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Transitioning into Autumn with Fresh Produce

Transitioning into Autumn with Fresh Produce

Pears-BlogOct1After a cool front went through our area last week, we excitedly retrieved our arsenal of fall-themed recipes for this transitional period of 90-degree days and 60-degree evenings. While we're not quite ready to commit to the complete array of oven-baked possibilities, one matter on which we definitely agree is that whatever we do, we'll incorporate fresh seasonal produce.

There's no need to sacrifice fresh produce for the sake of harvest weather. We just roll with the punches of stormy weather in the late summer and early autumn, and see how we can turn lemons into lemonade -- or, in this case, apples into apple cobbler.

Because we've escaped the height of hurricane season unscathed, we're supplementing our supply of canned goods and other non-perishables with their fresh counterparts: Anjou pears, red onions, celery, chile peppers, cruciferous vegetables and leafy greens. That garden-fresh scent is pure heaven to cooking novices and skilled chefs alike!

Perhaps one of the most enjoyable aspects of cooking with fresh produce during the transitional times of the year is having the flexibility to create dishes that span seasons, i.e., lamb navarin with a Greek salad, or a creamy and nutty navratan korma with hot naan and a yogurt-based raita. Let's loosen up even more for early fall: Toss in a bit of puréed pumpkin and stewed pears, or how 'bout a quarter-cup of an Alsatian riesling?

Plus there's dessert to consider, too. (You won't have to twist anyone's arm.) For sweet inspiration, we like autumn fruit and hints of vanilla. The fall harvest puts us in the mood for a comforting mix of granny smith and golden apple pies -- topped with cheddar cheese! -- and rich, warm crème brûlées and pear tartlets with caramel sauce, even English custards with a savory bit of bay leaf. Want an additional touch of autumn? There's still some pureed pumpkin left... (hint, hint)

 

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