Sunday Suppers :: A Cozy Fall Feast
It is officially time to embrace all that autumn has to offer. I may shy away from welcoming the chilly weather, but fall harvests have my open arms. Figs, squash, beets and apples are some of this season's tastiest treats. The main course features braised duck, like chicken but so much more elegant. This Sunday's supper will see you busy in the kitchen most of the afternoon but, if you follow the tips at the bottom of this post, dinner will come together beautiful. Remember to enjoy your time in the kitchen. That's what this is all about.
Fig and Goat Cheese Appetizers :: by With Style and Grace :: Figs are their best right about now. If you, or your generous neighbour, have a fig tree plan a few days ahead and pick them as they ripen. If not, look for figs that are plump and soft. You'll find the recipe for these simple to prepare figs here.
Champagne Cocktail Sipper :: by The Chic Site :: My favourite way to start a party is with a glass of bubbly. Don't worry about having champagne flutes on hand, any small glasses (like the super cute ones in the picture) will work great.
Kabocha Squash, Fennel + Ginger Soup with Spicy Coconut Cream :: by Dolly and Oatmeal :: I love starting a dinner a dinner party with a bowl of warm soup. Line up your bowls on the counter and have all the topping ready to go so you can plate the soup without too much fuss. I like to enlist the help of one of the guests to bring the soup to the table. Never underestimate how much dinner guests actually want to help with small tasks.
Slow Cooked Duck with Green Olives and Herbs de Provence :: by Paula Wolfert from Food & Wine Magazine :: I know that duck sounds fancy and can be a bit intimidating but, if you can cook chicken you can cook duck. Make sure to buy a good loaf of bread to sop up all the tasty sauce.
Roasted Carrot and Beet Salad :: by Elizabeth from Brooklyn Supper & With Food + Love :: I can't wait to hear the ooohs and ahhhs from everyone at the table when they see this colourful plate of autumn veggies. Have everything ready to go (blanch the veggies, toast the pepitas and make the dressing) so that when the duck comes out of the oven you can pop these in while you prepare the sauce for the duck.
Apple Crisp Stuffed Baked Apples :: by Creme de la Crumb :: I can't enough of this recipe. It is every bit as warm and comforting as traditional apple pie, but without all the fuzz and WAY more cute. You can easily prep everything during the day and have them sitting on a baking tray ready to be cooked right before dessert. Make sure to have some vanilla ice cream on hand!
Tips for this Sunday's Supper:
- This week's Sunday Supper is surprisingly easy to put together. You'll want to start the duck about 4 hours before dinner. Once you have lowered the oven temp and the duck is roasting low and slow you can basically forget about it until you crisp the skin by broiling it 5 minutes before you take it out of the oven.
- Next put the squash (for the soup) in the oven to roast alongside the duck.
- Once the duck is in the oven start the dessert. You can prep the baked apples right up to the point where they are about to go in the oven. Just leave them on a baking tray, covered, at room temperature. 15 minutes or so before you want to eat dessert pop them in the oven to bake.
- I am going to prepare the roasted carrot and beet salad next, although I'll wait on roasting them. Cooked vegetables can remain at room temperature safely for up to 4 hours. Do keep this in mind when you're figuring out what time to make them. You can blanch the veggie and even char the leaves at this point. Leave the veggies on a baking tray ready to be popped in the oven when the duck comes out. Make the dressing at this point too.
- Next up is the soup. By this time the squash should be soft and ready to go. Once the soup is made you can leave it on very low heat – not even at a simmer – until it is time to serve it. Have the garnishes ready to in small bowls.
- Now that the soup is done you're pretty much ready to go. A few minutes before your guests arrive you can put the figs together. And just because I like to be a little too organized (when you're hosting and cooking solo you need to be!) I'll probably prep the cocktail too by putting a few drops of bitters on each sugar cube and placing one in each glass, ready for the bubbles to be poured over just before I hand one to one of my guests.
Note: There’s no need to start preparing for your Sunday suppers days in advance unless, well, you need to. The menu is planned so that, if you start in the morning and work at a leisurely pace, you’ll be able to have everything ready by dinner time. If you know you have errands to run on Sunday, or you’ll simply feel more prepared and less stressed, then by all means prep some of the dishes ahead of time. The tips section above will give you an idea of what can be prepared ahead of time and how far in advance a dish can be made.
If you make this awesome Autumn Sunday Supper, make sure to snap a pic and tag @theendlessmeal on Instagram so I can like and comment on your photos. I love seeing TEM recipes you create.