Squash Soup….nice in the winter.

This was a discussion in the making. My teacher asked about a good squash recipe. Well I said usually I put things like all spice and cinnamon and heavy cream in mine. So I polled some friends and and we agreed on some basic things.

About 6 cups of squash which could be acorn or butternut. The squash itself should be either cut in half’s and cooked faced down or up with butter some spices and maybe some brown sugar (without the seeds). About 400 degrees for about 30 mins or so.

Now either a chicken or vegetable stock about 3 to 6 cups, how think do you like it. Also the other reason is you might want to add water or a nice white wine. Remember when you add the squash puree it first.

Here is where we came up with some many ideas on what to add to it after that. For spices the list included salt, pepper, allspice, dill, sage, bay leaf, thyme, basil, garlic, cayenne pepper, ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon. Think of what you like to taste, be creative, use what you like.

Next other items to add, we all agreed that we hadn’t had great luck with normal potatoes, but sweet potatoes were a plus, other things you might use. Celery, Fennel, Carrots, Apples could be Granny Smith, Gala, Fuji, Onions could be yellow or white caramelized or lightly brown. Honey or cream even Mascarpone cheese or Gruyere, even Swiss is a nice accent to the soup. Don’t forget croutons, favored or not.

Make it your way, see what you can come up with and let us know.

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Fall party food.

If your having close to 12 people over and want to be somewhat easy on yourself my I suggest.

Choucroute Garni

1 medium onion sliced or diced, 1 tbsp olive oil, 2 pounds slow cooked baby-back ribs cut into 3 rib potions, 1 lb smoked pork chops,  1lb bratwurst, 32oz of sauerkraut, rinsed and drained, 2 cooking apples peeled cored and cut into wedges, 2 tbsp brown sugar, 4 whole cloves, 3 juniper berries crushed, 2 small cloves garlic minced, 1 bay leaf, 1/8 tsp pepper 1 1/2 cup Rhine wine, boiled potatoes.

Cook onion in sauce pan till wilted in olive oil. Place in large crock pot. add ribs, chops. Mix sauerkraut and next 7 ingredients spoon over top of meat, pour the wine over all. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours. Before time to serve, get potatoes and cook bratwurst and add to serving dish. This can also be prepared in a dutch oven.

We served this the other night with a Pineapple cheesecake

Make in a 9-inch springform pan, with graham cracker crust. 1 can (20 oz) crushed pineapple, 1 pound cream cheese, 2/3 cup granulated sugar, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 4 large eggs, lightly beaten.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Drain the pineapple thoroughly, pressing to remove as much liquid as possible. Reserve the juice for the topping. In large mixing bowl, beat together the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, and eggs until very smooth. Add the pineapple and stir to blend. Pour the mixture into the prepared crust and bake for 1 hour. While the cake is baking, prepare the topping. 2 cups sour cream, 2 tbsp pineapple juice, 3 tbsp sugar, gently mix together. When the cake is ready, remove from the oven and increase the oven temp to 450 degrees. Pour the topping mixture over the cake and place the cake back int he oven. Bake for 5 mins, then allow to cool in oven with the door open slightly for 1 hour. Chill. ( found this one in The joy of Cheesecake).

 

BBQ fun, Potato Chips on the grill.

Here’s a recipe for potato chips on the barbecue.

Take a couple different varieties, like round whites and new potatoes.

Cut them as thin as you can without seeing through them.

Place them in a well buttered, yes butter, cake pan, and place on upper self in barbecue.

Keep an eye on them and turn them often. For seasoning add a little Lawry’s Black Pepper Seasoned Salt.

This will go good with steaks or another favorite from the Dragonlance books Stag on Steel.

Marinade consists of 1 1/2 cups red wine (Burgundy is excellent but not cooking wine), 2 large pinches fried sage, 3 juniper berries crushed, 2 garlic cloves crushed, 1/4 cup pineapple juice, 1 shake of ginger powder, 2 pinches rosemary, 2 pinches thyme, 3 pinches dried parley flakes, 2 pinches celery leaves, salt and pepper.

For the Skewers: 2 to 3 pounds venison tenderloin, buffalo, pork, beef are all good. 2 Sweet onions, 1 green pepper, 1 16oz can chuck pineapple, 24 cherry tomatoes, 24 fresh mushrooms, banana peppers and jalapenos also fun to add to the mix.

A day before serving, mix red wine and the pineapple juice in a large, non-metallic pan. Stir in the rest of the marinade ingredients. Let mixture rest for about an hour. Slice tenderloin into 1 inch by 2 inch cubes.  Rub with salt and pepper. Stir marinade after it’s hour is up and then add the meat. Coat all the pieces. Cover and refrigerate overnight, stir occasionally.

Prior to grilling, wall the vegetables and cut onions and peppers into large  chunks. Drain pineapple. Alternate meat and vegetables on skewers. It’s said that onions are good neighbors to pineapples for meat. Grill over medium to low, until you have them to your liking. Serves about 6.

Easy fun dessert, Carmel Bubbles.

1 can of Pillsbury biscuits, 1/4 cup & 2 tbsp brown sugar, 2 tbsp & 2 tsp butter, 1 tbsp water.

Grease small cake pan. In sauce pan mix sugar, water and butter, stir over low heat till blended. Cut biscuits into quarters and roll pieces in sugar mixture then place in pan. You can either make this on the grill as well or place in a 450 degree oven for 10 to 15 mins. Turn out onto plate after removing from oven or BBQ and use fork until it cools down to split pieces apart.