Gourmet section

3 hearty meals to celebrate late autumn

by The Flamingo

November is a cold month in Switzerland…too cold. Although I can’t wait for the holiday season to begin, I just can’t shake the feeling that autumn was over too soon here. So I wanted to remind myself that the time for Christmas goose, roasted pork and sour cabbage can wait for a while. The pumpkins, chestnuts and the chanterelles are still in full swing.  This week I cooked three autumnal, hearty dishes and wanted to share the recipes with my dear readers.

Mushrooms and cheese puff pastry
  1. Mushrooms and cheese puff pastry
  • 200g chanterelles mushrooms (shiitake mushrooms are also suitable)
  • 2 spring onions
  • 3 fresh figs
  • 250g Chavroux (or any other type of fresh goat cheese)
  • 50g sour cream
  • 1 puff dough, ideally rectangle shaped
  • salt, pepper

Get the puff dough out of the fridge and let it rest for a few minutes. Wash the mushrooms, onions and figs. Cut the chanterelles in big chunks, if they are small then leave them whole. Cut the spring onions in length in 2-3 pieces. Also the figs are to be cut in quarters. Mix the fresh goat cheese with sour cream, until you get a creamy blend.

Unroll your pastry and turn the edges 1 cm inwards to create the aspect of a framed painting. Then fill the interior with the cheesy cream, be careful to be even and with no lumps. Then spread the mushrooms and spring onions on top of the filling. Add salt and pepper to taste and bake it for about 15-20 minutes. Watch for the instructions on the pastry’s pack. after the pastry is done, spread the quartered figs all over the filling, pressing them gently down.

This cheese and chanterelles puff is a discovery I made this autumn and I assure you it won’t disappoint: delicious and super easy to make. 

Potatoes and chestnuts mash with bacon and mushroom sauce
  1. Potatoes and chestnuts mash with bacon and mushroom sauce
  • 5 medium potatoes
  • 100g peeled chestnuts
  • 100g bacon
  • 250g brown champignons
  • 1 onion
  • 100ml cream
  • 1 small cup of milk 
  • butter
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Chili flakes
  • salt, pepper
  • olive oil

You can either buy chestnuts and roast them yourself and then peel them, or you can find them directly cooked. If you buy fresh chestnuts then roast them in the oven before preparing this dish.

Wash and peel the potatoes, cut them into small bits and bring them to a boil. Meanwhile cut your mushrooms into slices, after washing them. Cut the bacon into small pieces. Also chop the onion. Drizzle some olive oil into a hot pan and add the onion and bacon. Let them fry until the onion turns golden and the bacon a bit charred. Add mushrooms and put a lid on your pan. Stir from time to time and when they left enough water you can remove the lid. Add salt and chili flakes, mix well and the water reduced add the cream. Cook for another 2 minutes and remove the pan from the stove.

By this time the potatoes are cooked well enough and you can add the chestnuts. Heat milk into a smaller pot. Drain the water after 5 minutes and squish the potatoes and chestnuts with a potato masher. Add the heated milk and mix until it’s absorbed into the mash. Add a chunk of butter and grated Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle salt and pepper to your taste and mix everything together.

On a plate put a couple of spoons of potatoes and chestnuts mash and add the cream sauce with mushrooms and bacon on top. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Ragoût with sausage
  1. Pumpkin Ragoût with sausage
  • 1 butternut squash 
  • 1 big red onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 can of chickpeas 
  • 1 can of beans
  • 1 can of minced tomatoes
  • 2 big sausages (pork or/and beef)
  • smoked paprika (sweet paprika can replace it as well)
  • chili flakes
  • grill herbs (rosemary, sage, thyme)
  • olive oil
  • salt, pepper
  • nutmeg 
  • barbecue sauce (optionally)

Wash your vegetables well, including the squash. Then take the squash, cut it in half and remove all the seeds. Then cut the two halves in 2 cm bites. Leave the skin on. Cut the onion also into big pieces am slice the garlic into thin slices. Take a deep pan and heat it on the stove. Add the onions and garlic. Let them sear a bit for a nice char. Add salt, chili flakes and 2 tablespoons of paprika and stir. Sprinkle olive oil on top and then add the chunks of pumpkin. Stir until all the flavours are perfectly combined and leave it under the lid for 15 minutes, stirring regularly. Add some water if needed.

Remove the pan and pour everything into an oven pan or deep tray, if you have one with a grill on top then it’s even better. Add to the pumpkin mix the chickpeas with all of their juices  from the can, the beans and canned tomatoes. Stir everything together, add some more salt, pepper and the barbecue sauce optionally (it’s delicious without it as well).

If you have a tray with a grill, then lay the sausages on top of it curled. Stick some rosemary and thyme sticks through it. Then in between the sausages squeeze rosemary, sage and thyme

Sprinkle some olive oil on top of the sausages and powder them with nutmeg, then rub it in. 

Put the tray with the grill on top in the oven at 200 degrees C and let everything roast for 40 min to one hour, depending on the girth of the sausages. All the juices from the meat will drip in the pumpkin ragoût and will add amazing flavour. If you don’t have a grill for the tray then use the one in your oven. Make sure it’s clean and lay the sausage with herbs on it and the ragoût under it so that the fat still drips in it.

After the meat is done remove the herbs from the sausage and you can add some of them into the pumpkin ragoût and mix everything. Serve with salad on the side.

This is an amazing hearty meal for the cold season, inspired by Jamie Oliver. 

I hope you try these scrumptious recipes and enjoy the rest of the autumn! En guete, the way the Swiss say it!

Photos from Flamingo‘s archive.