I know, it’s only mid-September, but I am anxious for Thanksgiving. It’s too early to start planning my menu, so I thought I’d put together a nice supper with a harvest theme to get the ball rolling.
I came across the recipe for the pork from Southern Living and it looked so wonderful, I knew we had to give it a try. That beautiful dish became my starting point to build a complete harvest supper around. Normally, I don’t post until after I’ve cooked everything myself at least once. But I couldn’t wait that long to share this menu with you. I’m too excited!
While the feast as a whole is a celebration of the harvests of the land, the bite size crab cake starters represent the bounty of the sea. I’ve designed the menu that follows for “company entertaining” – an excuse to gather a few close friends together before the holidays descend upon us and monopolize what little “spare” time we may find. October might be a good month for an intimate supper with friends before all the craziness sets in. There is nothing I enjoy more than to raise my glass to let my friends know how blessed I feel for having known them.
Appetizer – If desired serve with a light white wine
Cocktail Crab Bites
1 tablespoons minced scallion tops
1 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup dry bread crumbs
8 oz crabmeat, flaked
Tartar Sauce for dipping
Lemon Wedges for Garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine scallions, mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and cayenne pepper; mix well. Stir in eggs and bread crumbs; add crabmeat and mix well.
Coat baking sheet with cooking spray. Set aside.
Shape mixture by tablespoonfuls into about 15 bite-size patties and place baking sheet and bake 12 to 15 minutes, until lightly browned.
Note: You can make these ahead of time and warm them in a 300-degree oven for 10 minutes just before serving.
To serve, plate a few cakes on small plates with a little tartar sauce and a lemon wedge on the side.
The soup recipe comes from France Today magazine.
Butternut Squash Soup
1 medium (2 to 2 1/2 pounds) butternut squash, peeled, halved, seeds and strings discarded
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large white onion, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
3 sprigs fresh thyme
3 fresh sage leaves plus additional for garnish
3 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
1 Granny Smith Apple, peeled, cored, and chopped
4 to 5 cups chicken broth
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Cut the butternut squash into 1-inch pieces and set aside.
In a large pot, heat the oil and butter over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until fragrant and softened, about 4 minutes. Add the nutmeg, thyme, and sage and cook for another minute, stirring. Add the squash, carrots, apple, and 4 cups chicken broth. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and cover. Simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.
Remove the thyme sprigs and sage leaves from the soup and carefully transfer the mixture to a blender or a food mill and purée until smooth. If a thinner consistency is desired, add the remaining 1 cup chicken broth. Season to taste and serve hot.
NOTE: Sage leaves quickly fried in butter are a brilliant complement to the soup’s natural sweetness. To prepare, simply melt 3 tablespoons butter in a small sauté pan over medium heat, swirling the pan occasionally. Add whole sage leaves and sauté until brown and toasted, 1 to 2 minutes. Garnish each serving of soup with 1 or 2 leaves and a drizzle of butter.
Pork Roast with Pan-Roasted Vegetables and Caramelized Apples
Stewed Green Beans with Shallots and Garlic
Rosemary-Garlic Pork with Roasted Vegetables & Caramelized Apples
1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 pound parsnips, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
2 medium-size sweet onions, quartered
3 teaspoons salt, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper, divided
1/3 cup olive oil, divided
3 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves, divided
1 (4-lb.) boneless pork loin roast
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
6 large garlic bulbs
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
Caramelized Apples (see below)
Preheat oven to 425°. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a 7 1/2 quart roasting pan over medium-high heat.
Combine carrots, parsnip and onions in a large bowl; sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Sauté vegetables roasting pan over for about 8 minutes or until caramelized.
Remove from heat, and stir in 1 tablespoon rosemary.
Tie pork with kitchen string, securing at 1-inch intervals. Sprinkle pork with remaining 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper, and place on top of vegetables in pan.
Stir together mustard, chopped garlic, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and remaining 2 tablespoons rosemary; spread over pork.
Cut off pointed ends of garlic bulbs. Drizzle with remaining 1 teaspoon oil. Arrange garlic bulbs, cut sides down, around pork in pan.
Bake at 425° for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion of pork registers 160°. Let stand 10 minutes.
Transfer pork and vegetables to a serving platter, reserving drippings in pan. Tent to keep warm.
Add apple cider vinegar to pan, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat to medium, and simmer, stirring often, 3 minutes or until thickened. Pour over vegetables. Slice pork, and serve with roasted vegetables, garlic bulbs, and Caramelized Apples.
2 tbsp unsalted butter or margarine
3 tbsp sugar (brown)
2 Crisp Apples (Braeburn, Honeycrisp, Pink Lady, Fuji or Gala)
1 tbsp lemon juice
Peel and core apples. Slice into 1/4″ wedges. Melt butter and sugar over low-medium heat until sugar dissolves and mixture is bubbly, about 1 minute. Add apples and lemon juice and cook over medium heat for approximately 10 minutes, stirring constantly.
NOTE: Be sure to use crisp apples such as . Softer apples will fall apart.
Suggested Green Vegetable side dish: Haricots verts à l’étouffée (Stewed Green Beans)
Pan-Roasted Pear Salad with Goat Cheese and Almonds
4 ripe but firm D’Anjou pears, quartered and cored
3 1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
2 tablespoon olive oil plus additional 3 teaspoons
6 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 small shallot, minced
8 cups salad mix, washed and dried
4 ounces crumbled goat cheese
2/3 cup almonds, toasted and chopped
Toss pears, 3 teaspoons brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in medium bowl. Heat 3 teaspoons oil in large skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add pears cut-side down in single layer and cook until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Using small spatula or fork, tip each pear onto second cut side; continue to cook until second side is lightly brown, 1 to 2 minutes longer. Shut off heat, leave skillet on burner, and add 2 tablespoons vinegar; gently stir until vinegar becomes a glaze and coats pears, about 30 seconds. Transfer pears to large plate and let cool to room temperature, about 45 minutes. Cut each pear quarter crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces.
Whisk remaining 2 tablespoons oil, remaining 4 tablespoon vinegar, remaining 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar, and shallot together in large bowl; season to taste with salt and pepper. Add salad mix and cooled pears to bowl; toss and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper. Divide salad among individual plates; top each with portion of cheese and nuts. Serve immediately.
Ingredients – Pear Tart Tatin
1 Sheet Frozen Puff Pastry, thawed
12 d’Anjou pears, cored and sliced lengthwise
1 Cup Sugar
½ lb Unsalted butter
2 Cups Water
2 Cups Sugar
2 Cups Heavy Cream
Late Harvest Wines
a roof for the rain,
laughter to cheer you,