Conquering Cuisine with Denis Chiappa
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Foods of Fall
Maximizing Fall's bounty with hearty, comforting recipes

Celebrate the season with a themed meal that takes advantage of fresh, flavorful ingredients.  Based on classic technique, these recipes are simple and straightforward - perfect for any occasion from weekday dinner to elegant dinner party.

Menu:  Crisp Greens, Roasted Beets and Walnut Salad with Citrus Dressing; Creamy Risotto with Mixed Seafood; Seared Chicken and Herbed Pan Sauce with Butternut Squash Puree; Apple Croustades with Almond Filling and Fresh Whipped Cream

Crisp Greens, Roasted Beets and Walnut Salad with Citrus Dressing

2 tablespoons pomegranate syrup

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

2 tablespoons fresh orange juice

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

¾ cup olive oil

Salt and pepper

4 medium beets, trimmed

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 head romaine lettuce, chopped

6 cups chopped romaine

1 small red onion, thinly sliced

½ cup chopped toasted walnuts

Goat cheese, for garnish

  • In a mixing bowl, stir together the pomegranate syrup, vinegar, orange juice and mustard. Slowly whisk in the olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Rub beets with oil and place in a small casserole dish.  Cover tightly with foil.  Roast until tender, about 35 to 40 minutes.  Let cool and peel.  Cut into wedges and add to mixing bowl.  Toss with some of the dressing.  Adjust seasoning.
  • Toss the greens and red onion with enough dressing to coat. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Serve beet mixture on a bed of greens; garnish with almonds and goat cheese.

Creamy Risotto with Mixed Seafood

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion, finely diced

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1-¾ cups arborio rice

1 cup white wine

4 cups shrimp or chicken stock, heated

½ pound shrimp, diced

½ pound bay scallops

½ grated parmesan

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons minced chives

Salt and pepper

  • Bring large heavy pot to medium heat. Add the oil and the onions and cook until translucent; add garlic and cook 1minute more.  Add the rice, cook until nutty.  Deglaze with the wine; cook until reduced by half.  Add the stock in 1 cup increments, stirring often.  Season with salt and pepper.
  • When the rice is just tender, stir in the shrimp and scallops. Cook until fish is just done, about 5 to 7 minutes.  Gently stir in the parmesan and butter; season with chives, salt and pepper.  Serve immediately.

Seared Chicken and Herbed Pan Sauce with Butternut Squash Puree

2 to 3 tablespoons oil, divided

4 chicken breasts, cut into thin medallions

2 shallots, minced

6 ounces mushrooms, sliced

1 clove garlic, minced

½ cup marsala wine

½ cup demi-glace

Fresh herbs

Salt and pepper

  • Bring a heavy skillet to medium-high heat; add oil. Cook chicken breasts, turning once, until they are browned and just cooked through. Transfer to a serving dish; keep warm.
  • Add shallots and mushrooms; cook until nicely browned. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute more.
  • Add the marsala wine and cook until reduced by half. Stir in the reserved mushroom water and demi-glace; bring to a simmer and cook, stirring, until reduced by one-third.  Season with herbs, salt and pepper.  Serve chicken topped with sauce.

Apple Crostada with Almond Filling

2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons

1-¾ cups all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon salt

¼ cup cold water, or as needed

4 apples, peeled, cored and sliced

½ cup sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced

1 egg yolk, mixed with a little water

Coarse sugar

  • Add butter, salt and flour to food processor until it resembles coarse meal. Add the water and pulse just until dough forms.  Divide the dough into 2 pieces and flatten each into a disk.  Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Toss together the apples, sugar and cinnamon.
  • Roll out each piece of dough to a 12-inch round. Transfer each to a baking sheet lined with silpat.  Spread half of the almond filling on each of the rounds, leaving a 1-inch border.  Top each with half of the fruit.  Fold the edge of the tart dough over the fruit.
  • Brush the crusts with the beaten egg and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake the croustades for about 50 minutes, or until the crusts are golden, rotating the baking sheets halfway through baking.  Transfer to racks to cool for 20 minutes.

Almond Filling

7 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

1/3 cup almond paste

½ cup sugar

2 large eggs

1/3 cup cake flour

  • Ad butter and almond paste to bowl of a stand mixer; beat until smooth. Add sugar; mix to combine. Add egg and beat to combine, scraping down sides of bowl, if necessary. With the mixer on low, add cake flour. Continue mixing until well combined; set aside.
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