Between Seasons

What to cook when it’s hot outside but you’re desperately longing for rich, fall food? When it’s too early for stew and you’re not quite craving crumbles? Welcome to a mid-October dilemma in LA.

Friends were coming for dinner and I spent a good week trying to decide on a menu that made sense for the climate. Finally, I figured out a plan. I’d grill instead of braise, serve a toothsome side salad instead of a warm gratin and dessert would have the flavors of fall but in ice cream form. Here’s what we ate:

Fennel, orange, avocado and Dungeness crab salad to start (from the great Bi-Rite cookbook).

Fennel salad. (Terrible photo but it was so delicious!)

Then we roasted two lovely ducks on the rotisserie…

Crispy skin on this duck!

and served them with an orange sauce (pronounced in French, of course)…

I juiced the oranges with my grandmother’s old orange press.

and had a lentil salad, with bacon, dried cherries, a bit of blue cheese and spinach tossed in, on the side.

Lentils are notoriously hard to photograph!

For dessert, a maple-salted nut ice cream, from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams book seemed right.

Maple ice cream with salted pecans.

We started with a Sancerre (I can’t remember which!) then moved on to a Côte de Rhône from le Clos du Caillou. (Click on that because it’s a cool video about the wine made by a Napa company called Bounty Hunter Wine. Kind of fun and informative to watch. And there are many more videos on other wines.)

The day after our dinner, it rained (well, it drizzled a bit). I’m thrilled. I feel like our little party gave the new season a warm welcome! Here’s to a cool fall!


About cdhla

I'm a former editor at several lifestyle magazines who's been freelancing since moving from NYC to LA. I call my blog The Chipped Platter to remind us that chips are better than perfection. The platter in question, a round one made by Gien, has traveled the world with me, visited with friends and family, celebrated milestones, and offered sustenance. My cherished Chipped Platter is part of the family. (I love my chipped plates, too!) On this blog, I'll be sharing my adventures of cooking for my family and friends, venturing out into restaurants and learning tips from people I meet. Come along!
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2 Responses to Between Seasons

  1. Linda Whalen says:

    Christy, When I get back to the States I’m driving straight to your house for dinner! Yum!! 🙂

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