For the days when you want gourmet food in the comfort of your own home, these decadent dishes created by the chefs at Harvest are not only easy to make, but they are incredibly delicious. A spiced plum highball, bourbon-mustard-brined pork chops, chorizo and pimento cheese grits and creamed kale gratin can be enjoyed separately, but the flavors combine to make a fabulously indulgent meal.
These fall recipes are inspired by Harvest chefs’ dedication to supporting local farmers and their passion for making local produce shine in innovative flavor combinations. “At certain times of the year, any one of the farmers whom we work with might have an abundance of a specific product. These recipes are geared towards helping our farmers move the product that they’re heavy on,” says Harvest Executive Chef Jeff Dailey. “And it allows us to showcase ingredients at the height of their freshness.”
“Autumn is also our favorite time of year to serve these richer dishes,” adds Harvest Chef de Cuisine Ryan Smith. “A nice Gamay Noir would be a great wine pairing. If you want to go a different route and do a beer pairing, Oktoberfest from Apocalypse or West 6 Brewery would work out great.”
Now, get ready to add these crowd-pleasing recipes to your regular rotation of fall dinner options.
An Autumn Highball & Sumptuous Dinner from Harvest Chefs
Hi Fall, Highball
“Here is an easy and interactive recipe for a refreshing fall spiced bourbon cocktail that will delight your guests at home and welcome the arrival of fall,” says Chef de Cuisine Ryan Smith. “Prepare the syrup in advance as it will need to rest overnight.”
- 1 ripe or overripe plum (1 plum makes two drinks)
- Clove simple syrup (recipe below)
- Angostura aromatic bitters
- Old Forester 86 Proof or Old Forester Signature bourbon
- Club soda
- Orange, to garnish
- Fresh thyme sprigs, to garnish
- Cloves, to garnish
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup of granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons of whole cloves
- Cocktail mesh or tea strainer
- Large mixing glass
- 2 collins glasses
- Start with one cup of water in a stove top saucer and add one cup of sugar. Bring to a simmer. Try to avoid allowing water to reach as a boil as the water will evaporate and the sugar will not, disrupting the ratio. Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat and add the cloves. Allow the cloves to sit in the syrup overnight to pronounce the flavor. The syrup should end up quite clove-forward but not overpowering.
- Now that your syrup is made, you can get started! In a mixing glass, add 1 ounce of clove syrup and about 4 dashes of Angostura aromatic bitters. Cut the plum in about 1-inch chunks and place into the mixing glass. Muddle the plum, syrup and bitters together well. Be sure to use a juicy plum. (This is a good way to use overripe fruit.) Add 2 ounces of bourbon and stir very well. Strain the contents in to the collins glasses evenly. Add ice and top with club soda. Take your peeler and section off two orange peels to zest over the cocktails, and toss those peels into the drink to garnish, if desired. Or garnish with a few fresh thyme sprigs and cloves. Sit back relax and enjoy! For a more spirit-forward cocktail, omit the club soda and you’ll have yourself two Spiced Plum Old Fashioneds!
Bourbon-Mustard-Brined Pork Chops
This brine incorporates bourbon and mustard for a smoky, tangy, savory flavor profile that is to die for. “Try getting the pork chops from Luke Groce at the Bardstown Road Farmers Market,” says Executive Chef Jeff Dailey. “He raises heritage breed hogs in a sustainable and environmentally sound way.”
- 1 cup kosher salt
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup bourbon
- ¼ cup whole grain mustard
- 1 Tbsp black pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- Few sprigs fresh thyme
- 5 cups cold water
- 5 cups ice
- 6 1½ inch cut pork chops
- Bring salt, brown sugar, bourbon, mustard, black pepper, bay leaf, thyme and cold water to a boil in a large stainless steel pan. Once the mixture has come to a boil, turn off the heat and let it steep for 30 minutes.
- Strain the liquid out and add the ice to it. Once the liquid has cooled down, pour the brine over the pork chops just enough to cover and let them marinate overnight.
- The next day, pull the pork chops from the brine and dry on towels. Grill or pan roast the pork chops to your desired temperature. Let cool.
- Slice, garnish with parsley, if desired, and serve with your favorite sauce.
Chorizo & Pimento Cheese Grits
True to Harvest form, Chef de Cuisine Ryan Smith recommends a couple of high-quality, locally made ingredients that take this side dish to the next level. “I recommend using Weisenberger grits,” he says. “And if you don’t already have a good pimento cheese lying around, try Red Clover at the Bardstown Road farmers market. They sell several types of pimento cheese along with other spreads.”
- 1 cup grits (Chef recommends Weisenberger grits)
- 4 cups whole milk
- 6 oz. Mexican-style chorizo
- 4 oz. pimento cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Lime juice to taste
- Parmesan, to garnish
- Chives, minced, to garnish
- In a pot, render the chorizo until fully cooked. Drain the chorizo over a mesh strainer.
- In the same pot, add the milk and bring to a simmer. Add in the grits and drop the heat to very low. Stir the grits very often, for about 40 minutes or until they are tender and creamy.
- Once the grits are finished, stir in the pimento cheese and the cooked chorizo. Season to taste with salt, pepper and lime juice. Garnish with Parmesan and chives, if desired.
Creamed Kale Gratin
Get your dose of nutrient-rich kale without sacrificing flavor. This dish puts a substantive spin on creamed spinach, adding in savory cheese and textured breadcrumbs with a buttery, golden topping. “For the Parmesan, try using Sapori d’Italia 3-year Parmesan that they sell at the Douglass Loop Farmers Market,” says Executive Chef Jeff Dailey. “They also sell a variety of great cheeses that you could use in place of the Parmesan.”
- 2 lbs. stripped kale greens
- 1 shallot, finely minced
- 1 Tbsp roasted garlic
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- ½ cup breadcrumbs
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Lemon juice to taste
- Chives, minced, to garnish
- Preheat the oven to 400 F. In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the shallot, and cook for 2 minutes. Add the roasted garlic and kale. Stir constantly until the kale wilts down.
- Add in the heavy cream and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and add half of the Parmesan and breadcrumbs. Season the mixture to taste with salt, pepper and lemon juice.
- Pour mixture into a buttered casserole dish and top with the remaining Parmesan and breadcrumbs. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly.
- Let cool, and garnish with minced chives, if desired.
Now, light a fire in the fireplace, open a bottle of Gamay Noir and enjoy this delightful fall meal!
Thank you to Chef Jeff Dailey and Chef Ryan Smith of Harvest for sharing these fabulous recipes.
Thank you to Krista Walker of You’ve Got Flair for the gorgeous images.
This article is sponsored by Harvest.