As the days shorten and the nights grow cooler, we bid a fond farewell to the flavors that remind us of summer. Farewell, corn on the cob and lobster rolls. Farewell, frozen lemonade, cheeseburgers, and hot dogs. But the good news is fall is here and with it, cool-temperatures and belly-warming flavors we crave. Hello, pumpkin spice and butternut squash! Welcome, apple cider donuts, turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce!
Luckily, Pastene’s pantry is full of fall-flavored ingredients that’ll help turn up the tailgate party, breathe new life into the office potluck, and thrill taste buds at the post-apple-picking get-together. By simply incorporating these two fall flavors into your cooking repertoire, you’ll forget summer altogether (Okay, not entirely, but it’ll definitely help!).
Polenta is a hearty and versatile Italian cornmeal that can be served creamy and porridge-like or baked into a dense (but fluffy!) cornbread-like cake. Its rich flavor and hearty texture will make you forget all about corn on the cob.
If you’re looking to switch things up a bit, try these tweaks to your breakfast, lunch, and dinner routines for a tasty change!
- Polenta’s porridge-style preparation is the perfect substitute for rice or mashed potatoes and makes an AMAZING bed upon which to lay BBQ ribs, pork chops, or even grilled or pan-cooked steak frites. It can also be served as a hearty, filling breakfast in the same way you’d serve oatmeal or cream of wheat. Add fruit like bananas or strawberries and spices like cinnamon and brown sugar for an energy-filled way to start your day.
- If you’re making a roasted chicken for dinner, give sheet pan, cake-style polenta a shot. Once baked and cooled, you can slice your polenta cake into strips, slices, squares, or triangles (heck, make little stars if you want!), and serve it with the chicken, some green beans, and gravy for a stick-to-your-ribs meal with a real southern feel.
Little polenta cakes also make an amazing, fill-you-up side for salads. If you want to get really creative, try baking little polenta croutons with some olive oil, garlic, and parmesan. A word of caution, though: They’re addictive and you may forget all about your salad!
Pro tip: Honey butter is, without a doubt, the best topping for polenta cakes. Melt a stick or two of butter in a saucepan over low heat. When the butter has fully melted, stir in your favorite honey until well combined. Pour the mixture into a mold or single-serve ramekins and refrigerate until solid. Serve with warm polenta cakes as an appetizer or side dish.
The fiery, fall flavor of roasted peppers reminds us of camping or sitting in the backyard around a fire pit. Their smoky, spicy-sweet flavor practically screams autumn. Now DOUBLE roast those peppers, and you’ve got yourself a cool-weather ingredient that’ll really warm your belly.
Double-roasted peppers are versatile and can be used in anything from soups to dips, antipasto, to pasta. They’re also great served with sausage or chicken in a traditional Italian cacciatore.
Looking for a nice twist on a restaurant-style appetizer to spice up your next dinner party? Try adding diced, double-roasted peppers to your favorite bruschetta recipe. When coupled with buffalo mozzarella, diced tomatoes, garlic, basil, and olive oil, double-roasted peppers add a smoky, spicy-sweet counterpart that really awakens your pallet.
These are just a few ways that you can usher in the fall with the power of fresh ingredients. There’s a whole world of fall flavors out there just waiting to be discovered and incorporated into your favorite dishes. Test, try, and share these and other seasonal recipes you can find on pastene.com today. And don’t worry pumpkin spice… we still love you!