‘Baked Beef Meatballs with Sweet Spices’

Recipe Courtesy of Bon Appetit Magazine

These unique beef meatballs are flavored with a touch of white miso paste, Panko breadcrumbs, Pecorino cheese and garam masala.  Garam masala is a mixture of ground spices popular in South Asian cultures–a blend that is both warming and a touch sweet.  The combination of meatball ingredients make for a tender meatball, and the addition of garlic and sweet dried currants makes for a sweet yet salty combo that is irresistible when paired with a quick saute of Lacinato kale, radishes and a squeeze of lemon juice,

(To view this recipe, click on the following link: https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/baked-beef-meatballs)

‘Espresso Pound Cake’

'Espresso Pound Cake'

Recipe Courtesy of Epicurious.com

A caffeinated pound cake….woo hoo!  Craving a coffee-flavored dessert, I searched online for something unique that would satisfy my sweet tooth. I found this recipe from an older issue of Bon Appetit magazine for a heavenly espresso-flavored pound cake.  With all of the traditional pound cake ingredients (flour, sugar, eggs, vanilla, baking powder) you add in a touch of ground cinnamon and pecans, as well as instant espresso powder for that rich coffee-taste.  Not only is there espresso powder in the cake batter itself, but also in the simple confectioner’s sugar and milk glaze that tops the cooled cake.  For decoration, I like to serve this pound cake with a few chocolate-covered espresso beans.  

(To view this recipe, click on the following link: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/espresso-pound-cake-with-cranberries-and-pecans-364074)

‘Brown Sugar-Glazed Salmon with Zucchini & Fennel ‘Noodles”

Recipe Courtesy of Cooking Light Magazine

Recipe Courtesy of Cooking Light Magazine

I think the current vegetable ‘noodle’ craze is just fabulous.  Such a wonderful way to lighten up a menu and also, to use the season’s best veggies in new and interesting ways!  This recipe uses thinly sliced zucchini and fresh fennel as the faux noodle base of the salad, which is flavored with a homemade citrus vinaigrette and fresh dill.  You don’t need a spiralizer for this salad either; simply an everyday vegetable peeler will do just fine.  On top of the crunchy salad are pan-seared or grilled salmon filets that have been coated with a light dusting of brown sugar which caramelizes very nicely when cooked.  Healthy, fresh and delicious!

(To view this recipe, click on the following link: http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/brown-sugar-grilled-salmon-zucchini-fennel-noodles)

‘Braised Endive’

Recipe Courtesy of Cook's Illustrated Magazine

Recipe Courtesy of Cook’s Illustrated Magazine

This is a fabulously simple (and fabulously French) way to cook Belgian endives, leeks or fennel.  A quick braise in stock and white wine, after being seared in a pan covered with butter and sugar to achieve perfect caramelization.  Seasoned, and finished off with fresh thyme and lemon juice–feel free to guild the lily here and garnish the braised endive with freshly grated Parmesan cheese as well.

(To view this recipe, click on the following link: https://www.cooksillustrated.com/recipes/139-braised-belgian-endive)

Beef, Broccoli & Kimchi Stir Fry

beef-broccoli-kimchi-stir-fry

Served over long-grain white or brown rice, this flavorful and healthy stir-fry is the way to go on a busy weeknight.  Tender strips of skirt steak stir-fried together with sliced garlic, broccoli florets and store-bought kimchi is a tasty combination of ingredients that are flavored with sesame oil and a touch of soy sauce.  An when you are prepping the broccoli, don’t leave out those broccoli stems!  Thinly slice them as well and add them right into the wok.

(To view this recipe, click on the blue title of the blog post above*)

Roasted Garlic & Rosemary-Stuffed Mushrooms

roasted-garlic-rosemary-stuffed-mushrooms

These hearty stuffed mushrooms are filed with some of my favorite flavors: roasted garlic cloves, fresh rosemary and a touch of quality, fruity olive oil.  Topped with crispy Panko breadcrumbs before being baked, stuffed mushrooms are always an elegant and easy entertaining idea.

(To view this recipe, click on the blue title of the blog post above*)

‘Pumpkin-Chai Muffins’

Recipe Courtesy of Food & Wine Magazine

Recipe Courtesy of Food & Wine Magazine

The first two ingredients I can’t wait to use each Fall are local apples and pumpkin puree.  When these two items become part of my cooking repertoire each year, the cooler morning temperatures and the anticipation of Fall colors are very near.  This lovely recipe for spiced muffins are very moist, and filled with the warm flavors of the season.  The base of the muffins are simply melted butter, flour, sugar and baking soda with the addition of rich pumpkin puree and a special spicy ingredient: crushed chai tea.  Adding crushed chai tea adds a fragrance and warm spicy taste to the muffins that is subtle but unique. The pumpkin puree adds a perfect moist crumb into the mix and the crunchy top comes from buttery walnuts.  A delectable breakfast-time treat to help usher in the new season.

(To view this recipe, click on the following link: http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/pumpkin-chai-muffins)

‘Chickpea-Spinach Masala’

Recipe Courtesy of Fine Cooking Magazine

Recipe Courtesy of Fine Cooking Magazine

The word masala is of Indian origin and translates into ”a mixture of spices.’  One of its most popular uses in a classic Chicken Tikka Masala recipe, but can also be a great way to cook a lovely vegetarian Indian dish like this one.  Hailing from Fine Cooking magazine, this fabulous recipe has you making a masala or mixture of spices from cumin seeds, ground cumin, turmeric, ground coriander, and cayenne pepper. Along with sauteed onions, garlic and fresh ginger, this dish is spicy but not overwhelmingly so; it is more warming in taste.  The vegetables used in this dish are buttery chickpeas, wilted spinach and diced tomatoes.  A simply wonderful dish–best when served with basmati rice and naan to dip into the masala itself.

(To view this recipe, click on the following link: http://www.finecooking.com/recipes/chickpea-spinach-masala.aspx)

Radicchio with Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Apples & Turmeric Vinaigrette

Using bitter greens as the base of a salad this time of year is a wonderful idea.  This variety of greens (including not only radicchio but endive, chicory, kale, dandelion and arugula) pairs well with other Fall produce like pears, figs, apples, root vegetables (as well as any of your favorite nut varieties from the pantry), and they are bountiful this time of year.

For this salad, I first roasted rounds of white sweet potatoes and then tossed them with sliced Pink Lady apples, crunchy sunflower seeds, and bitter magenta-hued radicchio.  For a bright vinaigrette (both in color and taste) I made a turmeric vinaigrette with a bit of honey, olive oil and lemon juice.  The vinaigrette recipe makes more than needed for just this salad, and is wonderful as the base for a mango-cashew chicken salad, of even a simple mixed greens salad.

(To view this recipe, click on the blue title of the blog post above*)

‘Fennel ‘Confit’ with Grilled Lamb’

Recipe Courtesy of Fine Cooking Magazine

The culinary term ‘confit’ comes from the French verb confire which means ‘to preserve.’  It involves slowly cooking food, surrounded by fat or oil, until super tender and insanely decadent.  The most common forms of confit are duck confit and garlic confit, but you can preserve any meat or vegetable in this way.

This amazing grilled lamb chop recipe involves a ‘confit’ of thinly sliced fennel flavored with garlic in olive oil. The fennel slowly cooks over low heat until caramelized and very tender, and is served on top of grilled chops that are flavored with ground fennel seeds and crushed red pepper flakes.  The confit also includes a bright pop of flavor that comes from lemon zest, lemon juice and the earthy taste of chopped, fresh oregano.  I served these lamb chops with the fennel confit with a side of green beans gremolata, herbed spaghetti squash with chickpeas, and a lovely Cabernet Sauvignon from California.

(To view this recipe, click on the following link: http://www.finecooking.com/recipe/fennel-confit-grilled-lamb)