A change is in the air, do you feel that fall crisp breeze that comes gently to remind us to center ourselves and go inward after a busy summer?. We go home again in our souls listen and tune in and what matters most. We think about family gatherings, we think about how we truly want to spend our holidays so they are more meaningful and not feel that they came and went like a high speed train without anticipation and the chance to savor them. It is been studied that if you don’t have time to anticipate an event the chances of your mind capturing it as a cherished memory are much less.
In our high speed lives filled with so many different activities and tasks we don’t go deep on any thing we do, we don’t establish deep connections with our loved ones, or spend time to cultivate the few things that matter, but rather we want to be everywhere which of course leads us to nowhere. After all, the only thing we take with us are cherished memories with the emotions we felt while we were in them, that is the key emotions. If we constantly rush we will not allow emotions to lock in those beautiful moments that happens in the present moment.
With that reflection let’s live a “slow-life” and make an intention to cook more this fall with our families where there can be space for anticipation, an art that has been lost in our current times.
All these recipes are created to enter you into this slower pace and get you in a mood of joy and calm. Slow is where life really happens they are simple but that require a level of your attention and presence for you to be in the moment. “Nature never rushes yet, everything gets accomplished” Lao Tzo
Rose Pear Tart with Almond Frangipane
This recipe was my most memorable dessert in culinary school I absolutely loved the texture, the fresh flavor of the pears and the nuttiness of the almond flour on the frangipane custard.
This recipe consists of 3 parts, poaching the pears in wine and aromatics which can be done the day before. Then the tart dough and the custard so give yourself some time once you make it you will love it!
For the Pears:
4 pears under ripped and firm to touch
3 cups of Rose Wine
2 cups of water
1 cinnamon Stick, 1 vanilla bean, 1 allspice, star anise or cardamom pods. (if you don’t have many of these aromatic spices as long as you add the cinnamon stick you are good)
1/2 cup of sugar
Preparation: In a large stock pot add the wine, water, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla bean and allspice add the pears and cook at a low simmer for about 25-30 min
Pate Sucre (Sweet Tart Dough)
Makes 1 tart
1/2 cup of raw cane sugar
1 cup of Whole Wheat flour
pinch of salt
8 tablespoons of Butter
water if needed
In a food processor add the flour, sugar, salt and pulse a couple of times to loosen the flour.
Add the butter and pulse until it breaks up into a meal consistency, add the egg pulse if still dry add a tablespoon at a time until the dough forms.
Roll out the dough and press into tart shell.
Blind bake at 350 F for about 20 min
Almond Frangipane Custard
1 cup of Almond Flour
4 oz of butter or 1/2 stick of butter
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract or vanilla paste
2 tsp of rum or brandy
1/2 teaspoon of lemon zest
pinch of salt
In a bowl cream (mix) butter and sugar with a cake mixer. Add the almond flour then add eggs, one at a time
Add pinch of salt and rum or brandy mix well.
Bringing it all together:
Let the tart cool.
Slice the pears
Place them in the tart them pour the frangipane mixture in between the pears flattening it slightly with the spatula
Bake at 350 F for about 25-30 min and let it cool and sprinkle with powder suga
Catalan Pumpkin Coca with Mushrooms Sage and Manchego Cheese
This is a creative way to use your pumpkin this fall, with this easy and healthy recipe inspired by the Catalan Coca a flatbread that is topped with all kinds of vegetables. On our recipe we added seasonal Mushrooms paired with sage and the king of Spanish cheese Manchego Cheese.
2 small butternut squash or pumpkin (about 3 cups)
1 1/2 cups of Almond Flour
1/2 cup of Falafel Mix (I recommend the one from Trader Joes’s)
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
2 tablespoosn White Mojo or 1 garlic clove mashed
pinch of black pepper
1 cup of Shitake Mushrooms, sliced
1 cup of Cremini mushrooms, sliced
3 tablespoons of Black Mojo
3 oz of Manchego Cheese grated or shaved goat Cheese is great too
8 sage leafs
Peel and cut squash in 1/2 inch cubes and roast the butternut squash or pumpkin at 400 F for 30-35 min
In a food processor add the squash or pumpkin, the falafel mix the egg, the almond flour, White Mojo or garlic, salt and pepper and mix well
Brush Sheet pan with olive oil, or line it with parchment paper make sure you cut the foil or parchment bigger so that you can pull it our easily. . Press dough into a sheet pan it will be sticky so add a bit of flour to your hands or more almond flour (to keep it glutten free) to your hands,
Spread well and shape into a free form flatbread.
Bake for 385 F for about 30 min until slightly golden brown.
While it bakes, saute the mushrooms in olive oil with 2 cloves of garlic, season with salt and pepper
Slice the manchego Cheese
Pull out the Coca from the oven and spread the Black Mojo, add the mushrooms, the manchego Cheese and the sage. drizzle with olive oil and bake for 5-7 min until cheese melts slightly
Serve as an appetizer of lunch with a salad.
Black Bean Stew with Pumpkin
2 cups of cooked black beans or organic canned
1 pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch cubes
1 onion small diced
3 tablespoons of Red Mojo or red bell pepper small diced
4 tablespoons of Yellow Mojo for a mild kick
1 tablespoon of cumin
1 Bay leaf
1/4 cup of Sherry Vinegar
3 cups of chicken or veggie stock
Salt and pepper to taste
In a soup pot, add the onions and olive oil and cook for about 3 min, add the red, and yellow mojos, salt and pepper and add the cooked or canned black beans.
Add the pumpkin and saute for 5 min. Then add the cooked or canned black beans and the stock and bay leaf.
Cook for about 25 min until the squash is fork tender, add cumin ad adjust for salt if needed and drizzle with Olive Oil and sprinkle with cilantr
Incan Witches Brew
This Inca inspired drink will be the talk of the night at your Halloween party you are welcomed to omit the rum and make it virgin your kids will love it. It is super refreshing and full of antioxidants and vitamin C.
4 peruvian purple corn (available at amazon)
8 cups of water
2 cinnamon sticks
1 cup of raw turbinado sugar
2 apples chopped small diced
1 cup of Blackberries or blueberries to garnish
1 cup of of Dark Rum
Juice of 3 limes
In a large pot add the corn, cloves, cinnamon and boil for about 30 min until it turns into a deep purple
Add the chopped apples and turn off the heat
Add the lime juice and let it cool
Place is a bowl and add the berries before serving and adjust for sweetness.