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Media Spotlight – Menu Innovator® – Fall is in the air, and on our plates

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Fall is in the air, and on our plates

In the summer months most of us are out enjoying the long hours of daylight and cooking most of our meals outside on the grill, but fall is here! The air begins to chill and the daylight hours begin to shorten. The comforting aroma of home cooked stews and soups linger in homes around the country. Corn breads, pumpkin bread and apple pie make mouths water. Stop at any restaurant or coffee shop – Pumpkin, spices, and fresh apples are abundant in coffees, breads, and more!

Fall cooking is based a great deal on tradition, but does this mean food has to be boring? Absolutely not! Seasonal root vegetables turnips, winter squash, pumpkins, yams and carrots are slow roasted to bring out natural flavor and sugars. Carrots orange, yellow and purple are tossed with olive oil, fresh thyme, rosemary and seasonings then oven roasted creating a tender sweet side dish. Drizzle the carrots with maple syrup or honey with a touch of sriracha. Ever popular brussels sprouts make an excellent fall salad when combined with ingredients like oranges, toasted nuts and crisp pancetta with a walnut oil and balsamic drizzle.

Of course squash remains a fall favorite. Roasted butternut squash shines when tossed with maple bourbon syrup with cinnamon and nutmeg or with melted butter and fresh sage and lemon zest. Acorn squash is wonderful when stuffed which also makes it a great vegetarian entrée. Sauté onion, garlic, celery, carrot and mushrooms. Add toasted bread cubes, assorted nuts, raisins and sage and stuff. Finish with melted white cheddar.

And for dessert, chefs add simple details that make favorite ingredients shine. Pies are finished with an impressive fluted edge or with small overlapping circles along the edge. Pumpkin and sweet potato steal the spotlight not only with pies but with cheesecake with gingersnap crumb crust, pumpkin crème brulee, sweet potato and candied ginger pound cake. Try creamy pumpkin flan and top it with toasted pepitas and a pumpkin ale caramel topping.

Of course apples are in season. Combine apples with cranberries in pie or try adding cheddar cheese to the crust. Don’t forget apple cobbler, crisp and ice cream topped dumplings. Roast apples with vegetables or add to stuffing’s. Pork chops mingle beautifully with thyme infused sliced apples in cider sauce all served with cheddar polenta. Combined apples with beets for a wonderful fall salad. Toss match sliced beets with thinly sliced apples, walnuts, celery, onion and lemon. Top the salad with roast chicken or turkey. Serve with apple sangria made with white wine, thin sliced red and green apples, apple cider and brandy. Don’t forget to add a cinnamon stick!

Creative possibilities are endless for fall fruits and vegetables!

Eat Well

Culinary Systems Inc

Windermare, Florida 34786

Email. tlagana@culinarysystems.com

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