Butternut Squash Soup with Fried Sage Leaves

Butternut Squash Soup with Fried Sage Leaves

  • One 3-pound butternut squash
  • Olive oil, for coating the squash halves
  • 6 cloves garlic, not peeled
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 18 whole fresh sage leaves
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh sage
  • 1/2 tsp fresh thyme leaves, or 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 2 quarts Quick Stock for Winter Squash soup (see below recipe) or water
  • Salt
  • 1/2 cup diced fontina cheese or other Italian-style melting cheese
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Cut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out and reserve the seeds. Lightly grease the squash halves with olive oil. Place them, cut side down on a baking sheet and tuck the garlic cloves underneath the cavities. Bake until tender when pressed with a finger and glazed on the bottom, 40 to 60 minutes. Remove and let cool enough to handle.
  3. Scoop out the pulp, reserving the skins, and place it in a medium bowl. Peel the garlic cloves and put them into the bowl with the squash pulp. Add any juices that have collected on the baking sheet.
  4. Heat the 1/4 cup olive oil in a sauté pan. Drop in the whole sage leaves and fry briefly until speckled and darkened, about 1 minute. Remove to a paper towel to drain and set aside.
  5. Transfer the oil to a deep and wide soup pot. Add the onions, chopped sage, thyme, and parsley and cook over medium heat until the onions have begun to brown around the edges, about 12 minutes.
  6. Add the squash and garlic, stock, and salt to taste and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, partially cover, and simmer gently for 25 minutes, until thickened but still liquid.
  7. Remove from the heat and, when no longer bubbling, purée in a food processor or through a food mill gently. Reheat and ladle into bowls. Distribute the cheese among the bowls (it will sink and melt into the soup). Garnish each bowl with fried sage leaves, and freshly ground pepper to taste, and serve.

Note: The soup can be served straight away without puréeing. It will not be a svelte, but it will have an equally appealing texture that hovers between silken and chunky.

Quick Stock for Winter Squash Soup

  • Simmer 10 cups water with the squash skin and seeds, half a sliced onion, any tiny cloves from the center of a garlic bulb, parsley stems, and 2 tsp salt. Bring to a boil, simmer for 25 to 30 minutes, and strain.

DSC00380 DSC00382 DSC00381 DSC00385 DSC00389 DSC00391 DSC00390

Advertisements

Zucchini Pizza Bites

I present to you, FOOD.

IMG_1349

Zucchini Pizza Bites

4 cups shredded unpeeled zucchini, drained and squeezed dry
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
2 eggs, beaten
1 pound ground beef
1 medium union, chopped
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic salt
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
2 tsp dried oregano
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 medium green pepper, julienned
5 medium fresh mushrooms, sliced

1. Preheat oven 400 degrees F.
2. In a bowl, combine zucchini, 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, and eggs; mix well. Press onto the bottom of a greased 15″x10″x1″ baking pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until crust is set and lightly browned.
3. Meanwhile, in a skillet, cook beef, onion, salt, and garlic salt over medium heat until meat is no longer pink, then drain. Stir in tomato sauce and oregano, mixing well. Spoon over crust. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, and remaining cheddar and mozzarella cheese. Top with mushrooms and green pepper.
4. Bake at 400 degrees P for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand 5 minutes before cutting.

Since this is very much like a pizza, you can top it with whatever you’d like if you don’t want to stick with the recipe.

IMG_1350

IMG_1351

IMG_1352

White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies

IMG_1054

White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies

  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Combine the flour and baking soda; stir into the sugar mixture. Mix in the white chocolate chips and cranberries. Drop by heaping spoonfuls onto prepared cookie sheets.
  3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. For best results, take them out while they are still doughy. Allow cookies to cool for 1 minute on the cookie sheets before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

IMG_1049

IMG_1050

IMG_1052

IMG_1053

Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken Pot Pie

  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves – cubed
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • 1 cup frozen green peas
  • 1/2 cup sliced celery
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon chicken bullion
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2 (9 inch) unbaked pie crusts
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C.)
  2. In a saucepan, combine chicken, carrots, peas, and celery. Add water to cover and boil for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, drain and set aside.
  3. In the saucepan over medium heat, cook onions in butter until soft and translucent. Stir in bullion, salt, pepper, and celery seed. Slowly stir in condensed soup and milk. Simmer over medium-low heat until thick. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. Place the chicken mixture in bottom pie crust. Pour hot liquid mixture over. Cover with top crust, seal edges, and cut away excess dough. Make several small slits in the top to allow steam to escape
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

I prefer to use this Hot Water Pie Crust recipe.

And what do you do with that leftover pie crust? Make pie crust cookies, of course!

I shaped mine like flowers, then sprinkled cinnamon and sugar on top, and baked them until they were golden.

Maple Salmon

When I first met my Lover, I made a comment that I didn’t like maple syrup all that much, and his immediate reaction was along the lines of, “That is changing right now.” So, we made a quick trip to the grocery store, and after that I tasted real maple syrup for the first time in my life. It was delicious! I immediately amended to saying, “I don’t like high fructose corn syrup with maple flavoring,” and ever since then I’ve made a habit out of consuming maple syrup whenever possible.

So, it was pretty exciting when I found this recipe at allrecipes.com.

Maple Salmon

1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 pound salmon

  1. In a small bowl, mix the maple syrup, soy sauce, garlic, garlic salt, and pepper.
  2. Place salmon in a shallow glass baking dish, and coat with the maple syrup mixture. Cover the dish, and marinate salmon in the refrigerator 30 minutes, turning once.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  4. Place the baking dish in the preheated oven, and bake salmon uncovered 20 minutes, or until easily flaked with a fork.

In the oven you go!

Done!

I added in some ginger in addition to the recipe, and the result was exquisite. This is a definite must for people who love fish.

Bacon and Hashbrown Quiche

This is my variation of this recipe over at Allrecipes.com. I’m absolutely terrible at giving instructions on how to cook (it’s done when it’s done!), so this is just going to be a photo gallery of the fun I had.

Then the batteries in my camera died, so I didn’t get a picture of the quiche after it finished baking.

Dinner was made possible by my mouli, which can’t be found in stores anymore. It is one of the best kitchen utensils ever.