Fall's Harvest

I love this time of year, the crisp cool air, the colorful trees and the best of all is the harvested crops: apples, pears, squash, pumpkins to name a few. If you’ve seen our recent newsletters you’ll know that I’ve been collaborating with Sommelier, Regine Rousseau for Cooking and Wine Pairing Parties. 

Regine has a segment on Windy City Live Tuesday, October 8, to showcase a few of her recommended wines. She asked me to create dishes that pair well with those wines, using some of fall’s best produce. If you want to know what I’m cookin’ up, refer to the below recipes. If you try them, let us know what you think. At our last Cooking and Wine Pairing Party, we made the warm arugula salad and paired it with butternut-squash sage rissoto and seared scallops. Yum, Yum!!

Fall’s Recipes

 Warm Arugula Salad


Servings: 2

2 cups baby arugula

2  tablespoons raw pumpkin seeds

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 cup proscuitto

1/2 small red onion cut into wedges with stem on

4 dry figs sliced

2 sprigs of thyme, leaves removed

2 tablespoons crumbled or sliced goat cheese

1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar

zest from one orange and 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice

3 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon brown sugar

Method of Preparation

Wash and spin dry baby arugula and set aside in medium mixing bowl

Toast pumpkin seeds in low heat skillet, turning occasionally to prevent burning

Remove seeds from skillet and add 1 tablespoon olive oil

Add proscuitto to oiled skillet and cook until crisp, then remove

Add red onion wedges to oiled skillet to caramelize. You may need to drizzle a little more oil to skillet. When caramelized on both sides, remove onions

Add sliced figs and thyme leaves to skillet, cooking figs til browned 

Add white balsamic vinegar to skillet with figs and thyme, deglazing the skillet. You’ll need to scrap the bottom, turn to low heat. Then add zest & orange juice to meld the flavors

Add olive oil and up to half teaspoon brown sugar, continuing to cook on low heat.

The brown sugar helps neutralize some of the acidity of vinegar. The flavor should be nice and light

While the dressing is heating, arrange your onion wedges on salad plate

In mixing bowl with arugula, add half of the pumpkins seeds, crispy proscuitto and sliced figs

Toss the warm dressing over the greens, arrange on salad plate with onion wedges

Divide the remaining pumpkin seeds, proscuitto and sliced figs among the two salad plates, and top with goat cheese

Note: This recipe was adapted from a Jamie Oliver recipe. I used pumpkin seeds, dried figs, goat cheese and white balsamic vinegar to add my touch of taste to it. 

Pork Tenderloin w/ Apple Compote

Servings: 4 - 6

1-1/2# pork tenderloin 

1-1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt

1  teaspoon white pepper

1-1/2 teaspoons paprika

2 Tablespoons olive oil

3/4 cup chicken broth (low sodium preferred)

Method of Preparation

Combine all seasonings, mixing well

Lightly rub oil on pork tenderloin and rub seasonings onto pork

Add olive oil to heated skillet at medium high. Once oil is hot, put tenderloin seasoned side down in skillet until seasoned side is golden brown

Turn to other side and reduce heat. 

You can finish in 400 degree oven for 3-7 minutes until pork reaches internal temperture of 140 degrees

Add cooked pork to cooking board, allowing it to rest for about 10 minutes

While pork is resting, you can put skillet back on heat and deglaze pan with dry white wine, reducing heat to allow it to simmer until alcohol flavor reduced

Apple Compote

1-1/2# of golden delicious or gala apples

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 cup water (optional)

Method of Preparation

Peel and core apples, cut into small dice

Toss apples in lemon juice and spices

Add apples to pot and cook covered on low heat until juices are released from apples, stirring occasionally

Allow apples to cook until tender. You want them to maintain their shape. If apples start drying, add a little water to maintain moisture

Braised Short Ribs


Servings: 2 - 4 

2-1/2# bone in short-ribs

8 cloves garlic cloves

1/2 cup all purpose flour 

2-1/2 tablespoons Kosher salt

1-1/2  tablespoons ground black pepper

3  tablespoons vegetable oil

1 small red onion medium thick slices

2 Tablespoons olive oil

4 sprigs fresh thyme

3/4 cup beef broth (low sodium preferred)

1/2 cup red wine

Method of Preparation

Crush garlic and soften in vegetable oil

Combine all purpose flour, salt & pepper in shallow pan 

Lightly dredge short ribs in flour seasoning 

Remove garlic from pan (you don’t want it to burn)

Add short ribs to oil skillet and sear til dark brown

Turn short ribs and add sliced red onions

Add beef broth, scraping bottom of skille to remove any browned items, then add red wine

Liquid should cover bottom half of short ribs 

Cover skillet and braise in 325 degree oven until fork tender. This could be 1-1/2 to 2 hours, depending on thickness of ribs 

Note: If you want a thicker broth, whisk 2 tablespoons flour seasoning with beef broth and add to skillet before putting in oven

Serving Suggestions

Whipped spice sweet potatoes (shown here)

Whipped spice butternut squash

Warm arugula salad

White bean ragout

Cecelia Hamilton