A Flavor-full Fall Meal

Jane Wilt Whitworth

   As crisp air starts to sneak in, the goldenrod, asters, mums, and other late summer and fall flowers start to appear. School begins and schedules get hectic. Fairly quick but hearty meals are what we need to sustain us through the busy-ness of this time of year.
    One of my favorite meat cuts all year round is pork tenderloin, which can be prepared in many ways and can go from start to finish in less than 30 minutes. For an easy fall-friendly main dish, the tenderloin is seasoned simply with salt and pepper, then browned and cooked on the stovetop. A very simple but delicious sauce is made by adding shallots and mushrooms to the drippings (while the tenderloin rests), then white wine, chicken broth and cornstarch are stirred in. The tenderloin is sliced into medallions and served with the sauce. Mmm!
    I love roasting tiny potatoes. Tossed with olive oil and garlic, salt and pepper, then roasted in a hot oven until crispy and beginning to brown, they are a delight to pop into your mouth, as they melt into a creamy taste sensation when you bite into them. It only takes 20 to 25 minutes for them to cook to perfection.
    I consider cabbage and apples perfect accompaniments to pork. For this menu, shredded cabbage, chopped tart apple and onion are tossed together, then combined with a creamy honey,  lime, and cinnamon dressing and served topped with toasted walnuts. It can be made a while ahead and refrigerated.
    Gingerbread and apples are perfect for fall desserts. I have combined the two: gingerbread baked as muffins, then split and topped with fried apples. The apples can be “fried” in the oven and can be started while the muffins bake. Drizzled with caramel sauce and served with cream, ice cream or whipped cream (flavored or unflavored), these “shortcakes” practically shout “AUTUMN!”  

Enjoy fall, y’all!