Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Farewell Autumn-You were too short!

I love the months of September and October in Michigan but they fly by way too fast. I took this picture of a tree in all its glory just outside my living room window the other day and now there’s not a leaf clinging to that tree! I love the colors, sights and smells at this time of year. I’m ready to turn my thoughts to heartier fare—roasts and stews. Here are three recipes to get you into comfort food mode as we hunker down for another winter. Buon Appetito!

Pot Roast
4 lb. pot roast
Can of diced tomatoes
Pkg. of dry golden onion soup mix
Can of chicken broth
Oregano, garlic, basil
Chopped onion
Baby carrots
Small red skin potatoes-cut in half

Brown meat in ovenproof casserole, remove, brown onion, garlic. Mix in tomatoes, broth, and spices; add meat back to pot spooning sauce over the meat. Bake 350 for about 4 hours. Last 1 and ½ hour add carrots and potatoes. This sauce is so good I might add another can of tomatoes and broth next time.

Chicken and Chickpea Stew

4 boneless sinless chicken thighs
Olive oil
Large onion chopped
2 ribs celery chopped
1 can no salt chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 cans diced tomatoes (used 1 plain and one with green chilis)
½ t salt and some pepper
2 cups water
1 t turmeric
½ t cinnamon
½ ground ginger
1 t paprika
Cooked lentils, or brown rice
2 T chopped parsley

Cut thighs into 12 large pieces
Brown thighs in olive oil, remove to plate
Sautee onion and celery in olive oil about 5 minutes
Add chickpeas, tomatoes, salt, water, pepper, turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, and paprika—return chicken to pan.
Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer stew to about 45 minutes-stir occasionally.

Meanwhile prepare lentils or rice.

Ladle stew on bed of lentils or rice (pasta) and sprinkle with parsley

Spice-rubbed Pork Loin with Acorn Squash
From magazine Every Day Food

1 boneless pork loin 3 to 4 lbs. I tie the roast with twine at 1-inch intervals.
4 T olive oil
¼ cup brown sugar
½ t ancho chile powder
¼ t cinnamon
½ t cumin
1 large acorn squash
Kosher salt and pepper

I precook squash in microwave because otherwise I can’t cut it!! I nuke it for 8 minutes, then cut in half, scoop out seeds and slice into wedges.

Preheat oven 425. In large bowl combine 3 T olive oil, sugar, spices, and 2 T water. Add squash slices and coat with this mixture. Set aside

Generously season pork with salt and paper all over. Heat 1 T oil in heavy skillet and brown pork on all sides about ten minutes.

Place pork on rimmed baking sheet; pour oil from skillet onto sheet. Arrange squash around pork. Brush pork with remaining sugar mixture. Bake until pork is cooked through (135 degrees) –baking about 40-45 minutes. Tent with foil and let rest 10 minutes before slicing.