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Fabulous flavors of fall

Posted: September 14, 2010 3:35 p.m.
Updated: September 15, 2010 4:30 a.m.

Roasted butternut squash soup

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Fall brings a whole new set of flavors to the table, and that’s reason enough to celebrate with friends.

Award-winning celebrity chef and cookbook author Michael Chiarello has created some deli­cious seasonal dishes that make the most of autumn’s bounty and make it easy to entertain.

“If you want to create beautiful food for your friends and family, the most important thing you can do is start your recipes with the best possible ingredients,” says Chiarello. “Progresso makes it easy to fill your pantry with the very finest ingredients.”

Using Progresso 100-percent, natural broth and panko bread crumbs, Chiarello has created dishes with exceptional flavor and paired them with the award-winning wines of the Cavit Collection.

Find more seasonal recipes at www.progressofoods.com and www.cavitcollection.com.

Turkey scallopini and squash ravioli with cranberry brown butter
Makes 8 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Start to Finish: 30 minutes
    8     portions boneless
        turkey breast (4
        ounces each)
    1/4     cup extra virgin olive
        oil
    1/4     cup all-purpose flour
    2     eggs, beaten
    2     cups Progresso plain
        panko crispy bread
        crumbs
    1     stick (8 tablespoons)
        unsalted butter
    1     package (18 ounces)
        frozen squash ravioli
    1/4     cup finely chopped
        fresh sage or 2
        teaspoons
        dried sage
    1 1/2     cups fresh
        cranberries
    3     tablespoons dark
        molasses
    1/4     cup balsamic vinegar
    1     cup Progresso
        chicken broth or
        reduced-sodium
        chicken broth
        Salt and pepper

Bring 4 quarts lightly salted water to a boil in a large pot.

Between two sheets of plastic wrap, pound turkey breast pieces to an even 1/4-inch thickness with a meat mallet. If you don’t have a meat mallet, the back of a frying pan will work fine.

You can do this a day ahead and leave them stored in the plastic wrap, folded over on each other.

You can also ask a good butcher to cut and pound the turkey for you.

Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Lightly coat turkey pieces with flour, and pat off excess; dip in beaten eggs and then dredge in bread crumbs.

When oil is hot and bubbling, add turkey pieces. Do not crowd the pan. Let brown about 1 minute, then turn to cook the second side, another 30 seconds. The turkey will cook very quickly and will dry out if overcooked.

When done, remove to a baking sheet or platter and keep warm.

Do not wash sauté pan! To make the sauce, add butter to sauté pan and place over medium-high heat.

At the same time, drop ravioli into the boiling water. When butter begins to turn light brown, add fresh sage. Stir for a few seconds; then add cran­berries and sauté until skins begin to burst.

Add molasses, balsamic vinegar and broth, scraping bottom of the pan to pick up all the flavor of the turkey.

Sim­mer until cran­berries are soft and the sauce coats the back of a spoon, about three min­utes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Be sure to taste sauce for seasoning before you pour it over the turkey.

Test ravioli for doneness in about three minutes — pinch edges of dough; it should be tender. Drain.

Divide ravioli among hot plates and layer a piece of turkey over the ravioli.

Spoon sauce over them.

Tip: The sauce must be put together very quickly, so have all the ingredients premeasured and ready at the side of the stove.

Enjoy with Cavit Riesling or Pinot Noir.

Roasted butternut squash soup
Makes 4 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Start to Finish: 60 minutes

Roasted winter squash
    2     tablespoons butter
    2     cups diced (3/4-inch)             raw winter
        squash (butternut,
        hubbard, acorn)
        Salt and pepper

Soup
    2     tablespoons extra
        virgin olive oil
    1/2     cup diced onion
    1/4     cup diced celery
    1/4     cup diced carrot
    1     cinnamon stick
        sea salt and freshly
        ground pepper
    1     carton (32 ounces)
        Progresso chicken
        broth (4 cups)
    1/2     teaspoon ground
        toasted coriander, if
        desired
    1 1/2     cups roasted winter
        squash (above)
    1/2     cup half-and-half, if
        desired
    2     tablespoons toasted
        pumpkin seeds
    1/2     cup Progresso plain
        panko crispy
        bread crumbs, toasted
        light brown in sauté
        pan on medium heat

To make roasted winter squash: Heat oven to 375°F. Heat butter over medium-high heat in an ovenproof sauté pan; add diced squash, salt and pepper.

When squash begins to brown, place pan in oven.

Roast for 15 minutes or until medium-brown on all sides.

Remove from oven and let cool slightly.

Pureé in food processor, or mash with potato masher or ricer. Measure one and a half cups squash; reserve.

To make soup: Heat olive oil in large sauce­pan over medium heat until hot.

Add onion, celery, carrot and cinnamon stick; sauté until soft but not brown, about 10 min­utes.

Season with salt and pepper. Add broth and coriander; bring to a boil. Simmer for several minutes.

Stir in reserved squash until smooth; simmer gently to let flavors meld, about 10 minutes.

Discard cinnamon stick.

Pureé soup using an immersion blender or in a blender until smooth.

(The soup can be made ahead to this point, cooled, covered, and refrig­erated for several days or frozen for about one month. It will thicken as it cools and may need thinning with broth or water when reheating.)

Return soup to pan and reheat gently. Add half-and-half. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

Top each serving with pumpkin seeds and toasted bread crumbs.

Tip: Depending on how rich you want it, or how cold it is outside, you can use cream, yogurt or mascarpone instead of half-and-half.

Enjoy with Cavit Chardonnay.

Mama Chiarello’s
stuffed eggplant
Makes 4 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Start to Finish: 1 hour 20 minutes

    1     large eggplant
    3     tablespoons extra
        virgin olive oil
    1/2     teaspoon grey sea salt
    1/4     teaspoon black
        pepper
    1/2    pound ground beef
    1     onion, diced small
        (about 1 cup)
    1     red bell pepper, diced
        small (about 1 cup)
    3     cloves garlic, finely
        chopped
    1/2     cup chopped fresh
        parsley
    1/2     cup chopped fresh
        basil leaves
    1 1/4     cups grated pecorino
        Romano cheese
    1/2     cup Progresso plain
        panko crispy bread
        crumbs
    1     whole egg
    2     chopped tomatoes

Heat oven to 350°F.

Cut eggplant in half and scoop out center, leaving enough meat inside the skin so that it holds its shape when baked.

Chop egg­plant that has been scooped out of the inside; place in saucepan, cover with water and boil until very soft, 10 to 12 minutes.

Meanwhile, in medium sauté pan, heat 1 table­spoon olive oil over medium heat.

Salt and pepper the beef. Add seasoned ground beef to pan, and sauté until all of its liquid is evaporated and beef begins to brown slightly.

Let cool briefly, and chop cooked beef so that there are no large chunks of meat.

In another medium sauté pan over medium heat, add remaining two tablespoons olive oil, and sauté the onion, pepper and garlic together in oil. In bowl, mix together cooked eggplant, vege­tables, beef, herbs, one cup cheese, 1/4 cup bread crumbs and egg.

Fill scooped-out eggplant halves with this mixture, dividing it evenly between the two halves.

Top with chopped tomatoes, remaining 1/4 cup cheese, remaining 1/4 cup bread crumbs, and season with salt and pepper.

Place on an oiled oven tray or baking dish, and bake for 50 minutes. Let cool briefly; slice widthwise and serve.

Enjoy with Cavit Pinot Noir, Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon.

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