IN THE KNOW – Autumn

Flavorful Thanksgiving Sides

Provided to KLAFFS exclusively by Serendipity magazine

Turkey and ham usually get most of the attention at the holiday table. But secretly, everyone really loves the side dishes, from stuffing to root vegetables.
Butternut squash. Cornbread. Pumpkin. These are the flavors of fall, and you’ll find them in these exclusive recipes from Balducci’s Executive Chef Jason Mill. They’re perfect for any holiday occasion, from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Eve.

Roasted Butternut Squash Salad
Serves: 4
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes

4 cups peeled butternut squash, diced into 1-inch chunks
3 tablespoons Balducci’s Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 sage leaves, chopped Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
3 tablespoons red onion, minced

1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Toss squash with the oil, sage, and salt and pepper and place in a single layer on a baking sheet.
2. Roast for 13 minutes until the squash is tender.
3. Allow to cool, then toss with the onion and vinegar, serving while still warm.

Cornbread & Pancetta Stuffing
Serves: Serves 10-12
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 50 minutes

1 pound pancetta or bacon, cut into ¼-inch pieces
8 whole corn muffins, crumbled
2 stalks celery, diced
1 medium onion, diced
½ pound fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
½ cup chicken stock
1 stick unsalted butter
½ cup sweet vermouth
Salt and pepper

1. Preheat oven to 450°F. In a large sauté pan, cook pancetta until golden brown, drain and add to crumbled corn muffins.

2. Add diced celery into bacon fat, sauté for 3 to 4 minutes, then add diced onion and sauté for 5 more minutes or until onions are translucent. Remove from heat and add to corn muffin mixture.

3. In the same pan, heat butter. Add in sliced shiitake mushrooms, sauté for 5 minutes and add minced garlic, cooking until mushrooms start to release their liquid, about 5 more minutes. Deglaze pan with sweet vermouth and reduce mixture by half. Cool slightly and add to corn muffin mixture.

4. Toss all cooked ingredients together, adding in chicken stock a little at a time, until
corn muffin mixture is moistened, adjusting seasoning with salt and pepper.

5. Transfer to a large lightly oiled baking dish, drizzle top with olive oil and bake
uncovered for 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Pumpkin and Sage Risotto with Broccolini
Serves: 6
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 55 minutes

8 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock
1 bay leaf
1 pound spicy Italian sausage
1 cup onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups Arborio rice
1 tablespoon fresh sage leaves, chopped
1 cup Balducci’s Sauvignon Blanc
1½ cup pumpkin purée
1 pound broccolini, trimmed and cut to 1-inch pieces
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup light cream
½ teaspoon pepper
⅛ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Juice of ½ lemon
1 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, freshly grated
2 tablespoons Italian parsley, minced

1. In a medium saucepan, heat the chicken stock and bay leaf. You will use this hot broth throughout the cooking of the risotto, so keep it at a low simmer.

2. Using a heavy bottom saucepan or Dutch oven, heat about 1 tablespoon of olive oil until hot. Add the sausage and cook until well browned. Transfer sausage to a paper towel-lined plate.

3. Drain the fat from the pan and return it to the stovetop over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan then add onion and ¾ of the garlic. Sauté until onion starts to soften, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the Arborio rice and sage and stir to coat the rice with olive oil and onion mixture. Add the wine and cook until it has been almost fully absorbed.

4. Next, add the pumpkin purée and stir to combine. Add chicken stock 1 cup at a time,continuously stirring until the liquid has been absorbed. Continue this process until all the stock has been used, or the rice is cooked, approximately 30 to 35 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the broccolini and cook until tender, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the remaining garlic and season the broccolini with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside and keep warm while the risotto cooks.

6. When the risotto is finished, add the sausage, broccolini and the thyme, stirring to combine. Stir in the cream and season the risotto with nutmeg, pepper and salt to taste.

7. If necessary, add a splash of the lemon juice, remove the pot from the heat, stir in cheese and garnish with parsley. Serve immediately.

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Wines to Have On Hand
This trio will see you through the holidays whenever you need a bottle, from last minute dinner parties to hostess gifts.

1. 2014 Sauvignon Blanc, $13
Lemon and lime aromas are complemented by a hint of white pepper in this silky, textured wine. One will also notice the tangy citrus and green apple flavors with a refreshing snap on the finish.
Pair it with: a first course salad

2. 2013 Chardonnay California 2013, $15
This luscious wine offers intense pineapple, tropical fruit, citrus and pear, framed by caramel and creamy vanilla notes. Its complex  touches of butterscotch balance a zesty acidity and a long oaky and buttery finish.
Pair it with: any appetizer or starter

3. Pinot Noir 2012, $16
Hailing from cool vineyards of California’s Cienega Valley, this wine has vibrant flavors of wild berry, cherry and raspberry with undertones of mocha and vanilla, making it rich and seductive.
Pair it with: turkey

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