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Fall into Food

October 22, 2009

cornGrowing up in CA, we didn’t have “food seasons.”  Fresh produce was available pretty much year-round, and with the weather being always fine and dandy, you could make stew one day and BBQ the next.  Not that you can’t do the same out here in the northeast, but since there are actual seasons here, culinary trends seem to follow suit.  I don’t make soups or stews during the summer, and I don’t grill much at all between November and April.  Plus the fresh produce availability also dictates what will be emanating from my kitchen.

This time of year is my favorite – the marvelous red, orange and yellow leaves, the crisp air, apple picking and fresh hot cider and cider donuts, pumpkins, etc…and in the market, corn, apples, and sweet potatoes.

This is the one time of year when I can feel like I’m actually eating the season.  Corn is a great accompaniment to steak, pork or chicken, and it’s terrific in salads, chili, soup, and stews.  I have also converted from buying canned corn to buying it on the cob and slicing the kernels off.  What a difference!  I’ll still have to buy cans when corn is out of season, but while it’s here, off the cob it is.

Apples can obviously be used for desserts, but they pair well with savory dishes.  I have a great recipe for a Vietnamese-style grilled beef dish with an apple slaw.  Top a soup with shaved slices of apple for a touch of sweetness.  And the flavor of apples is a great match with…

Sweet potatoes!  These are available year-round, but they just seem better in the fall.  They can be used the same way you’d use a regular potato, but they are much more nutritious and add a depth of flavor and earthiness to any dish.  Dice them up and roast them in a little oil with chopped bacon, peppers, and onions for a great sweet potato hash.  Boil and then mash them with butter and chipotles for a spicy/sweet treat.  Cut them into wedges, toss with a little oil, salt and pepper, and roast or grill them.  And sweet potato soup is just yummy.

Share with me your favorite fall recipes…and enjoy digesting autumn!

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