Tag Archives: seasonal

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

4 Nov

I think I’m in love with butternut squash. This soup is lick your bowl good! Adapted from a Fine Cooking recipe.

Time: 1 hour                Serves: 4-7

Ingredients


  • 1 medium butternut squash (2-3 pounds) peeled and cut into about 1-inch cubes (about 7 cups)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil (more if needed)
  • 6 pieces of thick sliced Applewood smoked bacon
  • 1 medium onion, diced (about 2 cups)
  • 1 large Granny Smith apple, cored & diced into about 1-inch cubes (about 2 cups)
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tbsp fresh rubbed sage leaves, chopped
  • 5 cups vegetable stock (chicken would be OK too)
  • salt and pepper, to taste

How to make it


  • Preheat oven to 425F.
  • Toss squash with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread out onto 2 baking sheets, not overcrowding the pieces. Place in oven and roast for about 40 minutes, or until edges are browned. Stir squash up about half way through for more even cooking.
  • Heat a 5 quart stock pot over medium heat. Cook bacon until crispy and place on paper towel lined plate.
  • Add onions to pot and stir. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes. Add apples and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes. Add sage and season with salt and pepper. Cook an additional 2 minutes.
  • Remove squash from oven and transfer to stock pot. Add stock and turn heat up. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes, check squash and apple for tenderness. If needed, cook longer. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
  • At this point you can either use an immersion blender to puree the soup or use a stand blender and go in batches as I did. (I did 3 batches.) Add half of the cooked bacon to the soup before blending. Puree until smooth. Taste and add more salt and pepper as needed.
  • Reheat as needed, crumbling remaining cooked bacon on top to serve.
  • Serves 4 entree portions of 1 3/4 cups or 7 starter portions of 1 cup.

Braised Potatoes and Winter Squash

2 Nov

I’ve made this dish twice and absolutely love it! Adapted from a Fine Cooking recipe.

Time: 30 minutes                Serves: 8

Ingredients


  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 pounds winter squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks – about 3 cups (I’ve used butternut and red Kuri)
  • 2 pounds potatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks (Yukon golds/fingerlings/reds work best but russets peeled are fine)
  • 4 medium shallots, peeled & sliced or chopped
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary, crumbled or 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, minced
  • 1 tsp sea salt, more or less to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbsp course grained mustard or grainy dijon
  • 2 cups chicken stock or apple cider, or combo
  • 1/2 cup white or rose wine

How to make it


  • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add butter and olive oil, allow to heat for about a minute. Add squash, potatoes, and shallots. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10-15 minutes. Add more oil/butter if needed, as needed.
  • Add rosemary and salt. Add pepper and stir well to incorporate. Add mustard, broth +/ cider, and wine. Stir well. Bring to boil, cover pan, and reduce to medium low heat.
  • After about 10 minutes, the liquid should be absorbed and the veggies should be fork tender. If liquid remains, continue to cook for about 5 minutes until it absorbs. If the liquid has absorbed but the veggies are not yet tender, add a bit more liquid and continue cooking for an additional 5-10 minutes until liquid absorbs and veggies are tender.

Apple Cider Beef Stew in a Crock Pot

24 Oct

The first time I made this dish was after watching an episode “The Rachael Ray Show” about a year ago when Rachael made her Autumn Beef Stew. It looked so appetizing so I decided to try it out. I have written the recipe according to the way I made it, with some of the ingredients and cooking methods altered to my needs & tastes.

Time: 1 hour prep, 4+ hours cook                   Serves: 6

Ingredients


  • 1 bulb garlic
  • olive oil for drizzling
  • salt & pepper
  • 2 thick strips bacon, cut into about 1-inch pieces (I used applewood smoked)
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1 1/2 pounds beef chuck, cut into about 2-inch cubes (I used boneless chuck shoulder Texas broil, trimmed of excess fat) – patted dry
  • 3 large carrots, sliced on an angle into 2-inch chunks
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 apple, chopped (I used Honeycrisp)
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 1 1/2 apple cider
  • 3 cups beef stock (I used 3 cups water + 3 tsp Better Than Bouillon)
  • 1/4 cup cold water + 1 tbsp cornstarch mixed (“slurry”)

How to make it


  • Preheat oven to 400F.
  • Cut ends of garlic bulb to expose cloves. Drizzle with oil and season with salt & pepper. Wrap in foil.
  • Roast 45 minutes. Allow to cool somewhat before handling.
  • Carefully squeeze garlic into a small bowl. Add a splash of apple cider and mash into a paste.
  • Season beef cubes liberally with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with 1 tbsp flour and toss to coat.
  • Heat large skillet over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until crisp on both sides. Transfer to paper towel lined plate.
  • Add 1 tbsp butter to skillet. Once melted, add beef cubes to skillet. Cook until crisp and deep brown on each side, in batches if necessary (once first batch is done, transfer to plate with bacon). Add more butter as needed, 1/2 tbsp at a time.
  • Once all beef is browned & transferred, add 1 tbsp butter to skillet. Add carrot, apple, celery, and onion to skillet. Cook to soften for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with 1 tbsp flour & toss to coat.
  • Combine remaining apple cider with beef stock. Mix in garlic paste.
  • Place browned beef, bacon and veggies into crock pot. Add cider mixture and bay leaves.
  • Cook on low for 4-5 hours until beef is tender. Thicken with cornstarch slurry if needed.
  • Serve with Light and Creamy Mashed Potatoes (increase recipe by half to yield 6 servings) or similar.

Rustic Heirloom Tomato Tart

27 Aug

A lovely celebration of one of summer’s greatest offerings: Heirloom Tomatoes, which are marinated in balsamic and nestled atop cheesy flaky crispy goodness.

Time: 30 min hands-on 2 1/2 hours total             Serves: 8

Ingredients


  • Pastry


  • 3/4 cup AP flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 8 tbsp cold butter or Earth Balance, cut into pieces
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup very cold water
  • sea salt
  • Tomatoes


  • approximately 1 pound assorted heirloom tomatoes, sliced 1/4″ thick
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • sea salt & black pepper, to taste
  • To Assemble


  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 pound herb & spice havarti cheese, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

How to make it


  • Pastry


  • Place flours and butter in bowl of food processor fitted with dough attachment or S-blade.
  • Pulse a few times until butter is about pea sized.
  • Add sour cream and cold water and salt to taste. Process just until dough begins to hold together.
  • Remove from processor bowl and shape into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in fridge for at least one hour.
  • Tomatoes


  • Place tomato slices in a flat dish, such as a pie plate or similar. Cover with vinegar and season to taste with salt & pepper. Chill until ready to use (up to an hour with the pastry dough).
  • To Assemble


  • Preheat oven to 400F.
  • Remove pastry dough from fridge. Place ball of dough in center of a sheet of parchment paper. Roll out as evenly as possible into a 12-inch round, about 1/4″ thick. Alternately you could split the dough in two and make two smaller, 6-inch rounds.
  • Spread mustard on dough round, leaving a bit of an edge naked.
  • Top with cheese, followed by marinated tomatoes.
  • Carefully fold up edges of pastry, you may pipe or flute the dough if you’d like.
  • Sprinkle grated Parmesan over top, getting some on the crust as well. Place in oven and bake for 30-35 minutes until golden brown.
  • Best served fresh baked & warm out of the oven. May also be served at room temp.

Pattypan Squash Stuffed with Chicken Sausage

25 Aug

Pattypan squash are in season now and may be found at your local farmers market. They are so lovely! The small ones are perfect for a simple saute and the larger sized variety are perfect for stuffing to showcase their beauty.

Time: 30 minutes           Serves: 4

Ingredients


  • 4 large pattypan squash
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 oz. chicken specialty sausage (about 2), diced
  • 1 small-medium vidalia onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 oz. baby spinach
  • handful parsley, roughly chopped
  • sea salt & black pepper to taste, freshly ground
  • splash lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated + more for sprinkling

How to make it


  • Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare baking dish or sheet with cooking spray.
  • Bring 2 quarts of salted water to boil. Add squash and cook for 7 minutes. Remove from water and allow to cool completely. Once cool, carve tops and scoop out middle to create a vessel. Discard hard seeds and dice usable flesh. Be sure to leave the walls at least an inch thick to retain shape. If needed, cut bottom slightly to level.
  • Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook for 5 minutes. Add sausage and cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring, until beginning to brown. Season with salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Add spinach and parsley and toss so it begins to wilt. Remove from heat and stir in Parmesan cheese. Spoon mixture into squash and sprinkle tops with more cheese. Bake for 10-15 minutes until heated through and beginning to brown slightly on tops.

Rhubarb Compote

30 Apr

Rhubarb is one of spring’s lovely gifts, yet I’ve never had the pleasure of trying it – until now that is. I’ve been seeing it at the farmers market for years and am always intrigued by its beauty but unsure of how to treat it,  mostly identifying it mixed with strawberries into a pie. I’d like to try that, too. But this was delicious!

Time: 15 minutes               Yield: 3/4 cup

Ingredients


  • 2 cups diced rhubarb
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • splash orange juice (I used orange-mango)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

How to make it


  • Place rhubarb, cinnamon, sugar, orange zest & juice in a small sauce saucepan.
  • Bring to simmer over medium-high heat.
  • Lower heat to a gentle simmer and cook about 5 minutes, until rhubarb starts to break down.
  • Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Serve warm, room temp or cold.