Posts Tagged ‘shallot’
It’s no secret that I am not a fan of summer weather in Memphis. You know, the season that starts in May and ends in October? Don’t be jealous unless you like 90+ temps, excessive humidity, and sweating at 7 am walking to your car. But for a few short weeks every year we get a small dose of spring. Granted it’s already hitting the high 80s some days so it’s not exactly spring weather, but this is the closest thing to spring I get before the inferno begins. During this time I drive everywhere with my car windows down while blasting music and singing at the top of my lungs (right now it’s Paramore’s new album). I freaking love spring and look forward to moving to a place where it lasts more than 2 weeks.
With the coming of heat waves and high electricity bills keeping it out of my 3rd floor apartment, recipes that require short cook times become more and more appealing. This recipes happens to be the fastest way to cook pizza ever. The prep time for making the dough and toppings is not short, but the actual cooking of the pizza is a whopping 2.5 minutes. Since you’ll end up with an extra ball of dough, throw easier toppings onto it and you will have a second pizza in under 5 minutes!
One year ago: Gnocchi with Roasted Red Pepper Cream Sauce
Two years ago: Nutella Mousse
CAST IRON SKILLET BRUSSELS SPROUTS BACON PIZZA
CRUST (NOTE: this recipe makes TWO doughs for a 12-inch skillet pizza)
1-1/8 cups warm water
1 pkg. (2-1/4 tsp) active dry yeast
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp olive oil
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
PIZZA (NOTE: these ingredients are for ONE pizza)
6 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped
1 shallot, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 lb. brussels sprouts, stems removed and thinly sliced
1/4 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp salt
4 oz. provolone cheese, freshly grated
4 oz. fontina cheese, freshly grated
2 Tbsp finely grated Parmesan cheese
- In a large bowl, combine water, yeast, honey and olive oil. Mix with a spoon, then let sit until foamy, about 10 minutes. Add in 2 1/2 cups flour and salt, stirring with a spoon until the dough comes together but it still sticky. Using your hands, form the dough into a ball and work in the additional 1/2 cup flour, kneading it on a floured surface for a few minutes. Drizzle the same bowl with olive oil then place the dough inside, turning to coat. Cover with a towel and place in a warm place to rise for about 1-1/2 hours.
- After the dough has risen, punch it down and place it back on the floured surface. Divide the dough evenly in half. Place one dough on a well-floured pizza peel and roll out to about the size of your skillet.
- Heat a different large skillet than the one you are going to cook your pizza in over medium heat and fry bacon until crispy. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel to drain. Remove all but 2 tablespoons of bacon grease from the skillet. Reduce heat to medium-low and add shallot. Cook for 5 minutes until soft, then add garlic, sliced brussels, salt and pepper, stirring well to coat. Cook for 6-8 minutes, tossing occasionally. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Place an oven rack directly under your broiler and preheat your broiler to the highest setting. Additionally, place your cast iron skillet on the stovetop burner, turning the heat on high. Heat the skillet for 10 minutes.
- While the skillet is heating, place the toppings on the dough. Add about half of the fontina and provolone cheeses, then cover with the brussels sprouts mixture and the bacon. Top with the remaining fontina, provolone and parmesan.
- Carefully slide the pizza into the skillet, dough side down. After about 30 seconds, turn off the burner, and place right under the broiler. Broil for 1 minute, rotate 180 degrees, broiling for only 1 more minute. Remove immediately and place on the stovetop. Let cool slightly for about 5 minutes, then use a large spatula to remove the pizza. Slice and serve.
Source: How Sweet It Is
I am currently battling some sort of cold. I call in sick to work but yesterday was one of those days. I’ve slept over 12 hours the past two days and I’m still not feeling any better today. However, being sick is kind of boring, especially without the internet, so I actually did run into work quick to get some things to work on at home (and to post this).
Sometimes I don’t read ingredient lists properly. I either screw up writing down the correct amount needed or the ingredient itself. Take this recipe for example: I bought orzo instead of arborio rice. So viola I made orzo intead of risotto, and it still tasted great. The fried sage and balsamic drizzle are must haves for this dish. Never thought that fried sage would be so wonderful. They turn into crispy little flavor wonders.
One year ago: Chicken Pad Thai
BUTTERNUT SQUASH ORZO WITH PINE NUTS, BALSAMIC DRIZZLE, AND FRIED SAGE
1 small butternut squash (or about 2 cups peeled and cubed)
2 cups chicken stock (or vegetable for a vegetarian option)
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 shallots, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp chopped fresh sage
1 cup whole wheat orzo
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup grated Asiago cheese, divided
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
8-10 fresh sage leaves
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp brown sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Cut squash in half lengthwise. Rub with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Arrange on a foil-lined baking sheet, cut side down. Prick outside skin a few times with a fork. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, or until tender (20-25 minutes if used cubed). Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Scoop flesh out of skin and purée in a food processor until smooth. Measure out 1 cup of purée and set aside.
- Meanwhile, warm chicken stock in a small saucepan set over low heat. Cover and keep warm.
- To prepare garnishes, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a very small saucepan set over medium heat. When oil is hot, add pine nuts, stirring until coated with oil. Toast for 2 to 3 minutes or until nuts start to turn golden brown. Keep an eye on them, they can go from toasted to burnt very quickly.
- Remove nuts from pan with a slotted spoon and transfer to a paper towel lined plate. Return pan to heat and add remaining 4 tablespoons oil, or enough to form a 1/4-thick layer in the bottom of the pan. When the oil is hot and shimmering, add sage leaves, 2 or 3 at a time (be careful, they will crackle). Cook for about 30 seconds then quickly remove from oil and transfer to a paper-towel lined plate to cool. Repeat with remaining leaves.
- Heat olive oil in a large saucepan set over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic and saute until softened and fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Add chopped sage and cook for another minute. Add orzo and stir until grains are coated.
- Add wine and stir the wine has completely absorbed. Add 1/2 cup of warm chicken stock to the orzo, stirring until liquid is mostly absorbed before adding more. Continue to add stock, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly after each addition. After about 10 minutes, when the orzo is almost done, stir in squash purée. Continue to cook until orzo is creamy and al dente. Season with salt and pepper.
- Meanwhile, in a small pan over medium heat, reduce the balsamic vinegar combined with brown sugar until thick and syrupy. Set aside.
- Finish orzo with butter and 1/4 cup grated Asiago, stirring until fully incorporated. Divide among serving bowls and top with remaining cheese, a drizzle of balsamic glaze, pine nuts, and sage leaves.
Source: Spontaneously adapted slightly from Love & Olive Oil.
Pass the Cook Book Club returns with round two! This month Kita chose Guy Fieri’s cook book titled Guy Fieri Food: Cookin’ It, Livin’ It, Lovin’ It. From the recipe selection, I decided to make his Asian Fried Quinoa. I’ve used quinoa in many different dishes, so I was excited to see how it would turn out as a substitute in fried rice. Obviously the texture was much different from rice, but the flavors were spot on and the mix of vegetables was wonderful (it was my first experience with baby bok choy as well). This dish was a great healthier alternative to traditional fried rice but it’s not a permanent substitution. Sometimes a girl just needs some rice!
Two years ago: Black Forest Stuffed Cupcakes
ASIAN FRIED QUINOA
1-1/2 cups quinoa
3 cups water or vegetable stock
3 Tbsp grape or olive oil
2 cups diced onions, about 1 ½ med onion
1/4 cup chopped shallot
1/4 cup minced garlic
1/2 cup minced ginger
1 cup finely chopped green onions
1 cup diced carrots
2 cups shredded baby bok choy
1 cup finely diced celery
2 cups shredded Napa cabbage
1 cup diced sugar snap peas
3 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
2 eggs, lightly beaten
- In a large, dry, heavy bottomed skillet, toast the quinoa until lightly golden, 5 to 6 minutes, stirring often. Add the water and reduce the heat to medium. Cover and cook until quinoa opens and the liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a bowl to cool.
- Wipe out the skillet and heat 1 ½ tbs of the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onions and cook until well browned and soft, stirring occasionally. Stir in the shallots, and cook for 2 minutes, then the garlic, ginger, and green onion, cooking for 3 to 4 minutes more. Add the carrots, bok choy, celery, cabbage, and snap peas and stir until just wilted. Pour in the soy sauce and combine. Transfer mixture to a bowl and cover.
- Heat remaining oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add the quinoa. When heated through, pour the eggs over the quinoa until eggs have cooked. Return the vegetables to the pan. Adjust the seasoning with additional soy sauce if needed.
Source: Guy Fieri Food: Cookin’ It, Livin’ It, Lovin’ It, page 310.
Before I begin, let me preface today’s post by saying I 100% support the motivation of those people who have newly joined a gym and are actually using it and attending group fitness classes. I will always cheer on any person who makes a commitment to their health and well being. That being said…
At the beginning of each new year there is a large influx of new members to gyms everywhere, and the one at which I am a member is no exception. Parking spots have become a little harder to find, but who cares if I have to park further because I’m there to work out, what’s a few extra steps? Upon entering the gym, the cardio and weight lifting areas also have more people utilizing the space, but I purposely joined this gigantic Mecca because even with the influx there are still open machines here and there most of the time. If not there is a short wait.
However, I start to get annoyed when I have to show up at least 30 minutes early to the group fitness classes in order to get in. Thankfully (being a graduate student working in a lab), my schedule is flexible to an extent which allows me to leave a little earlier in order to stake a claim on a bike/mat/etc. But sometimes even getting there 30 minutes ahead of time isn’t enough and that’s when I get really annoyed. When that happens I try to make the best of it and use one of the ellipticals that may be open on the cardio floor instead. But it’s just not the same when no one is in front of you saying “FASTER”, “MORE RESISTANCE”, etc.
Anyway like I said in the beginning, I could never be mad at anyone who is trying to do the same thing as me. So hop on that spin bike and afterwards, make these awesome stuffed shells for dinner! Cause that’s what I would do . Serves with roasted brussels sprouts.
One year ago: Peanut Butter Fudge Brownie Bricks
Two years ago: English Muffins
BUTTERNUT SQUASH STUFFED SHELLS
Makes 20 shells, and serves approximately 4
20 jumbo shells
2-1/2 cups cubed butternut squash
1 tsp olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 shallot, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1-1/2 Tbsp mascarpone cheese (I used cream cheese)
1 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 pinch of nutmeg
Salt & pepper to taste
1/3 cup mozzarella cheese
10-15 sage leaves
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place butternut squash on a baking sheet and toss with salt, pepper, nutmeg and olive oil. Roast for 20 minutes, flip, then roast for 20 minutes more. Remove from oven and mash with a fork or potato masher until almost pureed.
- Boil water and prepare shells according to directions. Mine called for 9 minutes. Drain pasta and set aside to cool. While pasta is cooking, heat a small saucepan over medium heat and add 2 tablespoons butter, garlic and shallots. Whisk until brown bits appear in the butter, then mash into the butternut squash, along with the mascarpone and and tablespoon of parmesan. Spray a baking dish (8×8) or pie plate with nonstick spray. Spoon about 1 1/2-2 tablespoons (depending on the size of your shells) of squash into each shell, then lay in the dish. Repeat.
- To make the bechemal, heat a saucepan over medium heat and add butter. Once sizzling, whisk in flour and cook until golden and a nutty aroma appears. Add milk and parmesan and let come to a simmer while whisking constantly. Once sauce has thickened, stir in nutmeg and taste – add salt and pepper if desired. Pour mixture over top of shells, then add mozzarella and sage. Bake at 400 degrees F for 20-25 minutes, or until cheese is golden and bubbly.
Source: How Sweet It Is
Other than pumpkin, I think butternut squash may be my favorite type of squash. But for some reason I only think to cook with it during the winter and the same with pumpkin during the fall. To solve this problem, I decided to buy more butternut squash than I needed for this recipe, and saved the remaining peeled and cubed pieces in my freezer. Muwahaha! Now to just remember it is there to use later. That may be the bigger problem because if you saw how stuffed my freezer was year-round, you’d understand. “How long has that homemade ice cream been in here?? And what flavor is it? ::sniff::” Seriously happened. Also discovered frozen boxes of Girl Scout cookies the other day. How do you forget about those? Oh yea, they were blocked by the 10 packages of butter I stocked up on when it went on sale. Serious food blogger problems in my fridge.
But I digress, let’s focus on unfrozen food such as this pasta. The butternut squash is pureed to function as the sauce itself, and what a fantastic idea! It’s complimented very nicely with the spicy sausage and the winter-ific sage. And don’t forget the spinach to finish off this healthy meal. But I decided to curb that a little by serving it with pull apart garlic bread. Mmm garlicky carbs.
And a Happy Birthday shout-out to my big brother!! Happy 33rd!
One year ago: Blizzard Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Cookies
Two years ago: Buttermilk Pancakes
PASTA WITH BUTTERNUT SAUCE, SPICY SAUSAGE AND BABY SPINACH
1 lb. butternut squash, peeled and diced
10 oz. pasta of your choice
11 oz. (4 links) spicy chicken Italian sausage
1 Tbsp butter
1/4 cup shallots, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups baby spinach, roughly chopped
2 Tbsp fresh shaved Parmesan cheese
4 sage leaves, sliced thin
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add butternut squash and cook until soft. Remove squash with a slotted spoon and place in a blender or food processor, blend until smooth.
- Add pasta to the boiling water and cook according to package directions for al dente, reserving at least 1 cup of the pasta water before draining.
- Meanwhile, in a large deep non-stick skillet, sauté sausage over medium heat until browned, breaking up with a spoon as it cooks. When cooked through, set aside on a plate.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and melt the butter, sauté the shallots and garlic until soft and golden, about 5 – 6 minutes. Add pureed butternut squash, season with with salt and fresh cracked pepper and add a little of the reserved pasta water (I used about 1 cup) to thin out the sauce to your liking. Add baby spinach and stir in Parmesan cheese and sage.
- Toss in cooked pasta and sausage and mix until well coated.
- Serve with additional Parmesan cheese on the side if desired.
Source: Gina’s Skinny Taste
Even though I am super pumped that the holidays are upon us, I cannot believe how fast they crept up. Like Kita of Pass the Sushi, I had a bunch of other fall-ish/Thanksgiving recipes I wanted to make and share with you before Thursday next week, but guess I’ll have to stow them away until next year. Although I definitely have covered sweet potatoes this season, I haven’t posted any butternut squash recipes and only a few pumpkin.
To make up for the imbalance I have a yummy pumpkin alfredo for you. It’s even good for you! The best thing about making alfredo guiltless is actually the lack of leftover heavy cream in my fridge. Every time a recipe calls for heavy cream I end up with half a carton that ends up going bad before I find reason to use it again. I always say I am going to whip up homemade butter and freeze it, but it never happens. Luckily I always have milk and cream cheese, and those are two ingredients I cannot keep enough of stocked.
One year ago: Butternut Squash Lasagna
Two years ago: Broccoli Cheddar Soup
TORTELLINI WITH GUILTLESS PUMPKIN ALFREDO
20 oz. package of cheese tortellini
1-1/4 cups 2% milk
2 oz. reduced fat cream cheese
1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 small shallot, finely chopped
1/2 cup canned pure pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling) (I used homemade pumpkin puree)
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
Freshly ground black pepper
Chopped fresh Italian parsley, for garnish (optional)
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the tortellini and cook according to label directions. Reserve 1/2 cup of cooking water, then drain the pasta.
- While the pasta cooks, in a food processor or blender, combine milk, cream cheese, and flour. Process until smooth and set aside.
- Heat the butter in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the shallot and cook, stirring, until slightly softened, about 2 minutes. Add the pumpkin and nutmeg and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in the milk mixture and bring to a low boil. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, stirring, until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the cheese and cook until thick, about 1 minute more. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Add the tortellini to the skillet and toss with the sauce, adding the reserved cooking water to loosen the sauce if necessary. Divide among four bowls and top with more cheese and the parsley. Serve.
Source: Adapted from Handle the Heat.
After admiring many recipes on myassigned blog for the Secret Recipe Club this month, Bewitching Kitchen, I chose this recipe because it uses Meyer lemons since I had yet to try them for myself. However, that task remains to be completed. I am not convinced they exist since they are impossible to find where I live. I’ve been told that they are typically only available in the January/February months, but that did not stop me in my unsuccessful hunt of every grocery store in Memphis. Therefore, this dish was made with just regular lemons. One day, Meyer lemon, you will be mine.
But as luck would have it, this dish was quite wonderful with just a common lemon. I am not sure what it would’ve tasted like otherwise, but the lemon flavor along with the zucchini and ricotta were perfect together. And as Sally suggested, I was not shy with my addition of freshly ground pepper. In case you didn’t know lemon and pepper get along great.
FARFALLE WITH ZUCCHINI AND RICOTTA
4 oz. whole wheat farfalle pasta (or other favorite shape)
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 shallot, finely diced
1 large zucchini, ends removed, shredded
Zest of half a lemon
Juice of a lemon
3/4 cup part skim ricotta cheese
Salt and pepper
- Cook the pasta according to the package instructions.
- Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large saute pan, add the shallot, season with salt, and cook until translucent. Increase the heat to high, and add the zucchini in a single layer. Do not touch it, allow it to cook undisturbed for a couple of minutes. Add the lemon zest, and stir the zucchini around. Add the black pepper, the ricotta cheese, stirring gently to form a sauce. Add the lemon juice, keep warm until the pasta is cooked al dente.
- Add the cooked pasta to the skillet, reserving some of the cooking water. If necessary, add some of it to the farfalle/zucchini mixture to reach a desired consistency. Heat everything together in low heat for a minute. Serve, with the optional grating of good parmigiano-reggiano on top.
Source: Adapted slightly from Bewitching Kitchen.
I picked up Brady from the vet yesterday and was none too pleased to be stuffed back into his cat carrier, but upon his release back home he was happy as a clam! I was sent home with two weeks worth of antibiotics and hopefully it will be smooth sailing after that. Definitely do not like that I will be leaving town again soon, but he will have a good cat-sitter who has been given advanced approval to take him to the vet at the first sign of any new flare-ups. But for now, hooray happy kitty! Totally enjoyed reading on the couch with him snuggled up next to me again last night.
Now that all is well let’s talk about dinner. I am guilty of being subscribed to several cooking magazines, yet rarely do I cook from them. I will fold over pages and drool over everything in sight but for some reason I easily forget even the most tantalizing images. I have this problem with many of the amazing cookbooks I own as well. Although while we are at it, I probably only ever make a fraction of the number of recipes I bookmark online. Alas.
Thankfully for me, I managed to make this stir-fry from a recent issue of Cooking Light. This meal satisfies the taste buds with all the great flavors going on. A spicy basil sauce coats the chicken which is served with sautéed snow peas and peppers and brown rice with sesame seeds. But if you are looking to cut back on time, you can use instant brown rice and some steamed vegetables instead. The chicken holds the spotlight anyway.
One year ago: Buttermilk Ranch Mac & Cheese
SPICY BASIL CHICKEN
2 tsp canola oil
1/4 cup minced shallots
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
6 (4-oz.) skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 Tbsp fish sauce (I used additional soy sauce instead)
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp low-sodium soy sauce
1-1/4 tsp chile sauce with garlic
1 tsp water
1/2 tsp cornstarch
1/8 tsp salt
1/3 cup sliced basil leaves
2 tsp dark sesame oil, divided
2-1/2 cups fresh snow peas, trimmed
1 cup thinly sliced red bell pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 cup uncooked brown rice
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds
- For the chicken, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add shallots and garlic to pan; cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add chicken to pan; cook 13 minutes or until chicken is done.
- Meanwhile, heat another large skillet over medium-high heat for the vegetables. Add 1 teaspoon sesame oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add snow peas and bell pepper to pan; sauté for 4 minutes or until the vegetables are crisp-tender, stirring occasionally. Remove pan from heat. Drizzle vegetable mixture with remaining 1 teaspoon sesame oil. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper, and toss well to combine. Set aside.
- Cook rice according to package directions, omitting fat. Stir in juice and salt. Sprinkle with seeds. Set aside.
- Combine fish sauce and the next 6 ingredients (through salt) in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add fish sauce mixture to pan with the chicken, and cook for 1 minute or until mixture thickens, stirring to coat chicken. Remove from heat. Stir in basil and stir with rice and sautéed vegetables.
Source: Cooking Light, April 2012
Please take a moment to check out Wilde in the Kitchen’s Bake Sale benefitting Relay for Life. And bid on my “Big, Fat, Chewy Multichip Cookies” or any of the other delicious treats up for grabs!
I enjoy both traditional and nontraditional pizzas. But with how frequently I have pizza for dinner it’s refreshing to have some very different options out there.
So now it is time for a very nontraditional pizza. There is no tomato sauce or even pesto, instead the sauce is sweet Asian chili sauce. To continue with the lack of tradition, it’s topped with zucchini, peanuts and cilantro. The only things not out of the ordinary are the chicken, mozzarella and basil. But do not fear the unexpected because your taste buds will love this – that is if you are into nontraditional pizzas and Asian flavors.
In other news, I am off to a wedding in northern NJ on Friday followed by a day trip to NYC and then snuggles with my nephew Luke in Boston! Consider this your warning for baby pictures appearing next week.
One year ago: Grilled Steak Salad with Blue Cheese Dressing
THAI CHICKEN PIZZA
1 recipe pizza dough
Olive oil, for brushing
1/4 cup sweet Asian chili sauce, plus extra for drizzling
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1/2 large zucchini, thinly sliced
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 cup shredded cooked chicken
2/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
3 Tbsp chopped peanuts
2 Tbsp minced fresh cilantro
2 Tbsp minced fresh basil
- Preheat the oven to 500 with a pizza stone on the bottom third. Roll out the pizza dough into a 12-14 inch round. Lightly brush the perimeter of the dough with olive oil. Spread the chili sauce over the crust in an even layer. Layer with the shallot, zucchini, red pepper flakes, shredded chicken, and cheese.
- Transfer the pizza to the preheated pizza stone and bake until the cheese is melted and bubbling and the crust is lightly browned, about 10-12 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly. Sprinkle evenly with the peanuts, cilantro, and basil before slicing and serving, with additional sauce drizzled on top if desired.
Source: Annie’s Eats
I keep fogetting to tell you that I am participating in Julie at Savvy Eats’ 50 Days of Little Things. Every day you write down one thing that made your day better, and you can display it or store it however you like. Then you will get to relive all the little things on Thanksgiving when the 50 days are up. I chose some fun colored paper and a mason jar. You can also just keep a list, or get super crafty and make a thankful tree. It started on October 6th, and runs until Thanksgiving but it’s never too late to appreciate the little things!
That being said… It’s time to make soup! Homemade soup is wonderful to make in the fall. And to start this season, I satisfied a craving for butternut squash soup. I had recently purchased some from the store by V8, which was good but you cannot beat homemade. The hardest part of this recipe is waiting for the squash to cool so that you can peel it from the skin (I ended up getting antsy and suffered through burning fingers). After that it’s pure love and deliciousness.
I just realized that I am following the alphabet for my recipes this week (totally unintentional I swear). Apple yesterday and Butternut today. Will there be a C tomorrow? Stay tuned…
BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP
3 to 3 1/2 pounds butternut squash, approximately 2, seeded and quartered (reserve 1/4 cup seeds and scrapings)
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, plus 1 Tbsp melted, for brushing
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp salt, divided
1 -1/2 tsp ground white pepper, divided
1 large shallot, minced
4 cups reduced sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
Pepitas, for garnish
- Heat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Place the quartered squash onto a half sheet pan, brush the flesh of the squash with a little melted butter and season with 1 tablespoon of the salt and 1 teaspoon of the white pepper. Place in the oven and roast for 30 to 35 minutes or until the flesh is soft and tender. Allow to cool.
- Meanwhile, melt the 4 Tbsp butter in a large Dutch oven (or heavy pot) over medium-low heat until foaming. Add the shallot and cook, stirring frequently, until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the squash scrapings and seeds, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the butter turns saffron color, about 4 minutes. Remove the scrapings and seeds (I couldn’t get out all the seeds but it’s okay they will get blended later).
- Scoop the squash flesh from the skin into the pot. Add the broth and honey. Place over medium heat and bring to a simmer, approximately 7 to 8 minutes. Using an immersion blender*, puree the mixture until smooth. Stir in the heavy cream and return to a low simmer. Season with the remaining salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
- Serve immediately with pepitas. Soup can be refrigerated in an airtight container for several days. Warm over low heat until hot; do not boil.
*You may also transfer the soup to a blender in batches, but let it cool off a little first.