As you earn a culinary arts certificate online, you’ll learn to prepare a huge variety of dishes using seasonal ingredients. Finding fun, exciting ways to adapt your menu to take advantage of fresh produce is an increasingly important part of finding success in professional kitchens. With a few ideas, you can prepare dishes perfectly suited to autumn’s time of dropping temperatures and colorful leaves.
Warm foods for cool weather
With cool winds starting to pick up, fall is the perfect time to enjoy hot, satisfying comfort foods. Roast chicken is one classic choice, and it’s especially great when paired with seasonal produce. Butternut squash, which figures prominently in many fall recipes with its orange pulp and sweet taste, makes an excellent addition to your poultry dinner.
Serious Eats provided a recipe that calls for roasting the squash along with the chicken at 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Toss the squash with the Sardinian pasta fregola or some Israeli couscous, plus extra-virgin olive oil, sliced scallions, parsley, mint, lemon zest, salt and black pepper. Prepare a jus for the chicken by deglazing the pan with vermouth or sherry and mixing the liquid with soy sauce, lemon juice and butter.
Pasta perfectly suits the autumn, and butternut squash makes a great addition to these dishes as well. Bon Appetit suggested using shredded pieces of the gourd to prepare a sauce for fiorentini. While boiling the pasta to al dente, brown the squash in a pot with olive oil, butter and sage. Combine the squash mixture with cooking liquid to complete the sauce, and top the dish with grated Parmesan cheese.
Think fall fruits
In addition to squash and pumpkin, fall is closely associated with apples and pears, two fruits that are fantastic in desserts. For a fun turn on an autumnal tradition, try the pear and blackberry crumbles recommended by Good Food. They also include pistachios and demerara sugar and go great with ice cream.
Of course, seasonal fruit can also be a delicious addition to entrees or side dishes. Southern Living offered directions that pair pork with roasted vegetables and deliciously caramelized apples. Saute carrots, onions and parsnips to form a bed for the pork loin. Add flavor to the meat with salt, pepper, Dijon mustard, garlic, rosemary and olive oil, and cook at 425 degrees for about 70 minutes. Prepare the apples by quartering them, adding a covering of brown sugar, sprinkling on salt and pepper, and cooking them in a skillet for eight minutes.
Midwest Living’s cranberry-apple sweet potatoes also make inventive use of the season’s flavors. The recipe requires a combining the potatoes with apple pie filling, cranberry sauce, apricot preserves and orange marmalade in a baking dish. After about half an hour in an oven set to 350 degrees, you’ll have a unique side that that captures the fall.
Culinary academy graduates find versatile ways to employ local and seasonal ingredients. With a little experimentation, you can find numerous uses for the fruits and vegetables that characterize autumn and leave diners happy to see the seasons change.