Fall is the best time of the year for cooking up some great meals. Shorter days bring you inside earlier. The cooler weather makes it OK heat up your kitchen again. Sure, summer has dynamite fresh produce and is a great time to create cool salads and other less cooked fare. Maybe fire up the grill outdoors for the meat. But fall has the apple harvest and tailgating, the beers and sausages of Octoberfest, festivals and hot cider, and that huge turkey dinner. It is the time that we welcome hearty meals and comfort food. I start to crave substantial eats -- with roasted root veggies, cold weather crops, savory sausages and meats, sauces and gravies, mashed potato, and hot soup. It is a perfect time to cook up something spicy, or maybe a touch exotic, with strong flavors. There are still fresh herbs in the garden, just waiting for that last harvest before the first frost. We have basil, sage, thyme, chives and rosemary that need to be used before they go dormant for the season.
As I type, I am roasting a butternut squash and shallots in oil, seasoned with sea salt and freshly ground peppercorns. I'm trying a new recipe: southwestern butternut squash soup. After the roasting, the squash mixture will be pureed with chicken broth and cooked with cumin, lime juice, honey, minced chipotle in adobo sauce, and heavy cream. I'll throw in fresh chopped cilantro just before serving. I hope it is as yummy as it sounds.
I still miss the butternut crab bisque that I used to get at Margaux's Deli in Southbridge, Massachusetts. That would be a recipe worth searching for. Maybe I'll do that soon, because Fall is a great time for cooking, and what's not to love* about crab bisque?
* For the record, PDM is not crazy about cream sauces and bisque. Or crab. But he eats it if I cook it, which makes him a good sport, don't you think?