Fall Sangria

There’s a pile of fruit sitting in your fridge. It’s not being eaten and probably won’t be either. Every time the door is opened you’re reminded of this fact. It’s the song that doesn’t end…

so you close the door.

My friends, take heart. There is something (a lot of things actually) to be made with all the fruit that unfortunately gets left behind (or really just shoved into the back of the fruit drawer):

Sangria.Ohhh, sounds so fancy…and complicated, you may think. It’s not though.

Sangria is rustic and easy.

For three years I’ve been playing with different combinations of fruits, wines, liqueurs and other tidbits. It’s been educational and enjoyable. I’ve come to find that summer does lend itself to more fruit combinations because of all the seasonal abundance, but fall and winter also yield delicious fruit that’s perfect for sangria.There’s a basic equation for creating sangria:

wine+fruit+liqueur+24 hours

Other elements do enhance the drink. Those vary. Herbs, simple syrups, fresh juice are all great additions and make the sangria even more personalized.Recently, I’ve had a vision for a fall sangria: a drink that reflected the flavors of fall but could be sipped on while the high temperatures were lingering (because this is Texas and cooler weather is sometimes slow to appear).

While working on this fall sangria concept it was easy to determine what fruit from Market Street I would be using: organic apples, oranges and grapes. I also wanted a subtle depth of flavor, so one vanilla bean was needed.

What I couldn’t decide was what wine to use… pinot noir or a red zinfindel?While going through Market Street’s lovely and varied selection of wine, I had 99.9% made up my mind on using a pinot noir. However, there happened to be a wine sampling (a highlight to most weekend shopping experiences at Market Street), which I never pass up. I sipped on a delicious red zinfindel and I immediately knew this was to be the wine to marinate the sweet and earthy fall produce.Zinfindel with it’s bold, full bodied berry flavors is perfect for a fall sipper.

About 24 hours later I was topping my first glass of sangria topped with club soda and toasting the coming months of seasonal change.

Fall Sangria

1 orange, halved and then sliced

1 apple, cut into bite sized pieces

1 cup grapes, halved

1 vanilla bean, sliced in half

1/4 cup Grand Marnier

1/4 cup whiskey

1 cup apple juice

1 bottle red zinfindel

club soda, chilled (optional)

  1. Place the fruit and vanilla bean in the bottom of a pitcher. Top with the liquids. Stir well. Place in the fridge for at least 24 hours.
  2. Pour over ice and top with chilled club soda.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post on behalf of Market Street. All opinions are my own and I appreciate your support of the brands and companies I love.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Toasted Pine Nuts, Arugula and Balsamic Glaze

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Toasted Pine Nuts, Arugula and Balsamic Glaze

Author note: This recipe is easily doubled. Serve it as a side, or even as a main dish with quinoa and a runny egg.

7 cups sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2 inch pieces

1 1/2 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

10 thyme branches, tied

1/2 cup pine nuts

1 1/2 cups arugula, chopped

2/3 cups balsamic

  1. Heat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Place the olive oil, salt and red pepper flakes into a large bowl. Stir.
  3. Add the sweet potatoes to the olive oil mixture and stir well to coat the potatoes.
  4. Place the potatoes and thyme on a rimmed baking sheet. Spread evenly into one layer. Cook for 25 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Remove the potatoes from the oven once roasted.
  5. Meanwhile, place the pine nuts into a small skillet and cook over medium low heat for 5-8 minutes. Shake the skillet frequently to prevent burning. Set aside.
  6. Place the balsamic vinegar into a small sauce pan. Heat on high and let boil uncovered for 7-10 minutes, or until the vinegar is reduced and coats the back of a spoon.
  7. Remove the thyme from the potatoes. Place the potatoes onto a platter. Top with the toasted pine nuts and chopped arugula. Drizzle the preferred amount of balsamic glaze on top. Serve warm.

Tea Limeade Jar Slush

Tea Limeade Jar Slush

Author note: Tart, tangy and sweet these slushes are the perfect cool down from a day in the sun. Combine half part tea and half part limeade to La Parfait jar slushes and shake every hour until slushy. It is a delightful sweet drink for all ages. This recipe is also available on the Sur La Table website.

2 cups brewed tea, chilled

2 cups fresh limeade, chilled

lime wedges, to topping

mint, for topping

  1. In a pitcher, combine the tea and fresh limeade. Stir to combine.
  2. Fill four Le Parfait 12.2 ounce jars with 1 cup of tea limeade. Seal tightly with the lid. Shake and place in the freezer.
  3. Every 45 minutes shake the mixture until a slush like consistency develops (about 3 to 4 hours).
  4. Top with a lime wedge and mint leaves. Serve with a straw.

Roasted Eggplant and Bell Pepper Chilled Soup

Roasted Eggplant and Bell Pepper Chilled Soup

Author note: This recipe can also be found at The Dallas Morning News.

1 eggplant

2 green bell pepper

1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and quartered

1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/3 cup mint leaves (lightly packed)

1/2 cup cilantro leaves (lightly packed)

2/3 cup plain yogurt

1 jalapeno sliced

juice of 1 lemon

  1. Place the oven rack to the top level. Turn on broiler to 500 degrees.
  2. Place the bell peppers and eggplant on a rimmed baking sheet.
  3. Broil for 20 minutes, turning every 5 minutes. Remove the bell pepper and place in an airtight container.
  4. Continue to broil the eggplant for an additional 10 minutes. Remove the eggplant and set aside.
  5. Let the bell pepper and eggplant cool for 15 minutes.
  6. Place the eggplant on a rimmed cutting board. Slice the eggplant (lengthwise) in half. Scoop out the interior of the eggplant and place in a food processor.
  7. Remove the skins, stem and seeds from the bell peppers. Place the bell peppers into the food processor.
  8. Add the remaining ingredients into the food processor and puree until a smooth consistency is developed.
  9. Place the soup into an airtight bowl and store in the fridge for at least two hours or until chilled.
  10. Serve chilled with torn mint leaves.

Smashed Burgers

Smashed Burgers

Author note: When working with ground raw meat, I prefer to wear rubber gloves. It helps with cleanup. Thin buns work best with these burgers. If the buns are too thick, cut a sliver of the center out.

2 pounds 85/15 grass fed beef

1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

1/2 cup pork rinds

1 egg

1 onion, halved and thinly sliced

3-4 tablespoons unsalted butter

mild cheddar slices, for topping

spicy yellow mustard, for topping (recipe below)

slider buns

  1. Place a cast iron flattop griddle on the grill. Heat the grill to 350-450 degrees.
  2. Meanwhile, place the pork rinds into a food processor and puree until a bread crumb consistency is developed.
  3. Combine the beef, salt, garlic powder, Worcestershire, mayonnaise, pork rind crumbs and egg into a large bowl. With your hands combine the meat mixture.
  4. Form into 2 1/2 inch round balls and place on a parchment lined rimmed baking sheet.
  5. Place 2 tablespoons butter on the griddle. Once the butter is melted, create a small pile of onions for each burger you plan to cook.
  6. Then add the meat balls on top of the onions. With a spatula (or a hamburger press) smash the patty. Cook for 1 minute and flip. Place the cheese on top of the patty and cook the remaining side for an additional minute.
  7. Remove the patties from the grill and continue this process until all meat balls have been cooked.
  8. Add the bun halves to the griddle, and cook interior side facing down.
  9. Once the buns are golden, add a hearty smear of mustard to the buns and add one to two patties to each bun. Serve warm.

For the spicy yellow mustard

1/2 cup yellow mustard

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (1/2 teaspoon if you want more heat)

1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

  1. Place all ingredients into a small bowl. Stir to combine.

Hatch Green Chile Chicken Pizza

Hatch Green Chile Chicken Pizza

  • Servings: Makes 1 Pizza
  • Print
Author note: The sauce makes enough for 2-3 pizzas. Double the chicken to accommodate additional pizzas if necessary. This recipe was also featured in The Dallas Morning News (click here for full story and recipe).

3 tablespoons butter

1 jalapeno, seeded and finely diced

2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons flour

5-6 garlic cloves, chopped

1 cup white wine

3/4 cups heavy cream

1 1/2 cups Hatch green chiles, seeded and diced

1 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon cumin

pizza dough

3/4 cup roasted chicken, shredded

juice of 1 lime

shredded mozzarella

chopped fresh cilantro, optional topping

  1. In a sauce pan melt the butter over medium heat. Add the jalapenos and cook until softened, about 2 minutes.
  2. Add the flour and incorporate with a whisk. Continue to whisk until the roux (the butter and flour mixture) becomes golden brown.
  3. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Whisk in the white wine and bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the cumin, cream and 1 cup of Hatch green chiles. Let simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the sauce has thickened and reduced. Turn off the heat and add the juice of 1/2 a lime. Stir to combine.
  6. While the sauce is simmering, place the chicken into a bowl and top with 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and juice of half a lime. Set aside.
  7. Turn the oven to 500 degrees.
  8. Roll out the pizza dough onto a floured surface. Add a few spoonfuls of hatch chile sauce to the top of the dough. Be sure to evenly spread out the sauce. Keep in mind that too much sauce will make for soggy pizza.
  9. Evenly distribute the chicken on top of the pizza.
  10. Top with 1/2 cup (or more) chopped green chiles and shredded mozzarella.
  11. Bake in the oven for 10-14 minutes or until the pizza is golden and the cheese melted.
  12. Top with optional cilantro and serve immediately.

Mozzarella Pesto Salad

Mozzarella Pesto Salad

Author note: This recipe is also featured on the Sur La Table website (click here for recipe).

10 ounces cherry tomatoes, sliced in half

8 ounces boccocino mozzarella balls, sliced in half

3 tablespoons (or more) arugula pesto (see recipe below)

torn fresh basil, for topping

chopped arugula, for topping

cooked pancetta, rough chopped, optional topping

for the salad

  1. In a bowl combine the tomatoes, mozzarella and pesto. Mix well.
  2. Place on individual plates and top with chopped arugula, basil and pancetta.

for the arugula basil pesto

2 cups basil

1 cup arugula

1/3 cup pine nuts

3/4 cup finely grated fresh parmesan

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1/3 cup pine nuts

juice of half a lemon

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

  1. Place all ingredients, except olive oil into a food processor. Puree the ingredients until smooth.
  2. While the pesto is being pureed, pour the olive oil into the mixture in a steady stream.
  3. Remove from the food processor and refrigerate in an airtight container.

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