I hate to say it but I think I’m actually ready to change my clock back. These pitch dark mornings are not helping my motivation to get out of bed! They are good for concocting fall menus. Here are some ideas from today’s food sections.
Ragu and Russ Parsons-two very good things. In today’s LA Times, Russ writes about rich, meaty, slow simmered ragu-perfect on pasta (or even polenta). Every Italian nonna has her own version, usually using different cuts of pork and occasionally beef too . I love, love, love the “Sunday Supper Sauce” served over lumachine at Pizzeria Delfina, it simmers for days and I keep trying to weasle my way in the kitchen to learn how to make it. In the meantime, this version infuses the sauce with pork butt (that’s shoulder, if you didn’t know) and finishes it with sausage. I think it screams fall and would love a batch to keep in my freezer.
Quick dinner for the family? Get yourself a piece of wild salmon (or whatever wild fish is fresh at your market) and try Sauteed Wild Salmon with Brown Butter Cucumbers. In typical Melissa Clark fashion, she writes (in today’s NY Times) about falling into this recipe a bit by accident. Our luck-now we can make it any weeknight in no time flat and it sounds just delish. If you need a fun side, you can try Mark Bittman’s Bok Choy with Shitakes and Oyster Sauce. The recipe calls for dried shitakes, which are any any Asian market, and add a real depth to dishes like this one. If you can’t find them, a few extra fresh ones will work just fine.
Last night I taught a class where we spent a lot of time going over different methods of cooking eggs. My favorite part was poaching. You should have heard the cheers erupt as the class watched each other master the method, giving each egg a perfect flip. Another delicate way to cook an egg is a French method called “en cocette”-baked slowly so the whites set up and the yolks stay nice and runny. In this recipe, they are baked in jars (ramekins work just fine) over a bed of spinach or bacon. They are the stars of a fall brunch menu consisting of hash browns, poached pears with mascarpone, and a Salad of Radiccho and Orange. Fall brunch is a great way to entertain. I also love the idea of making eggs for dinner.
Hope this inspires you to get in the kitchen this fall and make some magic yourself!