When autumn arrives, we tend to cook differently, in part because the types of fresh produce available change, and in part because we want foods that are more warming. Here are three tasty fall recipes that you might want to try this week.
Slow Cooker Brat and Sauerkraut Soup
This looks like the ideal recipe for football fans, but will work just as well if you’re not one! It cooks slowly over 6 to 7 hours on a low-heat setting or, if you’ll want to eat more quickly, you can use the high-heat setting for 3 to 3½ hours. Prep time is 30 minutes and you’ll end up with 9 cups of soup.
Pull out your large skillet and cook 1 pound of uncooked bratwurst, sliced into ½-inch slices, for 3 or 4 minutes on medium-high. Stir frequently, then remove from the skillet.
In a 4- to 5-quart slow cooker, add 1 pound of tiny new red potatoes, ones you’ve quartered, along with two small onions coarsely chopped. Add a cup of sliced celery, two minced garlic cloves and three bay leaves. Top this with your bratwurst, plus a 14½-ounce can of Bavarian-style sauerkraut.
Take out a large bowl and pour in two 14½-ounce cans of lower-sodium beef broth. Flavor that with 1 tablespoon each of spicy brown mustard and cider vinegar, plus 1 teaspoon each of paprika and crushed fennel seeds, and ½ a teaspoon of caraway seeds. Whisk this mixture together and pour on top of the ingredients in your slow cooker. Then, cook! When done, you remove the bay leaves, and can add a bit of sour cream on top of the soup in your bowl, if so desired.
Pasta with Chard and Basil
Here is a slightly different twist on a vegetarian pasta dish, one chock-full of healthy chard. This dish takes only 30 minutes to prepare, and you’ll end up with 4 to 8 servings. In a large pot, cook 8 ounces of pasta in salted, boiling water according to directions on the box. The recipe suggests corkscrew pasta but notes you can use whatever kind you have. When you drain your pasta, reserve ¾ cup of the cooking water. Return the pasta to your drained pot and cover it.
While your pasta is cooking, take a bunch of Swiss chard (this should equal about 12 ounces) and chop the stems and slice the leaves. You can also heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a very large skillet over medium-high heat. Then add the Swiss chard stems, plus two cloves of minced garlic and ¾ teaspoon of salt. Cook and stir for about 2 minutes before adding 2 tablespoons of tomato paste. Cook for another minute or so before slowly whisking in ½ cup of your pasta cooking water. Cook until smooth and bring to a simmer. Now add the cooked pasta and the chard leaves, along with 3 tablespoons of chopped fresh basil and 2 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar. Stir to combine, and then add more cooking water if needed. Season with black pepper and sprinkle with ½ cup of finely shredded Parmesan cheese. Voila!
If you’re looking to add more fish to your diet, then this quick and easy recipe is ideal. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil. Spray with nonstick cooking spray and place an even layer of thin lemon slices in the center, which should equal two lemons. Season one large fillet of salmon with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, and place it on top of the lemon.
Make a sauce in a small bowl, consisting of 6 tablespoons of melted butter, 2 tablespoons of honey, three cloves of minced garlic, and 1 teaspoon each of chopped thyme leaves and dried oregano. Pour this over the salmon, fold the foil around the fish and cook for about 12 minutes. Turn your oven up to the broil setting to cook for 2 more minutes. The butter mixture should thicken and become a glaze. Garnish with parsley.