I am so excited for my second appearance on ABC 7 Windy City Live, a popular Chicago morning show! Tune in at 1:00 PM central time to watch my recommendations for Fall wines paired with deliciousness from Heartfelt Catering!

Below are Cecelia Hamilton, Chef/Owner of Heartfelt Caterings thoughts on Fall Foods and recipes from the show. I’ve added the wine parings and a yummy fall cocktail recipe at the end!

Fall’s Harvest, Cecelia Hamilton

I love this time of year, the crisp cool air, the colorful trees and the best of all is the harvested crops: apples, pears, squash, pumpkins to name a few. If you’ve seen our recent newsletters you’ll know that I’ve been collaborating with Sommelier, Regine Rousseau for Cooking and Wine Pairing Parties. 

Regine has a segment on Windy City Live Tuesday, October 8, to showcase a few of her recommended wines. She asked me to create dishes that pair well with those wines, using some of fall’s best produce. If you want to know what I’m cookin’ up, refer to the below recipes. If you try them, let us know what you think. At our last Cooking and Wine Pairing Party, we made the warm arugula salad and paired it with butternut-squash sage rissoto and seared scallops. Yum, Yum!!

Fall Food Recipes

 2017 Domaine Weinbach Gewurtraminer with Warm Arugula Salad

  • Servings: 22 cups baby arugula
  • 2  tablespoons raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup prosciutto
  • 1/2 small red onion cut into wedges with stem on
  • 4 dry figs sliced
  • 2 sprigs of thyme, leaves removed
  • 2 tablespoons crumbled or sliced goat cheese
  • 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
  • zest from one orange and 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar

Method of Preparation

  • Wash and spin dry baby arugula and set aside in medium mixing bowl.
  • Remove seeds from skillet and add 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Add prosciutto to oiled skillet and cook until crisp, then remove
  • Add red onion wedges to oiled skillet to caramelize. You may need to drizzle a little more oil to skillet. When caramelized on both sides, remove onions
  • Add sliced figs and thyme leaves to skillet, cooking figs til browned 
  • Add white balsamic vinegar to skillet with figs and thyme, deglazing the skillet. You’ll need to scrap the bottom, turn to low heat. Then add zest & orange juice to meld the flavors
  • Add olive oil and up to half teaspoon brown sugar, continuing to cook on low heat.
  • The brown sugar helps neutralize some of the acidity of vinegar. The flavor should be nice and light
  • While the dressing is heating, arrange your onion wedges on salad plate
  • In mixing bowl with arugula, add half of the pumpkins seeds, crispy prosciutto and sliced figs
  • Toss the warm dressing over the greens, arrange on salad plate with onion wedges
  • Divide the remaining pumpkin seeds, prosciutto and sliced figs among the two salad plates, and top with goat cheese

Note: This recipe was adapted from a Jamie Oliver recipe. I used pumpkin seeds, dried figs, goat cheese and white balsamic vinegar to add my touch of taste to it. 

Yalumba Barossa Bush Vine Grenache 2018 & Pork Tenderloin Medallions w/ Apple Compote

Servings: 4 – 6

  • 1-1/2# pork tenderloin 
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 1  teaspoon white pepper
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth (low sodium preferred)

Method of Preparation

  • Combine all seasonings, mixing well
  • Lightly rub oil on pork tenderloin and rub seasonings onto pork
  • Add olive oil to heated skillet at medium high. Once oil is hot, put tenderloin seasoned side down in skillet until seasoned side is golden brown
  • Turn to other side and reduce heat. 
  • You can finish in 400 degree oven for 3-7 minutes until pork reaches internal temperature of 140 degrees
  • Add cooked pork to cooking board, allowing it to rest for about 10 minutes
  • While pork is resting, you can put skillet back on heat and deglaze pan with dry white wine, reducing heat to allow it to simmer until alcohol flavor reduced

Apple Compote

  • 1-1/2# of golden delicious or gala apples
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup water (optional)

Method of Preparation

  • Peel and core apples, cut into small dice
  • Toss apples in lemon juice and spices
  • Add apples to pot and cook covered on low heat until juices are released from apples, stirring occasionally
  • Allow apples to cook until tender. You want them to maintain their shape. If apples start drying, add a little water to maintain moisture

2017 Cannonball California Cabernet Sauvignon & Red Wine Braised Short Ribs


Servings: 2 – 4 

  • 2-1/2# bone in short-ribs
  • 8 cloves garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour 
  • 2-1/2 tablespoons Kosher salt
  • 1-1/2  tablespoons ground black pepper
  • 3  tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 small red onion medium thick slices
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 3/4 cup beef broth (low sodium preferred)
  • 1/2 cup red wine

Method of Preparation

  • Crush garlic and soften in vegetable oil
  • Combine all purpose flour, salt & pepper in shallow pan 
  • Lightly dredge short ribs in flour seasoning 
  • Remove garlic from pan (you don’t want it to burn)
  • Add short ribs to oil skillet and sear til dark brown
  • Turn short ribs and add sliced red onions
  • Add beef broth, scraping bottom of skillet to remove any browned items, then add red wine
  • Liquid should cover bottom half of short ribs 
  • Cover skillet and braise in 325 degree oven until fork tender. This could be 1-1/2 to 2 hours, depending on thickness of ribs 

Note: If you want a thicker broth, whisk 2 tablespoons flour seasoning with beef broth and add to skillet before putting in oven

Serving Suggestions:

  • Whipped spice sweet potatoes (shown here)
  • Whipped spice butternut squash
  • Warm arugula salad
  • White bean ragout

Windy City Fire Mezcal Cocktail

Featuring La Luna mezcal, this mezcal offers citrus notes, a creamy texture and a touch wood smoke. Combined with apple cider and fresh ginger, this cocktail is easy to make and will be a Fall favorite.


  • 1.5 oz La Luna Mezcal
  • 1oz Ginger Beer
  • 1oz Apple Cider
  • Squeeze of 1/2 Lime
  • 1/4 oz of simple syrup
  • Garnish: fresh ginger, thin apple slice and thin line slice