Autumn is here!

The seasons have finally seemed to change here in Austin! With temperatures starting to dip down, autumn has made its presence known. Gone is the produce of summer, replaced by a bountiful array of seasonal fall delicacies, like apples, pears, pumpkins, and squashes. And what more festive holiday is there to celebrate the first harvest of fall than Halloween? Here are some recipes using our favorite fall produce to enjoy for your Halloween party or pre-trick or treating feast!

Pumpkin Queso

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1 3 pound sugar pumpkin

1 tablespoon of olive oil

3 links of chorizo, cut into moons

1 jalapeno or fresno pepper, diced

1 4 ounce can of chopped green chiles

¼ teaspoon chili powder

½ teaspoon cumin

3 tablespoons of all purpose flour (or gluten free flour)

½ cups of chicken broth or vegetable stock

1 ½ cups Oaxaca cheese; substitute mozzarella if unavailable

¾ cups shredded cheddar cheese

¾ cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese

A handful of cilantro or parsley, chopped

3 green onions, chopped

Salt and pepper

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Cut off the top of the pumpkin, about 2 inches from the top. Remove all the seeds (save them for later to make toasted pumpkin seeds or discard) and the pulp inside. Place on a small baking dish.

Heat up a medium size pot over medium heat, add the olive oil, and then allow the chorizo to render for 5 minutes. Add the jalapeno, green chiles, cumin and chili powder and cook down for another 3 minutes, then stir in the flour, stirring for a few minutes until its is toasted. Add the chicken broth or vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to medium and stir in all the cheese.  Let the cheese melt into the stock, stirring every so often, until it starts to get creamy, around 4 minutes.

Fill pumpkin with cheese mixture. Add 1 and 1/2 inches of boiling water to the baking dish. Cover loosely with foil and bake until the pumpkin is tender, about an hour and 20 minutes, then remove the foil and cook and additional 30 minutes, or  until the cheese is golden brown. Let cool for several minutes before serving. Garnish with cilantro and green onions.

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Wine Poached Apples

1 bottle of red wine (Pinot Noir)

¾ cup sugar

1 stick of cinnamon

1 star anise pod

3 strips of orange zest (use a peeler)

4 tart apples, peeled

Combine wine, sugar, cinnamon, anise, and organ zest and bring to a boil in medium sized pot over medium high heat. Add the apples and reduce the heat down to a simmer. Allow the apples to simmer in the wine for 30 minutes. Remove the apples, strain the wine, then reduce the liquid until it is a syrup. Serve over Greek yogurt or whipped with a drizzle of the syrup.

 

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