn chicken, continue to cook about 5 minutes more until all pieces are golden brown. Remove chicken from skillet and drain on paper towels.

3. Green Bean Casserole (not the kind your mother made!):

Steam approximately 1-1/2 lbs of fresh green beans or use 3 cups canned or frozen green beans. Meanwhile, in a saucepan heat one 10-3/4 oz can of cream of mushroom soup, undiluted. When heated through, add 1/2 cup of shredded sharp white cheddar cheese. Mix thoroughly until cheese melts in soup. In a greased casserole dish, combine beans and soup mixture. Top with an additional 1/2 cup of grated sharp white cheddar and dust with dry breadcrumbs. Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown and bubbling--approximately 30 minutes.

4. Linguine with White Clam Sauce:

Boil 12 oz linguine according to package directions. Meanwhile in a large skillet, melt 2 tbsp butter with 2 tbsp olive oil. Add 2 tbsp finely chopped garlic and cook 'til fragrant. Pour the liquid drained from two 10 oz cans of whole baby clams into garlic and oil. Add 1/4 cup white wine and one grated carrot. Simmer until liquid decreases by about 1/3. Add 2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese, 1 tbsp oregano, 1 tbsp parsley and the clams from the two drained cans. Stir until heated through. Toss over cooked pasta.

5. Greek Lemon Soup:

Bring 3 c chicken stock to boil over medium heat. Add 3/4 cup orzo and reduce heat to low-medium. Cook 15-20 minutes. Add the meat of one boneless chicken breast, diced. In separate bowl, whisk 3 eggs one at a time. Slowly pour in 1/3 cup lemon juice. Slowly pour 1 ladleful of hot stock into egg mixture. Reduce heat on stock to low. While whisking stock, add egg mixture. Season to taste.

6. Quick Stromboli:

Unroll a 13.2 oz can of Pillsbury Italian Loaf (or French bread) and spread out flat. Layer an assortment of cold cuts and cheeses (ham, pepperoni, and shredded mozzarella; turkey, chicken, and shredded cheddar; etc.) evenly across flattened loaf. Roll jelly-roll style and place on a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees until golden brown.

7. Simmer All Day Chicken Soup (pairs great with the quick stromboli for a speedy meal!):

Place one whole rotisserie chicken in stock pot along with 1 gallon of water and 6 bouillon cubes. Simmer on low for 4-6 hours. Remove chicken, let cool, and strip meat off frame. Place all stripped meat into simmering broth along with several carrots, sliced; chopped celery stalks; one whole onion, chopped; 2 tbsp grated Parmesan; and a dash of sage. (Additional spices and vegetables may be added to taste.) Simmer until vegetables are tender. Store in refrigerator and/or freezer in sealed containers. When ready to serve add cooked noodles, pasta or rice to heated soup.

8. English Beef:

Place 1-1/2 lbs stew beef cut into bite sized pieces into slow cooker. Add one medium onion, chopped. Stir to combine. In a bowl, combine one 10-3/4 oz can beef broth, 1 tbsp steak sauce, 1 tbsp ketchup, 1 tsp curry powder, 1/2 tsp ground ginger, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper. Pour over meat and onion. Cover and cook on high for 4-1/2 - 5 hours or on low for 9-10 hours, until meat is tender. In another small bowl, stir 1/2 cup sour cream, 2 tbsp prepared horseradish, and 1-1/2 tbsp cornstarch. Stir into liquid around meat. Cover and cook on high for an additional 15 minutes or until thickened. Serve over cooked noodles with parsley and/or chopped chives.

9. Break-the-rules Apple Pie (Since most pies call for Granny Smith apples and lemon juice, I broke the rules when I started using this recipe, which requires neither!):

Spread one ready crust into a deep dish pie plate. Peel and thinly slice approximately eight medium apples (for best flavor, use different varieties of apples.) Pour slices into large bowl. Add 1 cup sugar, 1/4 tsp flour, 3/4 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 ground nutmeg, and 3 tbsp heavy cream. Stir well, then pour into prepared crust. Top with second crust, cutting slits in top to allow steam to escape. Brush crust with an additional 1 tbsp heavy cream. Bake at 425 degrees for 30-35 minutes until juice bubbles through slits and crust is golden brown.

10. Mulled Cider:

Pour one gallon apple cider into crock pot. Stir in 1/2 cup brown sugar. Combine 1 tsp whole cloves, 3 cinnamon sticks, and the zest of one orange in a cheesecloth. Tie cloth to form a small bag (bouquet garni). Add to cider. Cook for 3-4 hours on high or 5-6 hours on low. Remove garni before serving.

11. Orange Glazed Carrots:

Slice 1 lb of carrots into coin-sized pieces. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, melt 2 tbsp butter with 3 tbsp brown sugar. Stir in 1/3 cup orange juice, 1 tsp cinnamon and 1/2 cup dried cranberries. Add carrots, cover, and cook for 20-25 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.

12. Black Bean Soup:

Soak one pound dry black beans overnight or use "quick soak" method on package. In slow cooker, combine beans; 2 onions, chopped; 4 garlic cloves, minced; 3/4 cup cubed ham; 1 tbsp oil; 1 tbsp cumin; 2 tbsp hot pepper sauce; and 3 cups water. Stir well. Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours or low 8-10 hours. One hour prior to completion, remove 1-1/2 cups bean mixture. Allow to cool slightly, then puree until smooth in blender. Return to slow cooker for remainder of cooking time, along with 6 carrots, sliced thin. Hot sauce can be adjusted to taste.

13. Fudgy Mint Brownies:

In small bowl, combine 1-1/4 cup flour, 1/2 tsp baking soda, and 1/2 tsp salt. Set aside. In medium saucepan, combine 1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup butter, and 3 tbsp water. Bring to a boil. Add 10 oz of mint chocolate chips and 1-1/2 tsp vanilla. Stir until chips melt and mixture is smooth. Transfer to large bowl. Add 3 eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually blend in flour mixture. Spread into greased 13x9x2 inch baking pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 30-35 minutes. Cool; cut into squares.

Want more? Check out the recipes section of my website for a few other favorites! Have a few of your own? I'd love to read about them.

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