As the leaves turn and the temperatures cool, New Englanders’ minds turn towards crisp apples and bright pumpkins. While the days of farmer’s markets filled with bright berries and summer vegetables are waning, at The Catered Affair, we don’t waste a minute lamenting the end of the hot weather. Instead, we revel in the fact that it’s time to pull on the heavy sweaters and start thinking about cozier meals and events that allow us to showcase some of autumn’s best in New England.
The key to any successful menu for the fall is to think about comfort food. Close your eyes and imagine what you’d want to eat next to a crackling fire after a day of apple picking or (if you’re less lucky) raking ruby-colored leaves. What comes to your mind? Earthy, creamy, spicy and meaty immediately come to ours. Here are some of our top picks for menus that showcase the best of the fall season in New England.
Fall Harvest Appetizer Ideas
- Focus on rich flavors: Present simple ingredients elegantly and incorporate the rich flavor of mushrooms and truffles in a dish like Truffled Wild Mushrooms in Roasted Potato Boxes.
- Utilize the season’s fruits: Fresh-picked pears and apples are a crunchy staple of New England living in the fall, and using them in an appetizer like Brie, Pear & Almond Phyllo Flowers turns them savory with the luxurious edition of creamy cheese and crunchy nuts.
- Create comfort food that surprises: Thinking outside the box, like Mini Yorkshire Puddings with Beef and Horseradish Cream, is sure to delight your guests. Adding beef and spice to the dish brings the coziness up a notch.
Fall Harvest Dinner Ideas
- Think salty and sweet for salad: The tart fruit produced by local orchards in autumn is the perfect accompaniment to your salad starter. Instead of focusing on a traditional vegetable salad, consider adding cranberries, blue cheese and spiced pecans to the greens, or presenting an Apple & Endive Salad with Pistachio Dressing.
- Dress up your beef: A fillet or short ribs are a perfect main dish for cooler weather, but it’s how you dress them that warms your guests. A Chili & Tangerine Lacquered Fillet brings the heat up a notch, or try adding a Black Truffle Bordelaise & Horseradish Cream to make the dish richer and earthier
- Let root vegetables shine in your sides: These hearty vegetables can stand up to a creamy grain. Compile the best of what is fresh and roast it for a Roasted Autumn Vegetable Risotto. Or, let them stand on their own, such as our Butternut Squash Swirled with Red Pepper Mousse.
Fall Harvest Dessert Ideas
- Bring a spicy ending: Ginger is a perfect dessert ingredient to create a warm ending to your meal. Consider a Pumpkin Cheesecake with a Ginger Snap Crust, a Blood Orange Creme Brulee with Ginger Madeleines, or a Gingerbread Cake Baked in a Mini Pumpkin with warm orange sauce, ginger ice cream and mint.
- Use surprising ingredients: Some fall harvest ingredients are perfect for dinner and can also be coaxed into a sweet dessert. Our Butternut Squash Praline Sponge Custard with Rum Lemon Sabayon pairs rich squash with extra-sweet pralines for a balanced dessert.
- Blend dessert and after-dinner drinks: Sipping brandy by the fire is the perfect end to a dinner party, made better only by incorporating the cordial into your dessert. We incorporate wines in our Beaujolais Pear Tart with Hazelnut Ice Cream and Zinfandel Sauce or our Pear and Fig Tart with Cinnamon Ice Cream and Zinfandel Syrup. For something tilted towards the liquer lovers. we’ll make Individual Macadamia Nut Tarts with White Chocolate Ice Cream and Bourbon Caramel or an Apple Charlotte with Brandied Whipped Cream and Apricot Sauce.
For more information about The Catered Affair’s Autumn Harvest Menus, or to request a custom menu for your event, contact us today.