Maple-Braised Butternut Squash with Fresh Thyme

Maple-Braised Butternut Squash with Fresh Thyme

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  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter
  • 1 3- to 3 1/2-pound butternut squash, cut lengthwise in half, peeled, seeded, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 1/4 cups low-salt chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon (or more) black pepper

Recipe Preparation

  • Melt butter in heavy large deep skillet over high heat. Add squash; sauté 1 minute. Add broth, syrup, thyme, salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; bring to boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium, and cook until squash is almost tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer squash to large bowl. Boil liquid in skillet until thickened, 3 to 4 minutes. Return squash to skillet. Cook until tender, turning occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes. Season with more pepper, if desired.

Nutritional Content

One serving contains: Calories (kcal) 177.2 % Calories from Fat 43.2 Fat (g) 8.5 Saturated Fat (g) 5.4 Cholesterol (mg) 23.3 Carbohydrates (g) 25.6 Dietary Fiber (g) 2.9 Total Sugars (g) 11.2 Net Carbs (g) 22.7 Protein (g) 2.0 Sodium (mg) 174.1Reviews Section

Roasted Butternut Squash

Award-winning public speaker, New York Times bestselling author and world-renowned health expert, Dr. Sarah Ballantyne, PhD (aka The Paleo Mom) believes the key to reversing the current epidemics of chronic disease is scientific literacy. She creates educational resources to help people regain their health through diet and lifestyle choices informed by the most current evidenced-based scientific research.

This roasted butternut squash is so simple to prepare, it feels like cheating because it is so tasty! It gets this little bit of crisp on the outside, and sweet soft middle. And the combination of thyme and butternut squash is classic for good reason! Yum!

Summer CSA Share – #25

Welcome to the 25th (and penultimate) share of the Pitchfork & Crow Summer CSA! Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Mizuna– similar to mustard greens but milder, great in salads, soups, sauteed etc.
  • Tatsoi – an Asian green that makes for a good spinach substitute, check out this article from Food52 all about Tatsoi.
  • Carrots
  • Lacinato Kale
  • Leeks
  • Sunchokes – These are roots of a sunflower variety. We enjoy them shredded and sauteed but they’re good raw, roasted, and in soups too. Please note that they contain high levels of the carbohydrate inulin, which is difficult for some folks to digest, but is thought to be a good alternative for diabetics looking to avoid starch. Here’s a post about how one fellow CSA member learned to love the sunchoke back in 2017.
  • Mixed Beets
  • Aji Marchant Hot Peppers
  • Poblano Mild Chile Pepper
  • Thyme
  • Farm Apples
  • Kabocha Winter Squash – Dry, rich flesh that makes great pies, is excellent baked and mashed, or cubed and roasted.

Thanksgiving/End of Season HarvestAre you interested in ordering a little extra for your Thanksgiving meal or stocking up as the CSA season comes to an end? Check your member email for details on bulk orders for delivery at next week’s CSA pick-up.

A little pumpkin seed saving (top left), impressive fall colors on the red osier dogwood in the middle of the farm (top right), sunchoke harvest time (bottom left), and leek harvesting (bottom right).

We’ve fallen into a late season routine as I’ve been referencing these past few weeks. This past week was more of the same, getting to some of those projects that have been waiting in the wings. Jeff managed to get a few trees planted that various friends had gifted us this year. The sugar maple from a friend who works at a nursery and will hopefully one day be harvested for maple syrup the evergreen that came with a friend’s new house that already had enough trees the weeping willow that is a match to a willow friends have at their farm and the Japanese maple newly gifted from CSA members last week and now acting as a greeter to members who pick-up their shares at the farm. New trees on the farm are fun, especially when they remind us of those who gifted them to us.

We managed to eek out a few other small projects too. I harvested a plethora of carving pumpkin seeds for future pumpkin patch planting. Though we don’t save most squash seeds because the varieties will cross with each other I decided I’m okay with some pumpkin crossing, and next year we’ll see if any pollinators made the rounds from the winter squash field up to the pumpkin patch. We also spent some time preparing for and giving a quick presentation to some local parents at the medical school in Lebanon. We talked about community supported agriculture and I don’t think we bored them too much.

We visited the desert this weekend!

On Sunday we made a quick trip over the mountains to Bend to see my nephew and niece. I suggested a hike just east of town and it was fun catching up with them as we meandered through the sagebrush and juniper trees. I don’t envy the farmers on the east side growing in the desert. It’s nice to visit though!

Enjoy the vegetables and we’ll see you next week for the final summer share!

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler and Jeff Bramlett

Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Maple-Braised Butternut Squash with Fresh Thyme

  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter
  • 1 3- to 31/2-pound butternut squash, cut lengthwise in half, peeled, seeded, cut into 1-inch cubes (or any winter squash really, like this week’s kabocha!)
  • 1 1/4 cups low-salt chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon (or more) black pepper

Melt butter in heavy large deep skillet over high heat. Add squash sauté 1 minute. Add broth, syrup, thyme, salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper bring to boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium, and cook until squash is almost tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer squash to large bowl. Boil liquid in skillet until thickened, 3 to 4 minutes. Return squash to skillet. Cook until tender, turning occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes. Season with more pepper, if desired.

Crispy Jerusalem Artichokes with Aged Balsamic

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 pounds small Jerusalem artichokes (sunchokes), scrubbed, quartered
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 4 sprigs rosemary
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar

Heat oil in a large skillet, preferably cast iron (you’ll need a lid), over mediumhigh heat. Add Jerusalem artichokes and 1/4 cup water and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until Jerusalem artichokes are fork-tender, 8–10 minutes.

Uncover skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until water is evaporated and Jerusalem artichokes begin to brown and crisp, 8–10 minutes longer transfer to a platter.

Add rosemary and butter to skillet and cook, stirring often, until butter foams, then browns, about 4 minutes.

Remove skillet from heat and stir in vinegar, scraping up any browned bits. Spoon brown butter sauce and rosemary over Jerusalem artichokes.

Carrot, Yellow Beet, and Apple Slaw with Caraway Seed Dressing

  • 6 medium multicolored carrots (about 10 ounces), peeled (or maybe just orange carrots, if that’s what you’ve got)
  • 4 small golden beets (about 8 ounces), peeled
  • 1 Fuji apple
  • 1/2 cup full-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 3/4 teaspoon whole caraway seeds
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 5 leaves Tuscan kale, thick stems removed, thinly sliced crosswise

Using the coarse grater disk on a food processor or the largest holes on a box grater, coarsely grate carrots, beets, and apple into a large bowl.

Whisk yogurt, mayonnaise, vinegar, honey, caraway seeds, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper in another large bowl until smooth.

Add carrots, beets, apple, and kale and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

Readers' favorites: Maple syrup

Maple syrup is a versatile ingredient that sweetens many a recipe. Here's what our readers had to offer:

Pumpkin Maple Corn Muffins

1 cup yellow cornmeal

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1/2 cup canned pumpkin

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 cup pure maple syrup

In a large bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda.

In another bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar. Add the pumpkin and eggs, then mix in the milk and maple syrup, beating well.

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and pour the pumpkin mixture in, stirring until just combined.

Grease and flour muffin tins and fill tins 3/4 full with batter. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

1 (10-ounce) package frozen corn or 2 1/2 cups fresh or canned corn, drained and divided

1/2 cup pure maple syrup

4 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces

Mix 1 1/2 cups corn with heavy cream in a blender until corn is coarsely ground.

Pour into a 9-by-9-inch baking dish.

Add remaining corn, maple syrup, eggs, salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly.

Stir butter pieces into mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.

Maple French Toast Bake

12 slices bread, cubed and divided

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, cubed

1/2 cup maple syrup, plus additional for serving

Arrange half of the bread cubes in a greased shallow 2-quart baking dish. Top with the cream cheese and remaining bread.

In a bowl, whisk eggs, milk and maple syrup pour over bread.

Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking.

Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Uncover bake 20 to 25 minutes longer or until golden brown. Serve with additional maple syrup.

Maple-Mocha Brownie Torte

1 (13-by-9-inch pan size) package brownie mix

1/2 cup chopped walnuts, plus more for garnish

2 cups whipping cream

2 teaspoons instant coffee granules

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Chocolate curls, optional

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare batter for brownie mix according to package directions for cake-like brownies.

Pour into two greased 9-inch round baking pans. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted 2 inches from the edge comes out clean.

Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.

In a bowl, beat cream and coffee granules until stiff peaks form. Gradually beat in brown sugar, maple syrup and vanilla extract.

Spread 1 1/2 cups over one brownie layer top with second layer.

Spread remaining cream mixture over top and sides of torte.

Garnish with chocolate curls and walnuts, if desired. Store in the refrigerator.

Maple-Braised Butternut Squash with Fresh Thyme

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter

3- to 3 1/2-pound butternut squash, cut lengthwise in half, peeled, seeded, cut into 1-inch cubes

1 1/4 cups low-salt chicken broth

1/3 cup pure maple syrup

1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme

1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon (or more) black pepper

Melt butter in heavy large deep skillet over high heat.

Add squash saute 1 minute.

Add broth, syrup, thyme, salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper bring to boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium, and cook 8 to 10 minutes.

Using slotted spoon, transfer squash to large bowl.

Boil liquid in skillet until thickened, 3 to 4 minutes.

Return squash to skillet. Cook until tender, turning occasionally, 3 minutes. Season with more pepper, if desired.

Salmon with Maple Syrup and Toasted Almonds

6 (6-ounce) salmon fillets

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

4 teaspoons sliced almonds, toasted

Place fillets in a 13-by-9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.

Combine sugar, syrup, soy sauce, mustard, and black pepper pour sugar mixture over fillets.

Cover with foil bake 10 minutes.

Remove foil sprinkle the fillets with almonds. Bake an additional 10 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Serve with sugar mixture.

From Cooking Light, August 2003

Skirt Steak with Maple Syrup

1/2 teaspoon white pepper

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 small carrot, peeled and chopped

1 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves, chopped

Season steak with salt and pepper, and refrigerate until ready to use.

Heat butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat until bubbling. Crush garlic with the side of a heavy knife. Add garlic, onion, and carrot to saucepan and cook, stirring, until onion is translucent. Add stock and maple syrup, then increase heat to high and boil for 10 minutes. Add beer, simmer briefly, and remove from heat.

Heat broiler. Place meat on a broiler pan and broil for 2 to 3 minutes per side for medium rare. Remove from oven and let rest on a carving board for 5 minutes.

Return sauce to a simmer, add rosemary, and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Strain sauce.

Thinly slice meat and spoon sauce over meat to serve.

From "Chef's Club Cookbook" by Tony Yaquinto

Maple Syrup Korean Teriyaki Chicken

1/3 cup maple syrup

3 tablespoons dark sesame oil

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 tablespoon fresh ginger root, minced

2 teaspoons ground black pepper

5 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

2 tablespoons cornstarch

Mix the soy sauce, water, maple syrup, sesame oil, garlic, ginger and pepper in a large resealable plastic bag. Set aside 1/3 cup of the mixture.

Place the chicken in the bag, seal and marinate at least 2 hours in the refrigerator.

Place the rice in a saucepan with 2 cups water, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 45 minutes.

Heat the oven broiler. Lightly grease a baking dish.

Pour marinade from the bag into a saucepan, and bring to a boil. Mix in the cornstarch, and cook and stir until thickened.

Place chicken in the prepared baking dish. Basting frequently with the reserved 1/3 cup marinade, broil 8 minutes per side, until juices run clear.

Place chicken over the cooked rice, and top with boiled marinade to serve.

Pork Roast with Cranberry Maple Glaze

4-pound boneless pork roast

1 clove garlic, mashed

1 teaspoon lemon rind, grated

Sprinkle pork roast with salt and pepper. Rub on all sides with garlic.

Roast in 350-degree oven for 90 minutes.

In saucepan, combine cranberries, maple syrup, applesauce, lemon rind and ginger and boil for 5 minutes. Spoon some of the glaze on the roast.

Cook 30 minutes longer. Place roast on platter and spoon remaining glaze over it.

Seven things to know about liquid amber

In any standard recipe, maple syrup may be substituted for all or part of the sugar required. When using syrup, reduce the liquid in the recipe by 3 tablespoons for each cup of syrup used.

Instead of 1 cup of granulated sugar in recipes, use 3/4 cup of maple syrup.

Maple syrup has the same calcium content as whole milk.

Unopened, maple syrup will keep indefinitely. Keep the unopened container in a cool, dark place.

Once opened, store maple syrup in the refrigerator or freezer. Maple syrup will not freeze.

It takes 40 gallons of sap to produce one gallon of maple syrup.

Maple syrup has only 40 calories per tablespoon. (Corn syrup has 60 calories per tablespoon.) http://vermontmaple.org http://vtmaple.net http://www.maplelandfarms.com

6 boneless chicken breasts

Lay trimmed chicken breasts in 9-by-13-inch pan. Combine remaining ingredients in a bowl mix well. Pour over chicken. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, turning and basting three times during cooking.

From Mary Ann Arlio of Trumbull, Conn.

Hot Maple Sweet and Sour Spinach Salad

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1 tablespoon crushed garlic

2 tablespoons good prepared mustard

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 pound spinach, trimmed, washed, and drained (I use baby spinach in ready-to-use package)

8 canned artichoke hearts, quartered

Heat the first six ingredients to a simmer and pour over the spinach and artichokes. Toss well and serve.

From Judith Mudre of Stratford, Conn.

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

3 tablespoons maple syrup

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons white wine

Black pepper, to taste

4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets (1-inch thick)

Combine first five ingredients in a large zip-lock plastic bag add salmon. Seal and marinate in refrigerator 20 minutes.

Prepare grill or broiler. Remove salmon from bag, reserving the marinade. Place salmon on a grill rack or in a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Cook 6 minutes on each side or until the fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Baste salmon occasionally with reserved marinade.

From Alice Cahn of Danbury, Conn.

Maple-Soyaki Roasted Tofu

1 (14-ounce) block extra-firm water-packed tofu, rinsed, patted dry and cut into 1-inch cubes

2 teaspoons canola oil

2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

1/4 cup Soy Vay Teriyaki Sauce or Trader Joe's Island Soyaki Sauce

2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

2 teaspoon cider vinegar

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Combine canola oil, sesame oil, hummus, Soyaki sauce, maple syrup and cider vinegar in a large bowl and whisk until smooth.

Spread the tofu pieces on a large baking sheet, pour the sauce over the tofu, and roast 15 to 20 minutes, until the sauce is bubbly.

Serve with sauteed vegetables, such as sugar snap peas, and pasta or rice.

From Alice Cahn of Danbury, Conn.

10 slices potato bread

2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese

Make five cream cheese sandwiches, cutting diagonally and fitting into a lightly greased 9-by-13-inch pan.

In large bowl, mix together eggs, milk and maple syrup and pour evenly over sandwiches.

Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Bake, uncovered, 1 hour or until golden. Serve with warmed maple syrup.

From Rosalie G. Thorn of New Milford, Conn.

Maple Marinade for Salmon

Makes about 1/2 cup (enough for about 1 pound of salmon)

1 tablespoon maple syrup

1 tablespoon teriyaki sauce

1 tablespoon pineapple juice

1 teaspoon grated ginger

1 garlic clove crushed

Combine syrup, teriyaki, juice, bourbon, ginger and garlic and marinate salmon for as little as 1 hour or overnight. This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled.

Summer CSA Share – #23

Welcome to the 23rd share of the Pitchfork & Crow Summer CSA! Here’s what’s in the share this week:

  • Spinach/Lettuce Mix
  • Young Red Ursa Kale
  • Cilantro
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Red Onions
  • Magic Molly Potatoes – Purple skins and purple flesh that keeps its color when cooked!
  • Broccoli
  • More Broccoli or Cauliflower
  • Poblano Mild Chile Peppers – Fresh pepper season is coming to an end sooner than later so I suggest savoring it! Check out the poblanos and potatoes recipe down below as well as this lasagna-inspired recipe from Gourmet over on Epicurious.com.
  • Farm ApplesDon’t forget to check the recipes at the bottom of the page for a couple of apple inspired recipes.
  • Butternut Squash
  • Calico Popcorn – You can knock the kernels off the cob and into a paper bag and pop them in the microwave. Most often we’ll use these directions and pop it on the stove top.
Sunrise and sunset…this time change is sure taking its toll over here!

Here on the farm we listen to a lot of podcasts. There are a lot of hours in the day doing semi-repetitive tasks in farming and podcasts help move that time along. We’re glad to be living in this new golden age of audio as the options abound. I have a handful of foodie podcasts on rotation and during an episode I often think “That’s a good tip for CSA members!” Today I thought I’d share a couple that recently sparked that thought.

First up is a newish podcast called Weeknight Kitchen that’s an offshoot of the perennial favorite public radio show The Splendid Table. Weeknight Kitchen features Melissa Clark, a food writer and home cook, actually cooking a quick meal in her kitchen each short episode. She shares tips for meal prep as she’s chopping! This week I listened to an episode in the field on roasting cauliflower on a sheet pan in the oven just before heading inside to roast some vegetables for dinner. Her thoughts on sheet pan sizes had me wanting to add to our collection too.

The second podcast that I wanted to share is Local Mouthful. This podcast is a little longer but also more varied. The hosts generally cover a few different topics including a current food-related media story, what they’re eating for dinner, and what’s in season that they’re enjoying. Both hosts are food writers and avid home cooks and I appreciate the tips and tricks they share as well. A recent episode I wanted to highlight features one of the regular hosts with her husband and they discuss kitchen tips they’ve learned in their own kitchen.

I know not everyone has as much time for podcast listening as we do, but if you also enjoy a podcast now and again finding some that will inspire you to try new things in the kitchen is a bonus. You may feel alone with your fridge full of CSA vegetables, but you’re not! Everyone’s got to eat and some people want to inspire you while they’re at it!

Now I’d like to introduce you to Remi! He’s a 2 year old German Shepard who is new to the farm this week but taking to it quickly. He discovered how fun apples, winter squash, and pumpkins are yesterday as we went about the CSA harvest. He’s still learning about row cover and rows of vegetables and how to be nice to cats but he’ll figure that stuff out eventually. He’s full of energy and a super sweet pup. We’re excited to welcome him to the farm!

Enjoy the vegetables and we’ll see you next week!

Your farmers,
Carri Heisler and Jeff Bramlett

Here are a few recipes to get you inspired:

Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Apple Salad

  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided
  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, halved lengthwise
  • 1 apple, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1 yellow onion, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons white miso
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts, finely chopped
  • 4 cups baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese

Heat oven to 400°F. Grease a baking sheet with 1 teaspoon oil. In a bowl, combine brussels sprouts, apple, onion and remaining 1 tablespoon oil toss to coat. Roast on baking sheet, turning once, until sprouts are brown and tender, 25 to 30 minutes. In a bowl, whisk together tahini, vinegar, syrup, miso, red pepper and 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon water until smooth set aside. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Toast hazelnuts 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Divide spinach, sprout mixture, hazelnuts, blue cheese and tahini dressing among 4 plates. Season with salt and black pepper.

Potatoes with Roasted Poblano Chiles and Mexican Sour Cream

  • 5 large poblano chiles, stemmed, seeded, and veins removed (or not, depending on how spicy you want this to be)
  • 2 large Yukon gold potatoes or another waxy potato, cut into 1/2-inch / 12mm cubes
  • 1 Tbsp sea salt, plus more as needed
  • 1 Tbsp safflower oil
  • 1 large white onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup / 240g Homemade Mexican Crema or crème fraîche

On an ungreased comal or in a cast-iron skillet over high heat, roast the chiles, turning them over every couple of minutes using tongs or your hands (carefully, so you don’t get burned). You’re looking for uniform blistering, but you don’t want them to become too soggy in the process, especially if you intend to stuff them, since they need to hold their shape. The process will probably take 10 to 15 minutes. Once they are well blistered and before the flesh is completely charred through in any spots, place the peppers in a plastic container with a tight-fitting lid or in a bowl that you can cover with a plate (not a towel or anything porous) and set aside to “sweat” for about 10 minutes, or until they are cool enough to handle.

Remove the charred skin from the whole chiles. Once you have removed and discarded the skin and seeds, cut them into rajas, or strips, about the width of fettuccine.

In a small saucepan, cover the potatoes with 2 inches / 5cm water and add the salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then decrease to low and simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove one of the potatoes and taste it. The piece should be soft but not falling apart, still holding its cube shape. Cubed like this, they will cook quite quickly, so be attentive. Once they have the right texture, drain the potatoes and set aside in a medium bowl with a lid or cover the pan with a plate to keep them warm.

Using the same comal or skillet in which you toasted your chiles, heat the oil over medium-high heat until it’s hot but not smoking. Add the onion and sauté until it’s translucent but not browned.

In a saucepan, combine the potatoes, chiles, onion, and crema or crème fraîche. Bring to a boil, then turn off the heat and let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes. As the mixture cools, the starches will absorb some of the melted cream and help it firm up. Taste and add more salt if needed. Serve as you wish!

Curried Butternut Squash Bisque

  • 2 2-pound butternut squash, halved lengthwise, seeded
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1/2 cup chopped peeled apple
  • 2 teaspoons Thai red curry paste
  • 2 14-ounce cans low-salt chicken broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 6 tablespoons sour cream, stirred to loosen
  • Chopped fresh cilantro

Preheat oven to 375°F. Brush cut side of squash with oil place squash, cut side down, on large rimmed baking sheet. Roast until tender, about 1 hour. Cool slightly. Scoop squash out into large bowl. Measure 3 cups squash (reserve any remaining squash for another use).

Melt butter in large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrots, and apple sauté 5 minutes. Add curry paste stir 2 minutes. Add chicken broth, bay leaves, and 3 cups squash. Bring to boil reduce heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered 1 hour. Discard bay leaves. Working in batches, puree soup in blender until smooth. Return to same pot. Stir in cream and honey. Season with salt and pepper. Rewarm over medium-high heat.

Divide soup among bowls. Drizzle with sour cream sprinkle with cilantro.

Maple-Braised Butternut Squash with Fresh Thyme - Recipes

After a great weekend with parents and a delicious meal with great company, I'm finally here to thank you for reading by sharing some good eats )

The spread

You may have heard that Kerstin and I split up cooking-duty for the big meal. It worked out so well, I felt like I didn't have enough to do (aka was relaxed the whole day)! My cranberry sauce and apple pear crisp was cooked ahead of time. I cubed the butternut squash the night before, and did the rest leisurely the day of! I've had a couple of l-o-n-g days in lab and am way overtired, so I'll leave you to the pictures and recipes!

Maple Brown Sugar Cranberry Sauce
adapted from Baking Bites

I loved the way the dried cherries plumped up in this. I made a double batch for Thanksgiving, and have even made it one more time as I wanted more :)

12oz fresh cranberries
1/2c maple syrup (I'd recommend Grade B)
3/4c brown sugar (mine was unpacked, but pack it if you'd like it a little sweeter)
1/2c water
1/2c dried tart cherries
zest of 1 orange
1/2t vanilla extract (I didn't measure and was a bit heavy-handed with this. again, adjust to your tastes!)

Combine all ingredients except vanilla in medium saucepan. Heat over medium-high heat until cranberries begin to pop, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until cranberries have broken down (feel free to use a shorter amount of time if you'd prefer more whole berries).

Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Let cool, then store in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to serve.

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes
recipe by Shannon

Some people prefer smooth, whipped potatoes, while others like it chunky, adjust the preparation as you see fit!

2 heads of garlic
3lb yukon gold potatoes, peeled if desired (I peeled about half)
4oz mascarpone
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1-2T fresh chopped rosemary

Preheat oven to 350deg. Cut the top ends of the garlic off, so you're left with the tops of the garlic cloves exposed, but the head still intact. Wrap garlic in aluminum foil and bake for

1hr, until the garlic is browned and soft. When cool enough to handle, squeeze out the roasted garlic cloves (removing any tough parts of the outer skin). Set aside. Can be done ahead, and refrigerated until use.

Cut potatoes into equal sized pieces (mine were

3/4"). Place into a large pot and cover with cold water. Place potatoes over high heat and bring to a boil. Cook until potatoes are fork-tender. Drain, then return potatoes to the pot and back on the burner (which is now turned off!). Add roasted garlic and mascarpone and mash. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add in some liquid to get the texture you desire and then stir in chopped rosemary and serve!

Maple-Braised Butternut Squash w/Thyme
adapted slightly from Bon Appetit

I slightly adjusted the amounts so I'll list those here, and send you to Bon Appetit for the instructions as I followed them exactly!

4T butter (I used Earth Balance)
1 4lb butternut squash, peeled and cut into

3/4" cubes
1 1/4c broth (veggie or chicken)
1/3c pure maple syrup (Grade B)
1T fresh thyme, minced
1t coarse kosher salt
1/4t freshly ground black pepper

There really was fruit under there :)

Apple Pear Crisp
Recipe by Shannon
Serves 10-12

Crisp Topping:
1/3c ground ginger snaps (I used ginger cats)
1c rolled oats
1/2c flour (AP or white whole wheat)
2/3c sucanat (or brown sugar)
1/2t ground cinnamon
1/3c chopped pecans
6-8T butter, softened (I used 6T Earth Balance)

1lb bosc pears, cored and sliced (

1/2" thick)
2 lb apples, cored and sliced (

1/2" thick), I used a mix of Honeycrisp and Macouns
1/2c evaporated cane juice
vanilla (I used vanilla sugar, but you could use a little extract or some seeds from a vanilla bean)
1/2t ground cinnamon
1/2c dried cranberries

Add the ingredients (except butter) for the crumb topping in a small bowl and mix well. Cut butter into small cubes, and then add to bowl. Mix together with a fork until it achieves a crumble-y consistency.

In a large bowl, toss together filling ingredients and pour into a 9x13 pan. Cover with topping and bake for

30min, until apples are fork tender and the juices are bubbling. Let cool for at least 10-15min before serving. Can be done ahead of time and warmed up in the oven before serving. We had ours with pumpkin pie (hehe), but feel free to serve it with a scoop of butternut ice cream!

If you celebrated Thanksgiving, what was your favorite part of the meal this year??

Tales From A Middle Class Kitchen

I know this is a seemingly odd topic, but I've been without NHL hockey for a while now, and it's making me crazy. Bear with me. I read a lot of fantasy books. In that reading I have found one trope in almost every fantasy book: excessive descriptions of food. Not just simple stuff like "the hot ham and cheese sandwich sat steaming on the plate." I'm talking food porn. Crazy stuff like "the trays of sweetmeats lay splayed on the table like the sweaty thighs of a nubile young concubine." Lavish descriptions of food and drink go on literally for pages.

One of the guiltiest perpetrators of fantasy food porn is not surprisingly one of my favorite authors. Brian Jacques is best known for his Redwall series of books, which delve into the lives of anthropomorphic animals that live in and around Redwall Abbey in the Mossflower wood. I can really only describe it as Watership Down meets Saving Private Ryan. The books feature whimsical characters, clever riddles, fun songs, heroic deeds and mortifyingly graphic descriptions of animals being run through with spears or shot through the neck with arrows.

See that guy in the background? Decapitated.

Even simple meals left you gnawing at the pages. Take this quick bit from Mariel of Redwall .

"Friar Alder and his young assistant, Cockleburr, had made crusty country pasties,
and these were being served with melted yellow cheese and rough hazelnut bread."

Every single Redwall book is like this. All the characters eat these tremendous feasts until they are fit to burst, then they wander off and start hewing off each other's limbs. Come to think of it, Redwall is a lot like Asgard. The food in the books has its own fan following. The internet is chock full of fan sites dedicated to replicating the classic recipes from the book. It got big enough that Brian Jacques actually released The Redwall Cookbook in 2005. In addition to having a fairly cute story devoid of animals murdering each other, it does give recipes for some of the fan favorites. Deeper'n'Ever Turnip'n'Tater'n'Beetroot Pie? It's in there. Shrimp'n'Hotroot Soup? It's in there. October Ale In The Skull of a Murdered Stoat? The October Ale part is in there. As soon as I have the time, I'm going to have my own Redwall feast. Pictures shall be posted.

Maple Balsamic Braised Chuck Roast

It might be officially spring on the calendar, but it’s still cold and gray for a lot of us, and what better way to ward off the chilly rain than a big plate full of hearty comfort food?

Braising a chuck roast with maple syrup and balsamic vinegar gives the roast plenty of time to get fall-apart tender while all that flavor sinks deep into the meat. As a bonus, the braising liquid reduces to a thick, concentrated sauce to pour over the meat on your plate and add extra flavor to the vegetables as well.

The roasted vegetables here don’t necessarily have to go with the meat – you could make just the roast, or just the vegetables, but they make a delicious pairing and it’s always nice to have your whole dinner in one recipe. Adding a little bit of sweetener is optional, but it does give them a delicious caramelized flavor: if you haven’t tried this, it’s a simple way to make roast vegetables even more delicious. On the other hand, though, if you’re not big on sweeteners, don’t sweat it: the vegetables are delicious without and still a great side for the meat and the sauce.

Curried pear & butternut squash soup

This soup was made for my Soup & Sandwich Swap event, which you can read about HERE for more recipes and pictures.

1 butternut squash (about 2 3/4 pounds)
1 tablespoon butter
2 cups chopped peeled Bartlett pear (about 1 pound)
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced onion
2 1/3 cups water
1 cup pear nectar
2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans vegetable broth
2 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup half-and-half
1 small Bartlett pear, cored and thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 375°. Cut squash in half lengthwise discard seeds and membrane. Place squash halves, cut sides down, on a baking sheet bake at 375° for 45 minutes or until tender. Cool. Peel squash mash pulp. Set aside 3 1/2 cups pulp, reserving remaining squash for another use.

Melt butter in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add chopped pear and onion sauté 10 minutes or until lightly browned.

Add squash pulp, water, and next 5 ingredients (water through pepper). Bring to a boil partially cover, reduce heat, and simmer 40 minutes.

Place one-third of squash mixture in a blender process until smooth. Pour puréed mixture into a large bowl repeat procedure with remaining squash mixture.

Return squash mixture to pan stir in half-and-half. Cook over low heat 3 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Ladle soup into bowls, and garnish with pear slices.

Serves 8 (serving size: 1 1/4 cups)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Off the Shelf: November Magazines

It's that time again - the holiday magazines are arriving packed with recipes and ideas! I've browsed my issues several times - folded the corners down, made shopping lists, and decided which recipes to try. My favorite of all the magazines - by far - Bon Appetit. I have many recipes that I want to try and it was tough narrowing it down. You will definitely be seeing more recipes from this issue here on TCND before Thanksgiving. Of note - Midwest Living, Saveur, Everyday Food, & Cook's Illustrated were also lovely issues this month!

Bon Appetit (Alaina) - Like last year, this issue provides several variations of things like potatoes, cranberries, stuffing, turkey and more. They provide menu ideas for various types of Thanksgivings and even include a vegetarian menu. I especially like (it is perhaps my favorite feature) the helpful tips on what can be prepared ahead and how to time your meal. Ths issue boasts 115 recipes and techniques. You are sure to find dishes to suit your menu and palate.

With recipes like Sweet & Spicy Cranberry Sauce, Vanilla-Spiced Caramel & Pear Tart, Roast Turkey Breast w/Potatoes, Green Beans & Mustard Pan Sauce (Thanksgiving all in on dish!), Maple-Braised Butternut Squash w/Fresh Thyme, and Roasted Sweet Potato Wedges w/Smoked Chile Cream, it was a tough choice. I decided on Sauteed Shredded Brussels Sprouts w/Smoked Ham & Toasted Pecans. I picked it partly because I have a mostly negative relationship with brussels sprouts - something about the texture and so I was eager to try them shredded. They were quite good and I would actually make them again. The smoky flavor of the ham was a wonderful addition and the texture was entirely different. Next week I'm going to share another recipe from this issue that I loved even more!

Sauteed Shredded Brussels Sprouts w/Smoked Ham & Toasted Pecans
Print This Recipe

2 pounds brussels sprouts
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 1/4-inch-thick slices smoked ham (about 6 ounces), coarsely chopped
1 large garlic clove, minced
2/3 cup low-salt chicken broth
Coarse kosher salt
1/2 cup pecans, toasted, chopped

Trim root ends from brussels sprouts. Using sharp knife or processor fitted with coarse shredding disk, thinly slice brussels sprouts into shreds. DO AHEAD Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.Melt butter with olive oil in large deep skillet over medium heat. Add ham sauté until golden, about 3 minutes. Add garlic stir 30 seconds. Add brussels sprouts and broth sauté until crisp-tender but still bright green, 3 to 5 minutes. Season with coarse salt and black pepper. Transfer to serving bowl. Sprinkle with pecans.

Food Network Magazine (Alaina) - This issue is also quite festive and is packed with lots of recipes. The pull-out section is 50 different stuffing variations which include traditional stuffing, cornbread stuffing, and rice stuffing. They look so good and I plan to pick one to try for our Thanksgiving (did I mention that I will be hosting my very first full Thanksgiving meal?). Food Network does a great job of including side dish ideas and quick dinners in every issue and this one is no exception. The pooled talents of so many great chefs makes for an interesting and diverse magazine.

There were many recipes that sounded wonderful - some holiday and some every day - Chocolate-Toffee Pecan Tart, Endive & Blue Cheese Salad, Parker House Rolls, Butternut, Arugula, & Pine Nut Salad, Spicy Cumin Fries, and Thai Chicken Soup are just a few. Bobby Flay shares a Macaroni & Cheese that I'm pretty sure is amazing. :)

I made the Stuffed Baby Bellas. These are great appetizers - the recipe says it will serve 4 but I'm pretty sure 2/person would be an appropriate starter size so you can count on it feeding at least 8. The recipe made too much filling so you can either halve it, make meatballs with the leftover (that's what I did), or buy more mushroom caps. The lemon zest and fennel made for a bright and flavorful filling. Overall, we really liked these.

Print This Recipe

16 baby portabella mushrooms (creminis)
1 pound ground chicken or turkey breast
1 teaspoon fennel seed, 1/3 palmful
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, grated or finely chopped
1 lemon, zested
1 cup shredded asiago cheese
1/2 cup breadcrumbs, a couple handfuls
1 10-ounce box frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and wrung dry in a clean kitchen towel
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons EVOO (extra-virgin olive oil)
1/4 cup pine nuts or chopped almonds

Wipe the mushrooms clean with a damp cloth. Remove the stems and finely chop them. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground meat, fennel seed, onion, garlic, lemon zest, half of the cheese, the chopped mushroom stems, breadcrumbs and spinach and season with salt and pepper. Brush lightly with EVOO and stuff the mixture into the caps.

Arrange the caps on a rimmed baking sheet or in a baking dish. Leave some room around each mushroom to prevent the caps from getting steamy. Sprinkle the remaining cheese and the nuts on the caps and transfer to the oven. Bake until the mushrooms are tender and the filling is cooked through, about 25 minutes. Serve warm.

Every Day with Rachael Ray (Stephanie) – This issue was, in my very humble opinion, quite a disappointment. There were a few recipes that sounded promising, like Potato Cake with Bacon, Sour Cream and Apples or Penne with Bacon, Butternut Squash and Spinach. And I even tried a couple recipes, Roast Mushrooms and Kale over Mashed Sweet Potatoes (not worth making!) and Chipotle-Barbecue Chicken. But, if you’re looking for good Thanksgiving ideas, look somewhere else. Other than four different ways to cook a turkey and small section of unusual side dishes, this issue evokes little Thanksgiving cheer.

Print This Recipe

6 Tbsp butter
6 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 large onion, chopped
¼ c. chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, chopped
¼ c. ketchup
3 Tbsp cider vinegar
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
8 chicken thighs (about 2 pounds)

Preheat the oven to 425°. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.

In a deep skillet, heat 3 Tbsp butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until golden, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the garlic to a small bowl. Add the onion to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 8 minutes. Add the chipotle chiles in a adobo sauce to the skillet. Add the ketchup, vinegar, brown sugar, Worcestershire and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 5 minutes.

Using tongs, coat the chicken in the sauce and place skin side up on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until the chicken is cooked through, about 30 minutes.

Cooking Light (Stephanie) -- This issue was packed with lots of yummy looking recipes Broccoli Slaw with Oranges and Crunch Noodles, Apple and Cranberry Turkey Roulade (which I hope to try!), Egg Nog, Pecan Spice Cake with ample Frosting. There is also a㺲-page holiday cooking section divided up by appetizers, sides, main dishes, desserts, etc. 

Although there were many recipes I considered making, I decided on Apple Kuchen. I thought it was a bit of work for the result, but my husband declared them delicious. I altered the recipe to make it gluten free, as well as cut back the sugar by about aف/3 of a cup.

3 Fuji apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 c. sugar, divided
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt, divided
6.75 ounces (about 1 1/2 c.) all-purpose flour or all-purpose gluten free + 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 c. butter, softened and divided
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 c. nonfat buttermilk
1/2 c. chopped walnuts, toasted
1/4 c. apricot preserves
2 tsp apple juice

Preheat oven to 350°. Combine apples and lemon juice, toss. Add 1/4 c. sugar, cinnamon, and 1/4 tsp salt. Toss to combine.

Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups level with a knife. Combine flour, the remaining 1/4 tsp salt, and baking powder in a bowl, stirring well (if making gf, add xanthan gum here). Place remaining 3/4 c. sugar, 6 Tbsp butter, and cream cheese in a bowl beat with a mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, beating well. Stir in vanilla. Add flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to butter mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating just until combined. Stir in walnuts.

Scrape batter into a greased 13x9-inch metal baking pan. Arrange apples over the batter. Melt remaining butter brush over apples. Bake for 45 minutes until set.

Combine apricot preserves and apple juice microwave on high for 30 seconds or until meltd, stirring once. Brush over apples cool. Cut into 15 squares.