The golden hues that have crept over the trees, shorter days and darker nights, and football season all signal that Autumn has finally arrived! As the mornings and days get chillier and we turn to comfort foods to warm us up, it is important to remember to take into account the freshness of the ingredients and care that goes into making your favorite foods. Joe DeCicco Junior believes that “Understanding the seasonality of produce is paramount. Eating seasonal allows local vendors, like DeCicco & Sons, to sell, and consumers to enjoy products at their peak flavor and freshness. It inspires the menus of both home and professional restaurant chefs.”
One of the best ways to stay healthy this fall is to eat seasonally, which means eating foods that are in-season in order to make sure your body is getting the freshest foods possible without preservatives or MSGs. Eating seasonally gives your body more energy, helps the environment, and tastes great! Here are some classic fall comfort foods made with seasonal ingredients that your friends and family can indulge in during a football gathering and or any fall festivities.
Margarita Pizza: Early fall is tomato season! Most people think tomato season ends during August, but actually these red, sweet and tangy fruits stay in-season until late October! There is no better way to use vitamin and antioxidant filled tomatoes than making a light margarita pie with fresh mozzarella, basil, and thin crispy crust. According to the DeCiccos, making pizza at home is both fun and rewarding!
Joe DeCicco Junior shared some advice on making your own pizza. There are many options in choosing pizza dough, such as, traditional, whole wheat, and gluten free. If you prefer to make your own dough, DeCicco recommends a “no-knead method” of preparation, which provides a crust with the perfect balance of chew and crunch. DeCicco also recommends using San Marzano tomatoes, which have just the right amount of acidity to cut through the delicious creamy flavor of mozzarella. The DeCiccos follow the mantra “less is more” for their toppings. Because of this, the classic Margarita is among their favorites!
If you don’t feel like making your own pizza, order a homemade, fresh DeCicco’s pizza ahead of time and pick it up while you’re shopping the same day!
Pumpkin Beer: Tap into some fresh brewed pumpkin flavored beers for a spiced, sweet and balanced sip of autumnal goodness. Of the many pumpkin beers to choose from, Chris DeCicco, beer connoisseur and tastemaker, loves the new pumpkin beers from Goose Island brewers in Chicago. Unlike most brews, the DeCiccos have chosen brews with fresh roasted pumpkin and or pumpkin puree added right into the brew kettles. Joe DeCicco states that this method adds “an additional body and flavor to the brew.” Serve as is or to make into a delicious pumpkin beer cheese fondue! Try the recipe below for fondue with a fun seasonal twist. Either serve into a bowl, a carved out rye bread bowl or if you’re feeling really festive…a small carved out pumpkin! Serve with party franks, cauliflower (another in-season vegetable), Gherkin Pickles, apple slices and pretzels for dipping.
Pumpkin Beer Fondue:
• 2 and 1/2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar Cheese • 1/4 to 1/3 pound Shredded Gruyere Cheese • 1 rounded tablespoon All-Purpose Flour • 1 cup Pumpkin Beer • 2 tablespoons Spicy Brown Mustard • A few drops Hot Sauce • A few drops Worcestershire Sauce
Porchetta: This pork dish is an Italian favorite that can make any meal hearty and delicious. Porchetta is a choice-selection of trimmed and seasoned pork that is slow-roasted in fresh garlic, rosemary, black pepper, salt and red pepper flakes for five hours. This is not an easy dish to make at home, but fortunately, DeCicco & Sons does all the work for you. Each Thursday in their Armonk store, the DeCiccos hand wrap and roll the Porchetta, season it with spices and perfectly marinate the meat and roast the meat, which makes the pork skin extra crispy. Porchetta can be enjoyed on its own, served hot in big pieces, or chilled and sliced thin on a deli slicer. Porchetta is perfect for choice for a fall football gathering because you can serve sliced Porchetta sandwiches on fresh, crispy Italian rolls. Add some roasted cauliflower and squash as a side and a spiced apple pie for dessert to make this a delicious seasonal meal!
These selections of wonderful autumn foods can be found at DeCicco & Sons, in their many locations. DeCicco & Sons is a family owned grocery store in Westchester that serves fresh, quality groceries and homemade Italian delicacies that can help you and your family stay healthy and satisfied this fall. DeCicco’s offers award winning Margarita pizza, craft-brewed beers (Pumpkin beer too!), a wide selection of groceries and a quality deli that serves Porchetta and other choice meats.