This is a part of Real Food Wednesday, hosted this week by Cheeseslave, and Fall Traditions, hosted by Simply Sugar and Gluten Free, and Pennywise Platter Thursday, hosted by The Nourishing Gourmet. I know, I know, a lot of carnivals, but hey, I'd like to get more readers, you know?
Sometimes it feels like fall around here, and sometimes not. Is there something which makes us programed to think that fall is supposed to be cool and grey and crisp or wet? I think there is. As soon as a day feels like that, I kick into fall mode. Except that I've lived my entire life in an area where fall means the dryest hottest weather of the year and wildfires until october. It's 50/50 whether halloween will be 98 degrees, or 50 and raining. Made planning halloween costumes a challenge as a kid. Regardless, we had one weekend of wet gray cool weather, and now I'm in fall mood.
What does fall mood mean to me? It means that I'm ready to start eating heavier foods. Stews, warm pureed soups, chili, things like that. Less fresh veggies, more meat and fat. It means the leaves are turning. Time to always bring a sweater, and take my winter clothes out of storage. (oh excuse me, find some winter clothes, since I'm about 30 lbs lighter than I have been in years, and jeans are no longer appropriate winter clothes for me (since I only wear pants to work). oy vey, and no money for it. goodwill, please be my friend?). Its the jam packed jewish holiday season. Its time to start thinking about making people holiday presents, and drinking hot beverages. Its time to figure out holiday schedules (whose family for which holiday when *sighs*) And of course, being a foodie, it is time for a whole new crop of seasonal produce! Including eating raw apples (I don't eat apples unless they are cooked, outside of spring.) They taste so good if you get good ones in season. And the first apple of the year is always a treat. the first pomagranate of the year was a total bust. It was a terrible pomagranate. going to need to find some good ones...
Here are a few favorite fall recipes that are pretty frugal as well. Some are old traditions, some are new.
Butternut Squash Soup
Roast halved butternut squash with butter or chicken fat, or saute chunks of peeled butternut squash in the same. Saute onions and apples in the soup pot in butter or chicken fat (Actually, its much easier to peel and cube and roast the cubes in fat instead of roasting it whole. you don't have to deal with such uneven cooking, or scooping burning hot squash out of burning hot oilly skin.). Add butternut squash to the soup pot, and cover with chicken or veggie stock. Add fresh ginger paste (like making garlic paste, I'll probably post a tutorial at some point), cinnamon, salt and pepper. Let simmer until everything is falling apart a bit. Blend (an immersion blender would be your friend. Not having one, I use a regular blender. which is a PITA, but it works.). Add more stock or cook a little liquid off as needed. Stir in some cream or butter or chicken fat. Top each bowl with creme fraiche (optional), and serve with a side of good bread. (a good squash/apple/onion ratio is 1:1:1. 1:2:2 is also good, but not as butternutty and more sweet.)
Chili I've already posted. (We're making it this week! yum. It really makes 1 lb of ground meat go a very long ways.)
The other day, J made a stew that was delicious and lasted forever. He browned a cut up chuck steak (3 lbs), added onions, tomatos, stock(chicken was all we had, it worked fine) and spices, let it cook for a few hours, and added potatoes. Then he let it cook for several more hours. the first day, it already had 8 hours of simmering on it. The next day, it had been simmering with the lid on (very very very low heat. just hot enough to keep it above 140, so not quite a simmer) for more than 24! Day 3, more potatoes and some corn were added to stretch it (not too much meat at that point, but lots of good broth and small meat bits). Day 4, he added some water and more potatos. The water was a mistake, it made it very bland. Well, we learned that lesson. Still, 4 days of amazing dinners plus lunches for two people from one steak? A total bargin.
I know pasta isn't considered TF, because its not soaked, but we eat it here. Its easy, and cheap. Someday I'll learn to make my own soaked pasta. For now, its part of our 20% that's not so healthy, and the sauce is always healthy, so its not that bad. This pasta is amazing. It's slightly adapted from the Farmers' Market Cookbook. Cook some pasta. Meanwhile, you heat up oil (we used olive oil. animal fat would probably be a healthier choice for heating), and smoosh some anchovies or sardines in. (say, 3). Keep cooking them until it gets sort of pasty. Add cut up cauliflower and cook until soft and slightly browned. Salt and pepper to taste. Reserve some pasta water before draining pasta.When the pasta is drained, and the cauliflower ready, Add the cauliflower mix to the pasta, and some pasta water (1/2-1 cup) and toss until nicely coated. Top with grated cheese (parmasagn or grana). yup. And rather fast.
Almost Wordless Wednesday
3 days ago