CONNESTEE COOKS! is a cookbook compiled of classic recipes from the myriad of chefs in residence at Connestee Falls. The book covers a wide range of meals, styles and ingredients. The culinary diversity is shared in recipes from the book posted regularly here on the Blog.
It’s October and autumn is in full swing. There’s nothing better than the fall season at Connestee Falls in the Western North Carolina Mountains. Along with the crisp weather and turning leaves, new vegetables and fruits come into season. On top of that, with the cooling weather, the foods we crave change as well.
That’s why this month, as a celebration of all things fall, the Connestee Cooks feature is a showcase for warming comfort food, seasonal fare and even a fond farewell to summer.
Start with a twist on traditional Chili with this offering from Barb Leach:
1/2 lb. grilled chicken breasts
2 cans (15 oz.) white Northern beans
1 to 2 crushed garlic cloves
About ½ c. chopped onion (red or yellow)
2 stalks chopped celery (with tops)
1 jar or small can mild green chilies
cumin and oregano to taste
½ (20 oz.) can chicken broth
Grill chicken breasts for flavor if possible; otherwise microwave or bake in oven. Stir-fry chopped onion and celery in oil or butter until yellow. Add beans, broth, chilies, cumin, garlic and chopped chicken breasts; salt and pepper to taste. Simmer in large electric skillet if possible about ½ hour. Makes 4 to 5 servings.
Next, let’s put the October in Oktoberfest with this recipe by Mary Meseck:
CABBAGE AND BEEF SOUP
1 lb. lean ground beef
½ tsp. garlic salt
¼ tsp. garlic powder
¼ tsp. pepper
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 (16oz.) can kidney beans (undrained)
½ medium head cabbage, chopped
1 (28oz.) can tomatoes, chopped (undrained)
1 tomato can of water
2 beef bouillon cubes
Chopped fresh parsley
Brown meat and drain thoroughly. Put back in skillet and add remaining ingredients. Simmer about 45 minutes. Add pepper to taste and top with parsley. Serves 6 to 8.
Finally, as a summer farewell, enjoy this recipe by Judy Spenser during this final month of cucumber season:
COLD CUCUMBER SOUP
1 cucumber, peeled
1 or 2 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp. Lemon juice
1 Tbsp. Olive oil
1 can Campbell’s chicken broth or ¾ c. MBT
1 c. sour cream (Breakstones light)
fresh dill, chives and parsley
Coarsely chop cucumber and garlic in blender on slow. Add lemon juice, olive oil and broth. Slowly blend in sour cream. Chill thoroughly, preferably overnight. Garnish with slices of unpeeled cucumbers. Serves 6 in small bowls.