Recipes Ready for Autumn

By Darryl Payne, Jr. – October 1, 2016
Photography by Weston Carls

Butternut Mac ‘n’ Cheese with Sundried Tomatoes and Basil (Serves 4)

What You Need 

3 cups medium shells, cooked
2 small butternut squash
½  pound chicken breast, ground
1 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoon olive oil
¾ cup white cheddar, shredded
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
½ tablespoon fresh rosemary
½ cup sundried tomatoes, rehydrated and sliced
1 tablespoon fresh basil

How to Make It 

1. Heat the oven to 450 degrees. 
2. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Lightly brush with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. 
3. Once the squash has become fork tender, remove the flesh from the skin, and place in a blender with the broth, cheese, thyme, and rosemary. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 
4. Sauté the ground chicken in the remaining olive oil. Toss with the butternut cheese sauce, pasta shells, and sundried tomatoes. 
5. Garnish with sliced basil to complete the dish and enjoy!

Roast Beet & Fig Salad

What You Need 

1 cup arugula
2 small red beets, roasted
2 small chioggia or golden beets, roasted
5 figs, halved
½ cup blackberries
½ cup candied pecans
½ cup honey
½ jalapeño, very thinly sliced
Habanero cheese wedge (optional)

How to Make It 

1. Start off by mixing the sliced jalapeño in the honey and let it sit for at least 30 minutes.
2. Roast the beets in a 450 degree  oven for about 30 minutes, or until thoroughly tender; peel and quarter.
3. Assemble the salad by placing the arugula in the center of the bowl. Add the beets, figs, and blackberries in a circle around the outside. Cover with a garnish of candied pecans and drizzle of the jalapeño honey. Enjoy!

Herbed Goat Cheese

What You Need 

1 log soft goat cheese
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon basil, finely chopped
1 tablespoon parsley, finely chopped
1 tablespoon chives, finely chopped
1 tablespoon dill, finely chopped
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper
1 package dried fruit crisps

How to Make It

1. Coat a small mold with the olive oil. 
2. Mix the herbs and pepper flakes in a small bowl and spread an even layer in the mold.
3. Spread the goat cheese in the mold and cover with plastic wrap to refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour. 
4. Remove from the mold, allow to drop down to room temperature, and enjoy on the dried fruit crisps!

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