Chefs' Club Blog

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October Chefs’ Club – Autumn Returns!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Some of our favorite Chefs’ Club meals have been in the Autumn months. The flavors just meld together so well! So after a busy Summer and lots of travel, we finally were able to get ALL EIGHT CHEFS together once again, plus 1! We have a new baby girly to add to Chefs’ Club!

INGREDIENTS:
Squash (any type!), Apples, Cinnamon, and Nutmeg.

THE ROLES:

  • Cocktail: Laura – Pumpkin Divine – Pear vodka and lush pumpkin butter make this a stand-out cocktail! Looking at some other recipes, she decided to use Maple Syrup as a sweetener, rather than the simple syrup. An easy swap and also fit with the Autumn flavors!
  • Appetizer/Soup: Kelly B – Pumpkin Soup with Chili-Cran-Apple relish. I did make quite a few changes.  I knew I didn’t want to use cream, but was worried about using NF milk.  In the end, I used one cup of whole milk instead of 2 cups of Heavy Cream!  I was intending to add the other cup, but the consistency and taste seemed great, so I didn’t worry about it! I did use a little extra flour (gluten free all-purpose flour), to thicken the soup since I wasn’t adding all the cream. I also used a yellow onion for the relish, rather than red, since I already had some chopped from the soup earlier.  I thought this had great flavor! I added a bit extra of the spices and hot sauce, since some of the reviews seemed to think it lacked flavor, but was impressed overall!  I’ve made soups like this where you have to put batches in the blender and it is a mess and takes forever. This one is sooo much easier!
  • Salad: Kim – Arugula and Roasted Pear Salad – a few changes: Kim swapped the pine nuts for pecans, since she felt like this was a better complement to the sweet pears…plus, they’re her favorite J  She also added a bit of blue cheese, which we all loved! Just a tiny bit was a great creamy/pungent complement to the sweetness of the roasted pears.
  • Main: Kelly J – Pork Tenderloin with Apple-Cranberry chutney.  Great flavor! And we had a bit extra chutney to spread over our pork as it was served.
  • Side: Sarah – Pumpkin Risotto.  Sarah also made some changes, adding some onion, garlic, and white wine to give a little extra depth and flavor to this dish. It was fantastic! It seems like the grown-up version of macaroni and cheese J  The fried sage leaf added interest, too, but Sar says that next time she’ll just chop them to add them in throughout the risotto/pumpkin mixture.
  • Side: Erin – Apple-filled Acorn Squash Rings with Curry Butter.  Such a pretty dish!  Looked beautiful on the plate and tasted great! Slightly awkward dinner moment, though. I looked around and realized that no one else was eating the skin! They had the skin still in a circle on their plates!  When I asked everyone laughed and said they had thought it was kind of odd, but why not? Our resident Nurse Practitioner said, “Fiber, it’s good for you”, so we all had a bit of the skin after that!
  • Dessert: Meredith – Gingerbread pumpkin mousse Trifle!!  A beautiful presentation and tasted delicious!! A delight of fall flavors.
  • Wine: Stacey scoured Fall editions of her EVERYDAY FOOD magazine and found a fun set of pairings for Thanksgiving meals.  Since we were incorporating so many fall flavors, it seems appropriate! It was very fun to incorporate and official ‘wine tasting’ into our Chefs’ Club evening!We poured a small amount, swirled it in our glasses, took in the aroma, and compared notes as we tasted! All the while, Stace read off the descriptions so we would know what to try to look for in our taste buds!
    • WHITES:
      • Viognier
      • Gerwurztraminer
    • REDS:
      • Pinot Noir
      • Lambrusco  (this one was expecially fun! No one at the table had ever tried a sparkling red like this before…interesting and almost kind of a buttery flavor – a very fun find!)

 

The Pumpkin/Pear Cocktail!

 

Pumpkin Soup!

 

Learning about our different wines for the evening...

The Lambrusco -- the surprising wine we'd never tried before.

 

Voila! Dinner is served!

 

The elegant and decadent Gingerbread-Pumpkin Mousse Trifle!

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October 22, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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