13 Sep Special of the Day~ Fall Favorites
How very fortunate we are here in our neck of the woods to appreciate four distinct seasons. And as much as we love the sun-soaked days of summer, autumn’s cool crisp mornings and evenings are met with a warm welcome, with the promise of comfort food cooking to come, warming us from the inside out.
Seasonal cooking this time of year means slow roasting root vegetables, braising meats, and back to baking to chase away the chill in the air.
What better way to celebrate the transition from summer to fall than by hosting a dinner party featuring stacked roasted beet salads, oven-braised short ribs with maple and shallots and beautifully baked apples wrapped in puff pastry and filled with almond paste?
Usher in autumn with this week’s Special of the Day~ Fall Favorites and recipes for Roasted Beet Salad with Buttermilk Blue Cheese Dressing and Candied Walnuts, Maple-Glazed Short Ribs with Browned Butter Noodles and Pastry-wrapped Baked Apples with Almond Paste Filling. Enjoy!
Roasted Beet Salad with Buttermilk Blue Cheese Dressing and Candied Walnuts
Recipe by Sydne George
6 medium beets
2 tbsp. olive oil
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. freshly ground pepper
½ cup blue cheese crumbles, divided
½ cup walnuts
¼ cup sugar
½ cup buttermilk
¼ cup blue cheese crumbles
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1 tsp. red wine vinegar
1 tsp. honey
3 tbsp. sour cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Wash beets and arrange them right next to each other on a sheet of foil.
Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Top with a sheet of foil to cover and crimp edges to make a packet. Roast in preheated oven for 45 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool. When cool, peel beets and slice into thin slices.
Heat a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Sprinkle ¼ cup sugar over hot pan and allow to melt. Add walnuts and stir to coat with melted sugar. Remove from heat and transfer candied walnuts to parchment paper to cool.
Combine buttermilk, ¼ cup blue cheese, 1/8 tsp. salt, 1/8 tsp. freshly ground pepper, vinegar, honey and sour cream in a jar with a cover. Cover and shake until well mixed.
Arrange a beet slice on each individual salad plate. Top with blue cheese crumbles and drizzle with dressing. Repeat sequence of beet slice, blue cheese and dressing two more times to create salad stacks. Top with candied walnuts.
Maple Braised Short Ribs
(serves 6 or more)
5 pounds beef short ribs
2 cups vegetable stock
1 cup apple cider
1 cup pure maple syrup, divided
¼ cup shallots, minced
2 bay leaves
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a Dutch oven, or other large heavy covered pot,
combine short ribs, stock, apple cider, maple syrup,
shallots and bay leaves.
Cover and bake for 3 hours.
When ready to serve:
Remove ribs from pot and strain sauce. Return sauce to
pan and simmer over medium heat until reduced to one
cup. Add an additional ½ cup maple syrup and any salt
Browned Butter Noodles
Extra large wide egg noodles
½ cup butter
Sage sprigs, for garnish
Cook noodles according to directions on package.
Meanwhile, melt butter in a small saucepan over
medium heat and continue cooking until browned.
Remove from heat.
When ready to serve, drizzle browned butter over
noodles on plates, top with Maple Braised Short Ribs
and sauce and a sprig of sage.
Pastry-wrapped Baked Apples with Almond Paste Filling
Recipe by Sydne George
6 small honeycrisp or gala apples, peeled
6 cups water
Juice of 2 lemons
3/4 cup sugar
Combine water, lemon juice and sugar in sauce pan big enough to fit apples over medium heat.
Stir to combine.
Set apples upright in poaching liquid.
Bring to a simmer and poach apples for 15 minutes.
Remove from heat and transfer poached apples to cutting board.
Cut a thin slice off the bottom of each apple to make it stand upright.
Remove core with seeds from each apple.
7 ounce package almond paste (Albertsons baking aisle)
½ cup sliced almonds
2 tbsp. butter, softened
½ tsp. almond extract
2 tbsp. sugar
Combine all ingredients in bowl of electric mixer.
Beat ingredients until well-mixed.
Fill poached apples will filling.
17.3 ounce package puff pastry, thawed
¼ cup melted butter
¼ cup sliced almonds
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Set oven rack in upper middle of oven.
Unfold and lay out puff pastry sheets on work surface.
Brush pastry sheets with melted butter and sprinkle with almond slices.
Use a rolling pin to press almond slices into puff pastry.
Cut puff pastry into thin strips, about ½ inch thick.
Butter rimmed baking sheet.
Start at bottom of each poached filled apple and carefully wrap a pastry strip all the way around each apple, working your way up to the top of the apple.
Press strips to adhere to apples.
Transfer pastry-wrapped apples to buttered baking sheet.
Leave space in between apples.
Bake apples in preheated oven for about 18 minutes, or until pastry is lightly browned.
Sydne George is a food journalist specializing in recipe development, food writing and food photography. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org . Sydne’s recipes from “Special of the day” are archived at sydnegeorge.com.