Updated 2012-10-30 19:52:35 ID=670:1

© 2012 The Romantic Table
©2012 The Romantic Table, Apple Risotto Romantic Table Style 2012-10-14 20:26:26:345
©2012 The Romantic Table

Apple Risotto Romantic Table Style is a rice pudding - risotto style that I've been wanting to create for a few years.

The Cooler Weather of October is Here, for Some Fun Fall Recipes!

FINALLY!!! We have some decent--and much more seasonal cooler weather, so we can start making and enjoying some new fun Fall-inspired recipes to share with family and friends! I know that I, personally, have been "chomping at the bit" to roll up my sleeves and really experiment with a couple new ideas that I've been "kicking around" for the last couple of months. All I REALLY needed was some traditional weather to "put me in the mood," as well as some Fall-favorites to start showing up in the grocery aisles. Well, "my favorites"showed up, and I got to it!

Late summer and early Fall are the peak-times to find really flavorful peppers. A couple of weeks ago, in our local Albertsons, I spotted some delicious--and intriguing-looking Organic Mini Sweet Bell Peppers in a rainbow of colors. I HAD to find a way to put them to work! Knowing that a classic duo is chicken and peppers ( i.e. Chicken Kabob with Mushrooms, Onions and Sweet Peppers), I thought up an elegant way to serve them as a main course in my version of a Chicken Breast Scaloppine with Mini Sweet Pepper Salsa .

©2012 The Romantic Table, Chicken Breast Scaloppine with Mini Sweet Pepper Salsa 2012-10-14 21:04:01:347
©2012 The Romantic Table

Chicken Breast Scaloppine with Mini Sweet Pepper Salsa is a classic duo of chicken and peppers.
This recipe, served with Couscous, such as Couscous with Jumbo Flame Raisins , Brown Rice, or even a Country Style Potato and Cheese Torte, and of course a leafy green salad of spinach or arugula as well as a nice wine, you've got quite a feast to satisfy even your most discriminating guest!

For eggplant lovers that like a little extra "kick" to their meal, Eggplant Cubes with A Rustic Marinara on Bucatini is a great one to have in your recipe repertoire. It's a multi-dimentional entree with the different textures of the lightly-breaded cubed eggplant, coarsely-chopped tomatoes, halved oil-cured black olives, capers and optional crushed red peppers flakes for accent that packs quite a punch.

Rustic Marinara with Eggplant, Black Olives and Capers with Bucatini is one that's based on ideas from a few traditional Italian sauces similar to this one. In Italian, those recipes start with "Arrabiata," - meaning "angry" from the hot pepper --and they usually also have tomatoes. Since eggplant and tomatoes naturally go together, this recipe with the additions of savory oil-cured black olives and capers make this quite a multi-dimentional and very textured- for the palate-addition to your menu repertoire.

©2012 The Romantic Table 2012-10-15 22:07:41:348
©2012 The Romantic Table

Rustic Marinara with Eggplant, Black Olives and Capers with Bucatini is a multi-dimentional entree with the different textures of the lightly-breaded cubed eggplant, coarsely-chopped tomatoes, halved oil-cured black olives, and capers.
One thing nice about this recipe is that most all ingredients are available in grocery-stores year-round. And if it's a "bad year for tomatoes", canned whole tomatoes can be substituted without much taste sacrifice if you peak them up with a little white wine and tomato paste. So you can have most ingredients in your cooking arsenal all the time. Serve it with a nice salad, some crusty bread , and a red wine and you're all set for a meal with gusto.

Our next recipe is an easy-to- do recipe that turns what one could describe as almost "fast-food into a more "genteel -healthy alternative": Fish Sandwich, Romantic Table Style.

Most of us--that like fish, adore fish sandwiches BUT what the majority of restaurants "throw at you" is not only pretty crude, but also lacking in "style," "eye-appeal," "flavor" and of course healthiness! So my husband and I were anxious to come up with an easy recipe that's pretty "fool-proof," but also easy and quick to make, yet healthy enough that it won't derail our diets --in moderation.

For fish to use, of course using fresh, locally caught fillets are best such as our Red Snapper fillets that most all fresh seafood counters have. Plus this variety of fillets are really inexpensive. But if fresh fillets are not to be found-or not on your budget, the Central Coast small grocery-chain, Food 4 Less, carries a couple pretty good lines of frozen fish fillets under the brand Snomist and Newport. Of course, if you have freshly-caught fillets at your local grocery's seafood department available, that's always best, but in a pinch these fish-products lines are surprisingly non-previously frozen-tasting. And let's face it-you're not making it for a "James Beard competition!" We recommend either their Cod or Whiting fillets for use in fish sandwiches.

©2012 The Romantic Table, Fish Sandwich 2012-10-14 20:45:55:346
©2012 The Romantic Table

Fish Sandwich, Romantic Table-Style. For fish to use, of course use fresh, locally caught fillets such as our local Red Snapper fillets.
You also need a unique sandwich bun. We used a couple of Safeway's in-store bakery's Ciabatta Rolls, for texture, eye-appeal and taste. I lightly toasted them first in the oven, to be sure and give the diner a nice crunch when he bit in.

We first dipped each fillet in egg mixed with a little milk, then in a mixture of all-purpose flour and unseasoned dry bread crumbs, then lightly salted and peppered and sprinkled with dry Marjoram.

We lightly fried the fillets in a frying pan with a small amount of Canola oil (1/8th'' film on the bottom of pan). Lightly fried until golden, then transferred to a paper-lined plate.We remeasured the oil used. We had used LESS THAN two tablespoons for six fillets! --So you don't have to feel too guilty about having these!

Then the crowning-glory is a healthy tarter sauce. We accomplished this by using a scant half-cup of REAL mayonnaise, a tad of Sweet relish, a few Dill pickle slices that are chopped, some minced white onion, a couple tablespoons lemon juice and a few grinds of freshly-cracked Black Pepper. A tartar sauce with a bit of "attitude!"

The next and final new recipe,Apple Risotto Romantic Table Style is a risotto style rice pudding that I've been wanting to create for a few years, but just never did: A dessert risotto! But after months of hot weather that pretty much killed what desire I had for cooking an extra amount of time at the stove, now that it's so much cooler, I have been excited to try my new recipe as soon as the quality of the apples permitted.

Now that it's officially Fall, decent-tasting apples are starting to show in the markets. For this recipe, I recommend using a golden Golden Delicious apple or Gala. Do not use the "Golden Delicious" that are more the color of Granny Smiths (Ugh!)

What's neat--and healthy about this risotto is that instead of using broth for the liquid, you use milk--thus also making this an anti-osteoporosis-fighter! The main ingredients, aside from the risotto itself and milk, are caramelized apples, ground cinnamon, chopped walnuts, black raisins, a little raw sugar and of course a little vanilla extract.---Some of Fall's best natural products! It's not only great served warm, but also cold from the frig! I've been eating a little bit of it everyday for lunch-time dessert.

This dessert risotto would also make a knock-out brunch entree as well! I have found that it's quite a "pick-me-up"-especially with a good cup of coffee! A few fork-fulls of this gets you ready to conquer the rest of the day! And remember, eating this risotto not only fortifies you with healthy anti-osteoporosis and antioxidant ingredients, it also boosts your energy levels up a notch!

So as the rest of October unfolds, along with its milder temperatures, and with the traditional themes of Halloween and our local Harvest Festivals going on about us, help get you in the mood to do your own experimenting with Fall-recipes in your own kitchens! And you can start thinking about the fun "cooking-holidays ahead" and sharing flavors with those that you love and care about! Enjoy!

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A tip from Sue!

Shake That Can!

When selecting a can of vegetables, fruit or stew-like contents, while holding the can in your hand and carefully rotating it back and forth, you can tell just HOW MUCH volume is made up of actual solids versus liquid (i.e buying a can of canned whole tomatoes in their juices). The less slippage back and forth, the higher the solid food-content versus liquid and a better bargain for the price!