Your 2020 Fall Cooking Bucket List Has Arrived: Recipes to Warm Your Heart and Soul

Fall is one of my favorite times of year. Here’s to soups and stews and savory, soul-warming food.

Herb Crusted Roast Pork Loin with Shiitake Mushroom Gravy

This method for roasting a pork loin is the best I’ve found so far. It yields a juicy, tender roast accented by savory garlic and herbs. Served with Shiitake Mushroom gravy and mashed potatoes it makes the perfect autumn dinner for those first few crisp, cool nights.

Get the recipe here.

New England Yankee Pot Roast

Yankee Cooking At Its Best This New England Classic is easy to make, but does require a long braise. The active cooking time is probably an hour or less. It is even better the second day.

Get the recipe here.

Ragu Bolognese

Step aside Marinara Meat Sauce, Ragù Bolognese is without doubt the Queen of Italian sauces.

So yeah, this takes 4-5 hours to make, but the good news is that using the oven-braise technique means that you don’t have to stand at the stove the whole time like your (or somebody’s) Italian grandma did.

Get the recipe here.

Cajun Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

This classic Cajun stew is perfect for a crisp fall evening – or pretty much any time. The flavor profile is totally unique; if someone were to ask “What does gumbo taste like?” the answer is “It tastes like gumbo!” And it is totally delicious.

Get the recipe here.

Jalapeño Cheddar Soup

Nothing will warm your heart and soul more than this cheesy, spicy soup.

I learned this recipe from a couple of Cordon Bleu trained chefs who owned a French Restaurant up in the Big Bear Mountains of Southern California. They became friends of mine when I lived up there and shared this recipe with me. I pass it on to you with their permission. I’ve adapted it for home cooking since the original recipe is for restaurant and makes about 5 gallons. This is about as close as I’ve come; theirs is still better.

Get the recipe here.

Boeuf Bourguignon

This half-day project is so worth it.

Besides, most of the time it takes is inactive while the beef slowly braises in the oven, filling your house with a tantalizing aroma. There’s a reason this was Julia Child’s first recipe on her hit TV show The French Chef. Seriously, make this sometime soon.

Get the Recipe Here.

Maple Butter Roast Chicken with Rosemary and Thyme

This roast chicken is so good you’ll want it all year long.

The technique of spatchcocking (removing the backbone from the chicken so it cooks evenly makes a perfect roast chicken every time. Combined with the autumnal flavors of Maple, Rosemary and Thyme you’ll have yourself a roast chicken that will satisfy just about everybody – even people who aren’t big fans of roast chicken.

Get the recipe here

Chunky Beef Chili

Football Games, Flannel Shirts – and of course, Beef Chili

This can be made stove-top, in the oven, or in a slow-cooker. I find the slow-cooker version particularly appealing because you can throw it together in the morning and forget about dinner until dinner time. Also, it makes your house smell awesome.

Get the recipe for the 2019 version here.

Get the recipe for the 2020 version here.

New Mexico Style Chicken Chili Verde

This is my most often requested dish on cool evenings or rainy days

This was the first thing I ever learned to cook and have been refining it for years and years. It’s still a family favorite. Use authentic Hatch Chiles from Hatch, NM for best results.

Get the Recipe Here

Traditional Coq Au Vin

Pressed for time?

This one is like Boeuf Bourguignon but only takes 90 minutes to braise instead of 4 hours. The results are almost as spectacular.

A lot of people serve this over egg noodles, but I actually have found that I prefer mashed potatoes.

Get the Recipe Here


There are a lot of ways to make chowder

Some people like it thick (use a roux); other people like it a bit lighter. Some people add tomatoes making a red chowder (Manhattan); some people like a creamy chowder (Boston) or even a clear one (Rhode Island). You can make Clam Chowder, Fish Chowder, Salmon Chowder, Corn Chowder, Chicken Chowder… Whatever type you choose, use one of the recipes below or just follow this blueprint to exercise your creative culinary genius.

Spicy Fish Chowder


New England Clam Chowder

Tuscan Style Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Basil Soup

This recipe is a riff on classic tomato soup, but the addition of fresh basil and roasted red-peppers bring it a superior depth and a fresh, vegetal brightness that truly elevates this dish to the next level.  Serve with grilled cheese, in a bread bowl, or with a rustic hunk of French bread.

Get the Recipe Here.

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