Harvest Supper Celebration in Six-Courses

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.

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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.

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Soup Course

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.

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Main Course

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
Kitchen string
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.

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)

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Salad Course

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.

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Dessert Course
Far Niente Pear Tart Tatin with Caramel Sauce
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
To Make Tart Tatin: Preheat oven to 400-degrees.
Melt butter in a 14-inch ovenproof skillet. Add sugar, then pear halves in layers, forming a circle around the pan. Cook on stovetop over medium heat for 45 minutes.
Roll puff pastry to ¼-inch thickness and cut a 16-in circle out of center. To create the perfect circle, measure and cut template from poster board. Carefully lift puff pastry and place over pears, tucking the pastry between the pears and the side of the skillet.
Bake in the oven until pastry is golden brown, about 12 minutes, checking often. Remove from oven and invert onto serving plate while still warm. Cut into 10 to 12 slices and serve with warm caramel sauce.
Ingredients – Caramel Sauce
2 Cups Water
2 Cups Sugar
2 Cups Heavy Cream
To Make Caramel Sauce: Combine sugar and water in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Mix well and bring to a boil. Allow to simmer without stirring until sugar is a golden amber color, about 10 minutes. Watch carefully, as it can burn quickly.
Remove from heat and whisk in heavy cream until combined. It is best to serve warm, but can be served cold.
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Conclusion
After Dinner Coffees
Late Harvest Wines
Assorted Cheeses
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May you always have walls for the winds,
a roof for the rain,
tea beside the fire,
laughter to cheer you,
and those you love near you.
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7 thoughts on “Harvest Supper Celebration in Six-Courses

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