Fall is a time we associate with changing leaves; cooler weather; warm, snuggly blankets; and putting our fireplaces to work. We crave foods that warm us up from the inside out, homey dishes that often call to mind comforting memories of times spent with family and friends. If fall had a flavor, these are the dishes that would evoke that flavor, packing every morsel with the beauty of harvest time.
Savoring those comforting foods right along with us are some of Clarksville’s best chefs, and they’ve opened up their recipe boxes to give us a peek at a few fall favorites of their very own.
Miss Lucille’s Marketplace and Café
“For me, the combination of hearty fall flavors from the apple cider vinaigrette and the roasted sweet potatoes pairs perfectly with the candied pecans and dried cranberries, and every bite is like a delicious reminder of the autumn season,” says Luci.
Miss Lucille’s Fall Harvest Salad
(a Fall/Winter menu favorite served up fresh daily at Miss Lucille’s Café!)
4 oz. Arcadian lettuce
4 oz. sweet potatoes, chopped
2 oz. dried cranberries
2 oz. of candied pecans
1 chicken breast
2 oz. apple cider vinaigrette
On a baking sheet, arrange sweet potatoes and drizzle with olive oil. Roast until tender in an oven on medium heat, then remove and cool. In a skillet on medium heat, cook chicken, then remove from heat and slice. Meanwhile, lay washed lettuce on a plate and slice the apple. When sweet potatoes have been cooled, center the potatoes on the lettuce, then arrange four apple slices around the outer perimeter of the lettuce. Top with candied pecans and sliced chicken. Dress with desired amount of vinaigrette and serve.
Chef Jeffrey Dean
Clarksville Country Club
“Fall is my favorite time of year, and I love to come in after a chilly day outside and warm up with this poached pear salad,” says Chef Jeffrey. “The robustness of the port wine, the Roquefort, and the kale along with those beautiful pears really brightens me up, and it’s the perfect dish for fall because of the way it showcases the colors and flavors of the seasonal harvest.”
Port Wine Poached Pear with Roquefort Blue Cheese
(served with sautéed kale, spiced candied pecans, pomegranate seeds and smoked paprika thyme vinaigrette)
4 green d’Anjou pears, peeled
3 cups port wine
½ cup sugar
2 bunches kale
¼ stick unsalted butter
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
½ cup Roquefort cheese
1 cup pomegranate seeds
Candied pecans (recipe to follow)
Smoked paprika thyme vinaigrette (recipe to follow)
Combine port wine and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer, then add peeled pears. Simmer until pears are tender, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat and cool for one hour. Cut cooled pears in half and remove the seeds and core, then slice each half into 4-5 slices, plate, and stuff with Roquefort cheese.
Meanwhile, de-stem and chop kale and submerge in water to remove dirt and grit. In a sauté pan on medium heat, add butter, kale, and balsamic vinegar, then cook for 3 minutes until tender. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and plate with stuffed pears. Top with candied pecans and pomegranate seeds and serve warm or at room temperature.
Smoked Paprika Thyme Vinaigrette
½ cup red wine vinegar
1 tbsp. dry mustard
1 shallot, minced
¼ cup honey
2 tbsp. smoked paprika
½ cup blended oil (80 percent canola oil/20 percent olive oil)
In a blender, combine red wine vinegar, mustard, shallot, and paprika and blend for 2 minutes, slowly adding oil while still mixing. When fully combined, refrigerate.
1 cup pecans
¼ cup sugar
2 tbsp. water
pinch cayenne pepper
Toss all ingredients together in a bowl, then spread onto a baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes at 400 degrees, watching carefully to avoid burning. Cool to room temperature.