It is the end of the growing season in much of the country and it is time to celebrate the harvest with some of our favorite comfort foods! If you are planning a harvest dinner or better yet, having a Halloween party at your house – this could be your perfect meal.
Our Chef Robin White, a native New Englander, always has the right mix for a great fall harvest menu. This one is exceptional! The Cassoulet and Caramel Apple recipes are below. Click on the links here for the other recipes in our Recipe File!
Rustic White Bean & Sausage Cassoulet
Salted Caramel and Chocolate Dipped Honey Crisp Apples on a Stick
Rustic White Bean and Sausage Cassoulet
Ingredients: Serves 6
- 12 sausage links, hot, Italian, rabbit, boar or duck. Prick skins to allow for grease to escape during cooking
- 6 slices of Applewood smoked bacon or diced Pancetta
- 6 medium onions, halves and sliced thin lengthwise
- 10 fresh garlic cloves, chopped fine
- mixed fresh herbs such as rosemary, thyme, and sage,
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 cup chopped scallion greens
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley , chopped
- 4- 14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes including juice
- 1-14 oz cans of the best chicken stock you can find or make your own chicken stock
- 1 cup of a dry white wine, one you would drink
- 6 cans white beans such as cannelloni, navy, or Great Northern, drained and rinsed
- Salt & Pepper to taste
Ingredients for Topping
- 4 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 tbsp butter
- 10 slices firm white rustic bread, cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 6 small garlic clove, chopped fine
- 12 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 -In a large skillet cook the bacon over moderate heat until browned, Remove and save for garnish later. Turning them, cook sausages in the bacon fat until browned on all sides and cooked through, about 8 minutes, and transfer to paper towels to drain. You may need some olive oil here, use your judgement if the pan seems to be getting dry. Transfer sausage to paper and let drain.
2 -In 1/2 cup fat remaining in skillet cook onions and garlic, stirring, until golden. Stir in herbs (including bay leaf), scallion greens and parsley, tomatoes with juice, stock and wine and Salt & Pepper to taste. Boil mixture, stirring, 10 minutes until cooked down some. Cut sausage into 1/2 inch-thick slices. Add sausage and beans to tomato mixture and cook, stirring, until heated through. Discard bay leaf and top with topping mixture.
Process for topping:
1- In a small skillet heat oil and butter over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking and sauté bread until pale golden. Stir in garlic, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste and sauté, stirring, a couple of minutes.
2- Transfer “cassoulet” to a large serving dish and cover evenly with topping. Bake in 350 degree oven until top is brown and mixture is bubbly. Serve in bowls garnished with white part of the scallion and crumbled browned bacon and a drizzle of great extra virgin olive oil.
Serve with corn bread- a must!
Apples in Heaven
- 8 ripe apples
- 8 wooden skewers
- 2-14 ounces bags soft caramel candy
- 2 tbsp water
- 20 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 4 tbsp shortening
- 2 tbsp of Fleur de Sel or Grey Salt
1- Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with aluminum foil or parchment paper and spraying the foil with nonstick cooking spray. Wash and dry the apples carefully. Remove the stems, and stick the skewers firmly in the stem ends.
2- Place the unwrapped caramels and the water in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 1 1/2 minutes, then stir, then microwave for and additional minute or until completely melted. The caramel should be smooth and liquid by the end.
3- Hold an apple by the skewer and dip it in the caramel tilting the bowl at an angle and rotating the apple to cover it completely with a smooth, even layer. Bring it out of the caramel and twirl it upside down to remove excess, then set it on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining apples. Place the caramel-covered apples in the refrigerator to set for at least 30 minutes.
4- Combine the chocolate and the shortening in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave until melted, stirring every 45 seconds. Dip the caramel-covered apple in the chocolate half way. at this time you can take a spoon and drizzle chocolate all over the apple creating a fun pattern or just leave be. While the chocolate is still wet, sprinkle with about 1/2 tsp of Fluer de Sel. Place back on the baking sheet and repeat with remaining apples. Chill apples in refrigerator until completely set, about 45 minutes. Always store apples in the refrigerator.
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