Monday, November 29, 2010

Maple-Braised Butternut Squash with Fresh Thyme

This one was a smash hit at Thanksgiving this year. Straight outta Bon Appetit made by the loving hands of Brittany Lyons.

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
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon (or more) black pepper

Braising (sautéing, then cooking low and slow in a bit of liquid) is most often associated with meat, but it's also a great way to cook veggies. FIbrous vegetables like butternut squash are the perfect candidate for braining. The braising liquid infuses the squash with flavor and makes it very tender.

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 Information
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) 174.1

Corn Mushroom Bake

I almost didn't make this recipe this Thanksgiving. What I didn't do was double the recipe as I usually do... and people complained when it was gone! Won't make that mistake again! This dish can made ahead and baked before serving. It's super easy and really good!

1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 can (17 oz) cream style corn
3 oz cream cheese, chopped
1/2 tsp onion salt
1 can (17 oz) whole kernel corn, drained
1 can (4 oz) mushroom stems and pieces (optional)
1/2 cup Swiss cheeses, shredded
1 1/2 cup bread crumbs (about a slice of bread, crumbled)
2 Tbsp butter or margarine, melted

In a pan combine flour and cream style corn. Add cream cheese and onion slat. Place over low heat and stir until the cream cheese melts. Add whole kernel corn, mushrooms and Swiss cheese, stirring until cheese is melted.

Transfer mixture to a casserole dish.

Combine bread crumbs and butter and put on top of corm mixture.

Bake uncovered for 40 minutes at 350 degrees until top started to bubble and brown.

Cranberry Chutney

I make this chutney every Thanksgiving now. The first time I made it was under the instruction of Ryan's mom who had the recipe one Thanksgiving. Since then, I've been credited with the dish. This is a great alternative to the cranberry sauce from the can... though Ryan still insists on having that served as well! I also always add more almonds than the recipe calls for.

1 cup water
1 cup sugar
2 cups fresh cranberries
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/4 c slivered almonds, toasted
1 Tbsp light brown sugar
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp finely chopped garlic

Toast almonds in a pan on the stove over medium heat, stirring frequently. Set aside.

In a heavy, 3 quart saucepan, dissolve sugar in 1 cup water over medium high heat. Once the sugar is dissolved, allow to come to a boil.

Add remaining ingredients and boil slowly. Stir occasionally until mixture thickens. Let cool to set more.

Chutney can be stored int he refrigerator for up to one month.

Fudge Brownies

Alyssa's preschool always needs brownies for those kiddos with nut allergies and homemade is the best way to go. This recipe came from my Kitchenaid Stand Mixer Instructions and Recipes book... they are pretty yummy!

1 cup margarine or butter, softened, divided
4 squares (1 ounce each) unsweetened chocolate
2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3 eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

Melt 1/2 c butter and chocolate in a small saucepan over low heat, set aside to cool.

Mix remaining 1/2 cup butter, sugar and vanilla with a mixer. Add eggs one at a time.

Add cooled chocolate mixture and mix again, scarping bowl. Add the remaining ingredients until well blended.

Pour into a greased and floured 13x9x2 inch baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees F. Cool in pan on wire rack and cut.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Schoolhouse Chicken Soup

Here's a recipe from a blog that I visit from time-to-time ( I haven't tried it yet, but I will!

*Schoolhouse Chicken Soup*

In a large skillet, heat:
3 T. olive oil


8-10 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
1 onion, diced
lots of celery, thinly sliced (up to an entire head)
as much garlic as you can stand to mince, at least 4 cloves

Saute til sweaty and onion is transparent.

Transfer to a big stockpot.


2 boxes chicken stock (the large size)
6-8 frozen boneless chicken breasts
1 T. salt

Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer and cover. When chicken is cooked through, turn off the flame and let cool slightly. Fish the chicken pieces out and shred or slice them. Taste the broth and maybe dress it up with the juice of half a lemon and a slug of tamari sauce.

Bring the broth back to a boil, and dump in a large bag of egg noodles. When cooked, add the chicken back, and serve with lots of pepper. I made this yesterday and fed fifteen people! This recipe works for *you*.

Use 4-5 cloves of garlic in your vegetables. After you've sauteed to the point of transparency in your onions, add 2 t. cumin and 1 t. chili powder. When you add the broth, add a can of diced tomatoes with green chilies.

Instead of choosing noodles or dumplings for the starch, stir in 1-2 cans of rinsed black or white beans and add some frozen corn, heating til it's cooked through.

Serve with any of these delights: shredded cheese, sour cream, lime wedges, crushed tortilla chips, or salsa.

The Best Lasagna

I (Naomi) found this in Wondertime magazine... this recipe has been well received! so yummy!

1 lb ground beef or ground turkey (or cooked chicken, Italian sausage, seafood, andouille, etc.)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
26 0 28 oz (about 3 cups) pasta sauce
salt and pepper
2 Tbsp red wine (optional)
1 c chicken stock
8 oz cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp white wine (optional)
12 oz (3 cups) freshly grated mozzarella
9 to 12 no-boil lasagna noodles
2 cups cooked, well-drained broccoli, spinach, peas or other vegetables (optional)
1 c (about 4 oz) freshly grates parmesan

Heat oven to 400 degree. Grease a 9 x 13 inch pan.

Thoroughly cook ground beef in garlic and herbs in a large skillet, stirring frequently and breaking up meat. Stir in pasta sauce and bring to a simmer about 2 minutes. Season to taste and add the red wine, if using. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring chicken stock to a boil. Add cream cheese, turn heat to low and whisk until smooth, about 6 minutes Season to taste and add white wine, if using.

Line bottom of pan with lasagna noodles and spoon half the meat sauce into the pan as evenly as possible. Sprinkle 1 cup grated mozzarella over meat mixture. Top with 3 to 4 lasagna noodles.

Add vegetables, if using, then pour cream cheese sauce over them. Cover with another cup of mozzarella. Top with 3 to 4 lasagna noodles.

Spoon remaining meat mixture over noodles as evenly as possible and top with the rest of the mozzarella and the grated parmesan.

Bake until brown and bubbling, 35 to 45 minutes (longer if you chilled lasagna in advance). Let cool for 10 - 15 minutes to cut well.

Holiday French Toast

I've had this recipe so long that I can't remember where I got it. I also only made it for the first time this week. I don't know what took me so long! It's a relatively easy recipe and can be made the night before. The best thing is how wonderful the house smells while it bakes!

1 c brown sugar
1/2 c butter, melted
3 tsp ground cinnamon (divided 2 tsp, 1 tsp)
3 tart apples (Granny Smith), peeled, cored and thinly sliced
1/2 c dried cranberries or raisins (optional)
1 loaf Italian or French bread, cut into 1 inch slices
6 large eggs
1 1/2 c milk
1 Tbsp vanilla extract

Combine brown sugar, butter and 1 tsp cinnamon in a 13x9 inch baking dish.

Add apples and cranberries/raisins: toss and coat well. Spread apple mixture evenly over bottom of baking dish.

Arrange slices of bread on top.

Mix eggs, milk. vanilla and remaining 2 tsp of cinnamon until well blended. Pour mixture over bread, soaking bread completely.

Cover and refrigerate 4 to 24 hours/

Bake, covered with aluminum foil, in a preheated oven at 375 degrees for 40 minutes.

Uncover and bake 5 minutes more. Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes.

Serve warm.