Ok...I just LOVE autumn. I really do. Not only is my birthday in October, but it has the BEST weather and my favorite veggies too. Autumn is the bomb. You get to wear cute coats, tights, little hats, and boots. Everyone looks adorable. And the best part is that everyone starts winding down, the clock goes back, and people are ready to EAT. You start to get yummy, savory tastes: root veggies, squash, brussel sprouts and nutmeg. Oh man. I just love it.
Anyway, I made the yummiest meal ever. It was all inspired by this delicious walnut oil I got from the farmers market. It is called La Nogalera Walnut Oil. This walnut oil is so bad ass that they use it in the dishes at French Laundry! And we all know Thomas Keller is a bad ass, so ya...I'm gonna use it too.
Well, I've never cooked with walnut oil and so it inspired me to create really cozy dishes. Walnut oil tastes like melted butter and flowers...its perfect for fall. I made an awesome pumpkin pasta sauce, and a roasted fennel and spinach salad.
For the sauce, I deep fried rosemary in olive oil and then removed it to cool. Then I sauteed garlic in the oil until it was golden. Next, dump in a can of pumpkin, a cup of chicken stock, a cup of 1/2 and 1/2, a tablespoon of walnut oil, red chili flakes, salt, garlic pepper, a bay leaf, tons of fresh rosemary, more garlic, and some Italian seasoning and cook for about 10 minutes. Its delicious and tastes like it was difficult to make. With the left over sauce, just thin it out with chicken broth or milk and add some curry powder and now you have a bomb ass soup. Beautiful color, I might add!
The salad I made was a real stroke of genius. It was really amazing. I drizzled walnut oil over fennel and roasted it in the oven for about 30mins. While it was still warm, I put it on top of crisp, cold spinach leaves and added pomegranate seeds, candy walnuts, and goat cheese. For the salad dressing, I used some unsweetened cranberry juice and stirred in a dollop of raspberry jam, salt, rosemary and garlic pepper. I then whisked in the walnut oil until I had a vinaigrette. Seriously, bring this salad to the next pot luck and people will praise you.
And to top it all off, I made some walnut fudge brownies with, of course, the walnut oil and fresh walnuts. I amazed myself last night. Meals like that make me proud of every inch of chub I have on my body. When I pinch my fat, I'm like, "Ya! I KNOW what good food is." It also sends a strong signal to the dudes I go out with that I will not be a cheap date. Take me somewhere niiiiiice. They take one look at me and are like, "Shit. I ain't got enough for a steak house." Aaaah....the single life.