An Autumn Dinner Menu

October 10th, 2009

This menu was inspired by a shopping trip to add some autumnal accents to the house. I found the sunflower plates at Marshalls for a very good price and they pair well with my pumpkin Vietri dinner plates. Vietri dinnerware is usually expensive, but I was fortunate to live close to their warehouse in Hillsborough, NC. Twice a year they have a huge sale and I was able to get great discounts on this lovely Italian dinnerware. I would use the sunflower plates to serve the salad course of Baby Greens with Pears, Roasted Walnuts and Blue Cheese. This Epicurious recipe goes well with the rest of the meal that I prepared.

Pork is such a Fall kind of entree. I would have to say that if I could eat only one kind of meat it would be pork; pork chops, pork tenderloin, pork butt, or pork loin. Boneless Pork Sirloin roasts were on sale the other day. You’ve seen those roasts with the string netting around them. They are packaged like this because there are two pieces of meat that comprise the roast. I like the sirloin cut because it has both the white meat of the loin and and the darker moister meat of the hip or back area. The best way I have found to cook this cut is to brown it well on all sides in a deep roasting pan. Add seasonings and fresh rosemary and sage, add liquid such as white wine, apple cider or water and roast it uncovered in a 375 degree oven for approximately 1 and 1/2 hours.

After the roast has been in the oven for one hour, remove the netting and separate the two pieces of meat. Add more liquid to the pan if needed and baste the meat. Use a meat thermometer to check for doneness after the first hour. For the complete recipe go here.

With the roast I served Roasted Butternut Squash, Potatoes and Red Onions. If you have limited oven space you could do these ahead of time and rewarm them in the oven just before serving.

I tried to keep the vegetables a uniform size. With a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of salt, pepper and cumin they roasted to a golden brown.

Since I was in a roasting kind of mood, I decided to also make Roasted Chunky Applesauce. I used Granny Smith apples for this. I coated the apple slices with softened butter, sprinkled with brown sugar, sugar and cinnamon and cooked them until they were soft and beginning to fall apart.

I would suggest that you peel the apples. The applesauce had a good flavor, but the skins were tough. Again if you have limited oven space you can do this ahead of time.

This was a fragrant and easy meal. I started cooking at 4:00 and was finished by 6:00. In my next post I will tell you what I would suggest for dessert.

13 responses to “An Autumn Dinner Menu”

  1. That is a beautiful pork roast… excellent meal

  2. Bella says:

    It all sounds delicious! Thanks very much for sharing. And I love your plates.

  3. Jann says:

    I would love to be at your table this evening~yes, the plates are so lovely!

  4. Lynda says:

    This meal is fantastic! I also love the plates; they are perfect for such a lovely meal.

  5. What a beautiful tablescape. The pork roast is gorgeous and perfect for a fall dinner. Looks like you’re a good shopper to find such great bargains.

  6. Mary says:

    That is a beautiful fall tablescape and your pork loin looks absolutely luscious. You shop with a designers eye.

  7. Katy ~ says:

    Beautifully set table, LOVE it!! And does that pork look good. Never heard of roasting apples, but I love the idea. I’ll have to try that. Makes sense to use as much of the oven as possible. A truly delicious meal, beautifully presented.

  8. toni says:

    I love the whole meal – and the plates are charming!

  9. Kathleen says:

    This dinner looks out of this world. Can’t wait to try the whole combo!

  10. Oh I bet your house smelled wonderful! It all looks fabulous.

  11. Karine says:

    Such an amazing meal! Everything looks wonderful 🙂

  12. First of all I love those plates! If I ever see them I am buying them. 🙂
    I love pork dishes for fall, looks delish.
    Thank you for explaining the netting, I was never too clear on it.

  13. Kate says:

    Penny, I just nominated you for an award!

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