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October menus.


Bones to chew on, bones with crisp browned edges and succulent meaty chunks, bones with creamy marrow centers. If you love bones, cooler days make this a good time for two substantial bone meals with veal shanks or pork ribs. Both menus let you sit back and relax as the oven roasts the meats and their companions to tenderness.

Fall produce wearing nature's palette of red, orange, yellow, and green lends its colors and flavors to the first two menus and the quick golden fruit soup-and-sandwich lunch.


Roasted Veal Shanks and Mushrooms with Wild Rice and Pomegranates

Autumn Salad

Fennel-Apple Tart

Pinot Noir

This grand meal takes some time to prepare, but you have many make-ahead opportunities, starting the day before.

For salad, dress spinach, Belgian endive, and sliced lady apples with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and grated orange peel.

Up to 3 hours before dinner, you can rinse and slice mushrooms; seed pomegranates; and rinse wild rice. About 1 hour ahead, reheat shanks, then add mushrooms.

Roasted Veal Shanks and Mushrooms with Wild Rice and Pomegranates

6 pounds veal shanks, cut into 1 1/2-inch lengths

3 tablespoons minced garlic

1/3 cup chopped fresh or 2 tablespoons dried marjoram leaves

3/4 or 1 1/2 cups dry white wine

2 cups regular-strength chicken broth

2 1/4 pounds mushrooms (common, chanterelle, or a combination), rinsed and sliced lengthwise 3/4 inch thick

Wild rice (recipe follows)

About 1 1/4 cups pomegranate seeds

Fresh marjoram or parsley sprigs


Rinse shanks and lay, cut side down, in an 11- by 17-inch roasting pan at least 2 inches deep; add 2 tablespoons water. Bake, uncovered, in a 425 |degrees~ oven for 30 minutes. Turn shanks over and bake until meat is lightly browned, about 45 minutes longer. Combine garlic, chopped marjoram, 3/4 cup wine, and broth. Pour over shanks and stir to release browned bits in pan; cover pan very tightly with foil. Bake 1 1/2 hours more. (If cooking ahead, let covered shanks cool; chill up to 1 day. Add 3/4 cup wine, cover tightly, and reheat in a 425 |degrees~ oven for 30 minutes.)

Push shanks into 1/2 of the pan; baste with pan juices. Put mushrooms in empty space and mix with pan juices. (If more than 1/2 the mushrooms are chanterelles, tightly cover pan; otherwise, do not cover.) Bake until meat pulls apart easily and mushrooms are limp, 25 to 40 minutes longer. Stir mushrooms occasionally. With a slotted spoon, transfer shanks and mushrooms to a platter. Add wild rice to platter; sprinkle foods with pomegranate seeds and garnish with marjoram sprigs. Accompany with pan juices and salt to taste. Serves 6.

Per serving: 428 cal. (15 percent from fat); 46 g protein; 7.2 g fat (2 g sat.); 48 g carbo.; 894 mg sodium; 124 mg chol.

Wild rice. Rinse 1 1/2 cups wild rice in a fine strainer. In a 3- to 4-quart pan over high heat, bring rice and 2 3/4 cups regular-strength chicken broth to a boil. Cover and simmer until rice is tender to bite, 50 to 60 minutes; drain and serve hot.

Fennel-Apple Tart

3/4 cup plus 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour

1/2 cup regular rolled oats

1/4 cup (1/8 lb.) butter or margarine

1 large egg white

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons dried currants

2 cups peeled, cored, 1/4-inch-thick slices apples such as Empire or Newtown Pippin

1 1/2 cups crosswise-sliced fennel (about 1/4 in. thick)

2 teaspoons lemon juice

Powdered sugar

In a food processor or a bowl, whirl or rub 3/4 cup flour, oats, and butter until fine crumbs form. Whirl or stir in egg white until dough holds together. Press dough evenly over bottom and side of an 8-inch-wide tart pan with a removable rim.

In a bowl, mix remaining 2 teaspoons flour, granulated sugar, cinnamon, and currants. Add apples, fennel, and lemon juice; mix well. Pour into pan; pat fruit mixture to make level.

Bake on lowest rack in a 425 |degrees~ oven until top of filling starts to brown, about 45 minutes. Drape with foil and bake until juices begin to bubble, about 30 minutes more. Remove pan rim and slide a wide spatula under hot tart to release crust; leave tart in place. Serve warm or cool; dust tart with powdered sugar. Serves 6.

Per serving: 237 cal. (33 percent from fat); 4 g protein; 8.7 g fat (5.1 g sat.); 37 g carbo.; 119 mg sodium; 22 mg chol.


Spareribs with Beer-Molasses Sauce and Roasted Vegetables

Green Beans

Comice Pears

Microbrewery Beers or Ales

Get into the spirit of the West's Oktoberfest celebrations with beer food: ribs, potatoes, and roasted onions (they're reminiscent of onion rings but don't have the fat that comes with frying). Although the meat, potatoes, and onions take about 2 hours to cook, all you have to do is stir now and then.

Spareribs with Beer-Molasses Sauce and Roasted Vegetables

4 pounds pork spareribs

1 large (about 1/2-lb.) red bell pepper

3 large (about 1 2/3 lb. total) onions

1/2 teaspoon each pepper and cayenne

2 tablespoons salad oil

Beer-molasses sauce (recipe follows)

2 1/4 pounds small (2-in.-diameter) thin-skinned potatoes, scrubbed

3 tablespoons fine dried bread crumbs

Chopped parsley

About 1/2 cup regular-strength chicken broth


Trim and discard excess fat from ribs. Rinse ribs and place in an 11- by 17-inch roasting pan at least 2 inches deep. Add 3/4 cup water; cover pan tightly with foil. Bake ribs on lowest rack in a 425 |degrees~ oven until meat is tender when pierced, 1 hour to 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, stem, seed, and coarsely chop bell pepper. Cut onions crosswise into 1/2-inch slices; separate into rings. In a 12- by 15-inch broiler pan (or another pan, the same size as used for ribs), evenly mix vegetables with pepper, cayenne, and salad oil.

Remove ribs from oven; turn oven temperature to 500 |degrees~. Pour out and save juices from ribs; skim and discard the fat.

Pour beer-molasses sauce over ribs in pan, turning meat to coat well. Arrange ribs in a single layer. Return, uncovered, to a rack positioned in lower 1/2 of oven.

Pierce each potato with a fork and place directly on rack above ribs (take care to avoid touching oven sides); set pan of mixed vegetables beside potatoes.

Bake, turning over ribs and stirring vegetables occasionally, until ribs and onion mixture are browned and potatoes give readily when pressed, about 35 minutes; after 15 minutes alternate pan positions. To prevent the sweet rib sauce from scorching, stir in some of the reserved pan juices when sauce begins to stick.

Sprinkle bread crumbs over vegetables in pan and mix slightly; bake 5 minutes more. Transfer foods to a large platter and sprinkle with parsley. To pan, add remaining pan juices and enough broth to make 1 cup. Stir over high heat to loosen browned bits, pour the sauce into a bowl, and offer to spoon onto food. Cut ribs apart into individual serving portions. Add salt to taste. Makes 6 servings.

Per serving: 772 cal. (47 percent from fat); 40 g protein; 41 g fat (15 g sat.); 58 g carbo.; 269 mg sodium; 143 mg chol.

Beer-molasses sauce. In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup beer or ale, 1/3 cup dark molasses, 1/3 cup lemon juice, 2 large cloves garlic (minced), 2 teaspoons dried ground mustard, 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice, and 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon.


Curried Persimmon Soup

Cheddar-Chutney Sandwiches


Butter Cookies

Red or Green Seedless Grapes

Although quite simple, the flavors and look of this meal make it a nice choice to serve to guests. For this soup you can use either Fuyu-type or Hachiya-type persimmons. Flat-bottom Fuyus are ready to eat when crisp and as they begin to soften. Pointed-tip Hachiyas must be soft-ripe to use; otherwise they are very astringent. Hachiyas will gel the soup if it stands, so stir before serving.

Make classic teatime sandwiches with thinly sliced bread, cheddar cheese, chutney, and watercress.

For an easy dessert, offer grapes with homemade or purchased cookies.

Curried Persimmon Soup

3 1/4 pounds (6 to 8 medium-size) firm-ripe or soft-ripe Fuyu-type persimmons or 2 2/3 pounds (4 or 5 medium-size) soft-ripe Hachiya-type persimmons

1/2 cup minced onion

1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger

1 quart regular-strength chicken broth

1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder

Fresh cilantro (coriander) leaves (optional)

Lemon wedges

Salt and pepper

Cut and discard stems from persimmons. Peel Fuyus and slice fruit, or scoop Hachiya fruit from peel. Discard peel.

Combine onion, ginger, and 1/4 cup broth in a 3- to 4-quart pan. Boil over high heat, stirring occasionally, until liquid evaporates and vegetables brown and start to stick, about 5 minutes. Add 1/4 cup broth; repeat step until vegetables are slightly browned again. Add 1/4 cup broth and repeat step. Add curry and stir for 30 seconds.

Stir remaining broth into pan and bring to a boil over high heat.

If using Fuyus, add to pan, cover, and simmer until slices are tender when pierced, 5 to 8 minutes; whirl smooth, a portion at a time, in a blender.

If using Hachiyas, whirl pulp in a blender until smooth; stir into hot broth (Hachiyas will thicken soup; stir to thin).

Ladle soup into bowls; garnish with cilantro, and season to taste with lemon, salt, and pepper. Makes 7 to 8 cups, 4 servings.

Per serving: 424 cal. (5.7 percent from fat); 5.7 g protein; 2.7 g fat (0 g sat.); 105 g carbo.; 991 mg sodium; 0 mg chol.

To use our nutrition information

Sunset recipes contain nutrition information based on the most current data available from the USDA for calorie count; grams of protein, total fat (including saturated fat), and carbohydrate; and milligrams of sodium and cholesterol.

This analysis is usually given for a single serving, based on the largest number of servings listed for the recipe. Or it's for a specific amount, such as per tablespoon (for sauces), or by a unit, as per cookie.

The nutrition analysis does not include optional ingredients or those for which no specific amount is stated (salt added to taste, for example). If an ingredient is listed with an alternative, the figures are calculated using the first choice or a comparable food. Likewise, if a range is given for the amount of an ingredient (such as 1/2 to 1 cup butter), values are figured on the first, lower amount.

Recipes using regular-strength chicken broth are based on the sodium content of salt-free homemade or canned broth. If you use canned salted chicken broth, the sodium content will be higher.
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Title Annotation:menus and recipes
Author:Johnson, Elaine
Date:Oct 1, 1993
Previous Article:Faded memories come to life.
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