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Cooking by the Calendar

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by Liz Pearson
from Fine Cooking #107, p. 68-73

As we say goodbye to summer and head into the cool, then colder days of fall, I let the seasons determine the way I cook and the ingredients I use. On late-summer nights, I’m at the grill, but once autumn turns chilly, I head for the kitchen, first to the stovetop and later—when the cold settles in—to the oven.

As my cooking methods evolve, so do the ingredients I use—some because they vary with the technique, others because of the changing seasons. Take beef, for example. I choose the cut based on the technique and then shape the dish around what’s seasonal in the markets. In September, I grill fl at-iron steaks and pair them with the last of summer’s sweet corn and tomatoes. When the weather cools, I sear rib-eye cutlets on the stove (no way I’m turning on the oven just yet) and serve them with dark, leafy greens. Once the leaves fall, I give in to the oven just a bit and go for a simple quick-roasted hanger steak flavored with coriander and cinnamon and accompanied by sweet carrots and a warm lentil salad. And when the real chill arrives, I braise a succulent beef chuck stew with winter squash, and welcome the oven’s warmth as it heats the house.

Late Summer: Quick Grilling

Grilled Flat-Iron Steak with Charred Tomato Butter and Grilled Succotash  Grilled Flank Steak with Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce  Argentine Spice-Rubbed Flank Steak with Salsa Criolla
Grilled Flat-Iron Steak with Charred Tomato Butter and Grilled Succotash   Grilled Flank Steak with Cucumber-Yogurt Sauce   Argentine Spice-Rubbed Flank Steak with Salsa Criolla

Early Fall: Stovetop Searing

Seared Rib-Eye Cutlets with Romesco Sauce and Wilted Spinach with Olives  Seared Rib-Eye Steaks with Edamame & Garlic Star Anise & Rosemary Rib-Eye Steak 
Seared Rib-Eye Cutlets with Romesco Sauce and Wilted Spinach with Olives   Seared Rib-Eye Steaks with Edamame & Garlic   Star Anise & Rosemary Rib-Eye Steak

Mid-Autumn: Quick Roasting

Moroccan-Spiced Roasted Hanger Steak with Carrots and Warm Lentil Salad  Sirloin Steaks with Garlicky Swiss Chard  Rib-Eye Steaks Marinated with Fennel and Rosemary
Moroccan-Spiced Roasted Hanger Steak with Carrots and Warm Lentil Salad   Sirloin Steaks with Garlicky Swiss Chard   Rib-Eye Steaks Marinated with Fennel and Rosemary

Fall’s End: Oven-Braising

Beef, Barley, and Butternut Squash Stew with Blue Cheese Croutons  Beef Bourguignon  Beer-Braised Pot Roast
Beef, Barley, and Butternut Squash Stew with Blue Cheese Croutons   Beef Bourguignon   Beer-Braised Pot Roast


 

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