Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns – George Eliot
Gourmet Club Theme #2 [ Autumn Harvest ] ~ The first official “meal” of our gourmet club was beyond a success. I could only describe it as a harmonious gathering of the culinary autumnal season. Honestly, all three couples came together a couple of weeks ago with four different courses to create a gourmet feast which left all of us in a unspeakable state of satisfaction. Our theme, which was chosen at the last gourmet evening, was Autumn Harvest, meant to showcase and experiment with all the wonderful ingredients that are born from this wonderful season. I’ve posted the menu below and the recipes at the bottom of the page. Here’s what we had:
| Spiced Squash, Lentil & Goat Cheese Salad |
| Autumn Ravioli & Pinot Mushrooms |
| Thai Peanut Roast Pork Tenderloin with Coconut Rice |
| Green Beens with Sage & Pancetta |
| Pears Two Ways – Wine Poached & Amaretti Baked |
[ Alicia ]
Spiced Pumpkin, Lentil, and Goat Cheese Salad (recipe by Epicurious.com)
- 3/4 cup French green lentils*
- 6 cups 1-inch pieces peeled seeded sugar pumpkin or butternut squash (from about one 2-pound whole pumpkin)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon hot smoked Spanish paprika**
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 4 cups baby arugula
- 1 cup soft goat cheese, crumbled
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced mint leaves
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Place lentils in small bowl. Cover with cold water and soak 10 minutes; drain.
Cook lentils in boiling salted water until tender but firm, about 30 minutes. Drain lentils. Rinse under cold water, then drain.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Place pumpkin in large bowl; toss with 2 tablespoons oil, cumin, paprika, and sea salt. Arrange pumpkin in single layer on baking sheet; roast 20 minutes. Turn pumpkin over. Roast until tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Cool.
Combine lentils, pumpkin, and oil from baking sheet with arugula, half of goat cheese, mint, vinegar, and 1 tablespoon oil. Season with salt and pepper. Divide among plates; sprinkle remaining goat cheese over.
[ Patrick & Shayla ]
Thai Peanut Roast Pork Tenderloin
- 4lbs pork tenderloin
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 3/4 cup honey
- 3 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tbsp ground coriander
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp cayenne
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1 cup pineapple juice
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 1 1/2 tbsp each: blood orange juice, orange rind, brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 tsp chopped parsely
- 1/2 tbsp chopped shallots
- 1 cup whipping cream
Combine all the ingredients and let tenderloin marinate, covered and refrigerated for one hour. Remove pork from marinade and place in shallow pan. Place marinade in saucepan, bring to boil & reduce by half. Cover & keep warm.
Place pork in 375° oven & roast uncovered for 25-30 minutes, basting once with reduced marinade. Keep some marinade for drizzling on cooked meat.
To serve: Slice tenderloins into thin, diagonal slices; arrange on serving platter. Drizzle with some of the reserved marinade. Serve with warm Peanut Sauce.
In a small sauce pan, combing all the ingredients for the Peanut Sauce, except the cream. Heat gently until combined & creamy. Just prior to serving heat cream and stir into sauce.
[ Patrick & Shayla ]
- 2 cups coconut milk
- 3 cups water
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tsp sugar
- 2 cup basmati rice
- 6 tbsp chopped red pepper
In a saucepan, combine coconut milk, water, salt, and sugar. Bring to a boil. Add rice, stir well and reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer undisturbed until liquid is absorbed and rice is fluffy, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit. Fluff with a fork and add red pepper. Adjust seasoning to taste.
[ Chad ]
Green Beans with Sage and Pancetta (recipe by Epicurious.com)
- 2 1/2 pounds green beans, trimmed
- 8 ounces thinly sliced pancetta, coarsely chopped
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh sage
- Fleur de sel* or other medium-grain sea salt for serving (optional)
Line baking sheet with several layers of paper towels. Cook beans in large pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, 4 to 6 minutes depending on size of beans. Drain. Spread beans out on paper towels.
Combine pancetta and 1 tablespoon oil in large nonstick skillet. Sauté over medium heat until pancetta is crisp, separating pieces with 2 forks, about 10 minutes. Add sage and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer to plate.
Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in same skillet over medium-high heat. Add beans and sauté until heated through, about 5 minutes. Add pancetta mixture and toss to blend. Season to taste with freshly ground black pepper. Transfer to large bowl; sprinkle with fleur de sel, if desired, and serve.
[ Geoff ]
Amaretti Baked Pears Served with Gelati (recipe by friend Mel the Baker)
- 6 ripe but firm pears
- 1 1/2 cups crushed Amaretti cookies
- 6 tbsp sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp softened butter
- Gelati to serve
Heat oven to 375 degrees.
Working over a bowl to catch the juices, halve and seed the pears.Use a small spoon to scoop out some pulp from each half to enlarge the cavity left by the seeds.Add the pulp to the bowl with the pear juices.Add 1 cup amoretti crumbs to the bowl along with the sugar, yolks, and vanilla. Mix well to form a wet paste. Mound the filling into the cavity of each pear half and compact the filling with your fingers until smooth.
Grease a shallow baking dish with the softened butter.Arrange the pears cut side up in dish. Cut the remaining butter in to 8 pieces and dot each pear with one piece of butter. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of cookie crumbs over the fruit.
Bake 40 minutes, until pears are soft and filling begins to brown. Remove and cool slightly. Serve warm with vanilla gelati.
[ Geoff ]
Poached Pears with Spiced Red Wine (recipe by BBC Good Food)
- 1 vanilla pod
- 1 bottle red wine
- 225g caster sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick , halved
- fresh thyme sprig , plus sprigs to serve
- 6 pears , peeled, but kept whole with stalk intact
Halve the vanilla pod lengthways, scrape out the black seeds and put in a large saucepan with the wine, sugar, cinnamon and thyme. Cut each piece of pod into three long thin strips, add to pan, then lower in the pears.
Poach the pears, covered, for 20-30 mins, making sure they are covered in the wine. The cooking time will very much depend on the ripeness of your pears – they should be tender all the way through when pierced with a cocktail stick. You can make these up to 2 days ahead and chill.
Take the pears from the pan, then boil the liquid to reduce it by half so that it’s syrupy. Serve each pear with the cooled syrup, a strip of vanilla, a piece of cinnamon and a small thyme sprig.
Gourmet Club Theme #3 [ Parisian Christmas ] ~ Stay tuned next month!