Recipe Cornucopia – Part 3!

December 21, 2013

Vitruvian DharmaMore recipes, y’all!  I hope you enjoy them.  This time around I’ve included recipes for the beginning and end of the meal: soup and dessert.  This soup is easily the best I’ve made all year and the dessert, baked apples, was a big hit at my birthday party this fall.  The apples, particularly, lend themselves to a party atmosphere, as they are fun to put together.  Have the filling prepped ahead and then just have everyone come hollow and fill their own apple to their liking.

I’ll be back after holidays with more fun in 2014, but for now, I wish you happy holidays filled with the warmth of hearths and hearts.  Eat up!

SQUASH SOUP

Ingredients (amounts in parentheses are estimated):

2.5 lbs butternut squash, 1 inch cubes
(1 Tbsp) chili powder
(1 tsp) cayenne pepper
(1 Tbsp) anise
(2-3 Tbsp) olive oil
s&p

2 large leeks, whites only, sliced thin
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp fresh thyme
s&p
splash of white wine

8 cups pork or chicken stock
8 oz thing of creme fraiche
white wine vinegar (optional)

Method:

Toss the squash with the seasonings and oil.  Roast at 425 until fork tender (about 1’15”).
Meanwhile, heat oil, wine, s&p, thyme, and leeks over medium heat and caramelize, deglazing occasionally with water, until deep golden brown.

Add leek mixture and roasted squash to the stock and bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, then puree with a hand blender until very, very smooth.  Blend in the creme fraiche.  Taste and adjust seasoning with salt, pepper, and wine vinegar until balanced.  Blend again just before serving.

Mascarpone-Stuffed Baked Apples

Ingredients:

1 lb full fat macarpone cheese
1/4 cup raw honey
1 Tbsp cinnamon
2 oranges’ worth of zest
small pecan or walnut pieces, enough to give texture without making the filling overly crunchy
salt (start with a pinch and see where it goes)
12 medium-large, sweet-tart apples, such as pink lady

Method:

Heat the oven to 350.  Mix the first 6 ingredients until thoroughly incorporated.  Cut the tops off the apples and set aside.  Using a melon baller, hollow out the apples, removing all of the core and seeds, and some of the flesh, leaving the bottom intact and about 1/3″ thick wall of apple all the way around.  Fill each apple with the cheese mixture, replace the apple tops, and put in a large roasting pan in the oven.  Bake for 30 minutes, or until apples are tender.  Serve immediately.

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