Fall is still in its early stages, but the weather is already starting to give some parts of the country a taste of the colder temperatures to come. It’s around this time that you put away all those easy, breezy summer recipes in anticipation of having to prepare heartier fare.

It also usually means anticipating a lot more time spent cooking meals. Before you give a little shudder thinking about where you’re going to find that extra time, take a look at the following three recipes.

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They have three things in common: each one has been developed by a chef who has gained recognition in the culinary world, each one contains a minimum of ingredients, and each one is sure to become a family favorite.

The first dish is the creation of Chef Zachary Bruell of Table 45 at the InterContinental Hotel Cleveland, which has been recognized by Esquire magazine as one of the top 20 new restaurants of 2007 and has received numerous accolades, including a Sante Restaurant Award. Sante magazine is the premiere publication for restaurant professionals. Its annual awards are the only peer-judged recognition of achievement for restaurants in North America.

Table 45 Seared Sea Scallops with Thai Curry

Sea Scallops with Thai Curry

  • 10 Jumbo sea scallops
  • Olive oil
  • 1 tsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp. Thai red curry paste
  • ½ tsp. brown sugar
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tbs. fish sauce
  • ½ tsp. chopped cilantro

Add olive oil to saute pan over high heat. When smoking, place sea scallops in pan with butter. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 30-40 seconds on each side until golden brown and caramelized. Remove from pan. In the same pan, add curry paste, brown sugar, coconut milk, and fish sauce. Whisk together over high heat. Finish with chopped cilantro. Add sauce to sea scallops, and plate with sauteed green beans and rice.

Chef Fred Ruiz from The CasaMagna Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort & Day Spa contributed the next dish. It is designed especially to help holiday revelers party hearty, but still keep their weight down. It also makes use of a holiday dinner staple — turkey.

Turkey Scallopini

Turkey Scallopini

  • 1 tbsp. liquid margarine
  • 1/2lb. sliced mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup unbleached flour
  • 1/2 tsp. fresh tarragon
  • 1 tbsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 cup dry sherry
  • 1/4 cup salt-free chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp. water
  • Chopped fresh parsley

Heat 1 tsp margarine in a non-stick skillet. Add mushrooms, cover, and cook until mushrooms are tender. Remove from pan. Combine flour, tarragon, and pepper in a plastic bag. Add the number of turkey slices you’re going to serve one at a time, and shake to coat.

Remove to a platter. Pour remaining margarine into the pan, add a few turkey slices at a time, and cook one to two minutes per side. Remove from pan and keep warm. Blend sherry, chicken stock, and water. Slowly add to pan, stirring until sauce is thickened and smooth. Return turkey and mushrooms to pan and heat through. Garnish with chopped parsley.

The last dish is from celebrity chef Todd English, restaurant owner, cook book author, and host of the PBS series “Food Trip with Todd English”. However, Chef English is far more than a media darling. He is the winner of the 2001 Bon Appetit Restaurateur of the Year Award, and in 2004 he was inducted into the James Beard Foundation’s Who’s Who in Food & Beverage in America.

Spaghettini With Pistachio Pesto and Mint Ricotta

Spaghettini With Pistachio Pesto and Mint Ricotta

  • 3/4 cup sheep’s milk ricotta
  • 1 spring mint
  • pinch kosher salt
  • pinch coarse ground pepper
  • pesto (ingredients to follow)
  • 1/2 bunch arugula
  • 1/2 bunch parsley
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup pistachio nuts
  • 1/4 cup pistachio oil
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seed oil
  • pinch kosher salt
  • pinch ground black pepper
  • 1 lb. spaghettini

Chiffonade (cut into long, thin strips) the mint and mix it with the ricotta, salt, and pepper. Reserve for later. Prepare the pesto by first blanching the arugula and parsley in boiling water for 20 seconds. Remove from boiling water, and immediately place in an ice bath. Once cold, squeeze out excess water from the parsley and arugula, and put in a food processor along with pistachio nuts, salt, pepper, and pistachio oil.

Process mixture until broken up and incorporated, but still chunky. Remove from processor and mix in pumpkin seed oil by hand. Reserve for later. Cook spaghettini for 8-10 minutes in boiling, salted water. Remove pasta from water, and reserve 1/2 cup of cooking water.

Transport spaghettini to a saute pan, and mix in water and pesto. Cook 20 seconds. To serve, divide the ricotta into four pasta bowls. Place the spaghettini mixture on top and garnish each bowl with one tablespoon of Parmesan cheese.

Pic of the Day: Kovot Personal Fondue Mugs

Kovot Personal Fondue Mugs