Autumn Dinner Party

Autumn Dinner Party

Colorful menu choices for an evening with friends
All recipes serve four.



½ lb golden beets

½ lb beets

2 heads frisee lettuce

4 tbsp pistachio nuts

4 oz chevre goat cheese

1 cup balsamic vinegar

4 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp canola oil

Coat beets with canola oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in a 375 degree oven for 35-45 minutes or until tender. Remove from oven and let rest 5 minutes. Using a clean towel wipe the skin off the beets, then cool them completely in the refrigerator. Once cooled, dice the beets.

In a double boiler over medium heat, reduce the balsamic vinegar by ¾. Let cool. Wash the frisee and then cut into bite sized pieces. Place the frisee on the plate, add the diced beets, crumble the goat cheese on top. Add the pistachios and then drizzle the balsamic reduction and olive oil over the salad. Serve.



2 lbs large scallops

1 fennel bulb

½ cup red onion

2 cloves garlic, sliced thinly

4 cups water

1 ¼ cup corn meal

1 cup butter

½ cup Boursin cheese

2 fresh sage leaves

4 tbsp olive oil, divided

2 cups chicken broth


For the Sauce

In a small sauce pot, place the butter over medium heat and cook for 1-5 minutes until the water in the butter has evaporated and the sugars have begun to brown. You should notice a nutty aroma. Add the sage leaves.  Remove from heat.

For the Polenta – can be made the night before

Bring water to a boil and stir in the corn meal. Let simmer for 5-10 minutes or until tender. Add the boursin cheese. Season with salt and pepper as needed. Remove from heat and pour the polenta into a greased baking dish. Cool completely in the refrigerator. Remove the polenta from the pan. Cut into desired shape. Reserve. To reheat, grill over medium heat for 5-10 minutes on each side.

For the Fennel

Remove the fennel fronds and stalks from the fennel bulb. Cut the bulb into quarters lengthwise and trim away the core. In a sauté pan over medium heat, add 2 tbsp. oil and cook garlic for 30 seconds or until aromatic. Remove garlic from the pan and discard. Add the onions and fennel to the pan and sauté over medium heat for 1 minute. Add the chicken stock and simmer for 15 minutes or until tender. Season with salt and pepper.

For the Scallops

Season the scallops with salt and pepper. In a sauté pan over high heat, add olive oil. Add the scallops and sear on each side for about 1 minute.



2 D’anjou pears

1 sheet puff pastry dough

1/3 cup honey

¾ cup water

2 tsp vanilla extract, divided

1 cinnamon stick

¼ cup butter

8 oz mascarpone cheese

8 oz whipped cream

1/3 cup sugar

1 blood orange

8 oz maple syrup

½ tsp ground cinnamon

4 tbsp sliced almonds

powdered sugar as needed

With a rolling pin, thinly roll out the puff pastry dough. Cut into twelve 2 1/2” circles. Place the puff pastry dough circles onto a parchment paper lined sheet tray. Using a fork, prick each of the rounds to keep them from rising in the oven. Place another piece of parchment paper on top of the dough rounds followed by another sheet tray. In a preheated 375 degree oven, cook the puff pastry dough for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and reserve.

In bowl, combine the mascarpone, sugar, 1 tsp of cinnamon, and vanilla extract. Reserve.

In a sauce pot over medium heat, combine the water, honey, cinnamon stick, 1 tsp vanilla extract and 1 tbsp butter. Bring to a simmer and remove from heat. Reserve.

Peel the pears. Cut in half lengthwise. Remove the seeds. Place on a parchment lined sheet tray and brush with honey-water mixture. Place in preheated 375 degree oven and cook for 35-45 minutes or until tender, basting every 10 minutes with the honey-water mixture. Remove from heat and cool.

Place the almonds on a sheet tray on toast in a preheated 350 degree oven for 5 minutes or until toasted. Reserve.

In a small pot combine the maple syrup and 1 tbsp of juice from the blood orange. Bring to a simmer and remove from heat.

Assemble by placing one of the puff pastry rounds down. Spread some of the mascarpone cream on top of the round, followed by another round, some more mascarpone, and finally another puff pastry round. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Place the pear halves next to the napolean. Drizzle the maple syrup on top of the pear. Garnish the plate with toasted almonds.