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An Autumn Harvest Menu

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Cheddar cheese, apple cider, roast pork, almonds, and chocolate work together in this special but very doable menu for fall.

Cheddar cheese, apple cider, roast pork, almonds, and chocolate work together in this special but very doable menu for fall. The pork gets extra succulence from an apple cider glaze that doubles as a basting and drizzling sauce. Baking the cake a day in advance allows for a more relaxed pace the day of the dinner.

Menu Timeline

One day ahead

  • Bake the cake
  • Make the cider glaze

In the morning

  • Wash and cut the chard
  • Put garlic in the pork
  • Make the fennel coulis

2 hours before guests arrive

  • Bake the gougères

1 hour before guests arrive

  • Put pork in the oven
  • Make the smashed potatoes; keep warm

Just before serving

  • Saute the chard
  • Slice the pork
  • Reheat the fennel coulis and extra glaze

Shopping List

Fresh Produce

  • 3 lb. Swiss chard (about 3 bunches)
  • 2 lb. red-skinned potatoes, all roughly the same size
  • 1 medium fennel bulb
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 bunch fresh chives
  • 2 bulbs garlic
  • 5-in. long piece fresh ginger

Meat, Eggs & Dairy

  • 3-lb. boneless pork loin
  • 1-1/2 lb. unsalted butter
  • 10 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk

Other Groceries

  • 4 cups apple cider
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 3/4 cup homemade or low-salt canned chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup almond paste
  • 1/3 cup sliced blanched almonds
  • 3 Tbs. white truffle oil (or substitute extra-virgin olive oil)
  • 1 whole nutmeg

Pantry Staples

  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 2-3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa
  • 3 Tbs. vegetable oil
  • 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. table salt
  • Crushed red chile flakes (pinch)
  • Cayenne pepper (pinch)
  • Kosher salt
  • Whole black peppercorns

The Menu

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