Butternut Squash Soup

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Butternut Squash Soup
We love love love love love this perfectly fall soup (even the toddler!)
Servings
people
Ingredients
Servings
people
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Coat squash in olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Roast squash in the oven at 425 for about 45 minutes.
  2. Peel the squash and set aside.
  3. In a soup pot, heat up 1 tablespoon olive oil until simmering over medium heat. Add the chopped shallot, onion and salt. Cook, stirring often, until the shallot and onions have softened and are starting to turn golden, about 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, stirring frequently. DON'T LET THE GARLIC BURN.
  4. Add the reserved butternut squash, maple syrup, nutmeg and a few shakes of ground black pepper, plus half the butter.
  5. Pour in the broth and using your favorite stick blender, blend until smooth. Add the butter and blend again.

Yum

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Langlois Stuffed French toast

Finished stuffed french toast
This is another recipe J and I learned to make while at the amazing Langlois Culinary Crossroads. It is perfect for a new year’s day breakfast or brunch. While it looks complicated, it’s actually pretty easy. The hardest part os stuffing the brioche!

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Langlois Stuffed French toast
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servings
Ingredients
Bread and filling ingredients:
Custard ingredients:
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Bread and filling ingredients:
Custard ingredients:
Instructions
  1. Cut the Brioche into about 6 2 by 2 rectangular pieces. Using a skewer precut the hole for the filling. You will have to turn it around to make a hole larger than the skewer. This is where slightly stale bread comes in handy.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, beat the softened cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla and lemon zest and juice together on medium speed until well blended.
  3. Put the filling into a ziptop bag. Cut off the corner. Pipe into the skewer holes.
  4. If this doesn't work, you can make a sandwich by making a pocket (think pita pocket), just make sure to only cut through one side of the bread or it will be more difficult to brown. Set this aside.
  5. In another medium-sized bowl, beat the eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla and salt. Dip each piece of stuffed bread into the custard and turn once to completely coat. Cover and chill for at least 30 minutes (overnight is better!) but no longer than 24 hours.
  6. When you're ready to cook, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  7. In a large skillet melt the butter over medium to medium-high temperature.
  8. Brown each piece of stuffed bread on all sides. Do not move it around. Do not check and see if it's browning.
  9. Let it sit longer than you think it needs to. About 5 minutes per side.
  10. Place the browned pieces into a casserole dish and cook in the oven for about 10 minutes. Garnish as you please and serve.

My opinion:
Sometimes we cover this in powdered sugar, other times maple syrup. It’s just as good alone though. We’ve served this to friends and family and everyone has raved about it each time.

Portuguese filet of Swai

 

J and I have been trying to eat more fish. Since one of my most favorites, seared tuna, is out at least until Baby Girl Tyler arrives in November, we’ve had to get creative. Last night, J found this super easy and really delicious Portuguese recipe from Food.com. We didn’t have any sole filets on hand, so we swapped out Swai (not sure what Swai is, check out this link from Consumer Reports) and it was wonderful. Since we didn’t want to figure out how to divide an egg yolk, we just made the full sauce recipe. Which turned out to be a great idea because the sauce was equally delicious over brown rice!

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Portuguese filet of Swai
Servings
Ingredients
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Arrange fillet in broiler pan and sprinkle with a little lemon juice and dot with butter.
  2. Broil until fish begins to brown.
  3. While the fish is broiling, combine the remaining lemon juice, sherry, soy sauce, parsley, and egg yolk. Mix well.
  4. When the fish has browned, spoon the sauce mixture over fish and return to broiler until sauce begins to bubble.
  5. If you end up with more sauce than fish, like we did, add the sauce to a pan and heat on medium until bubbling. This ended up being perfect because the sauce on the fish soaked in.

My opinion:
With a side of brown rice and broccoli, this was a super light and tasty dish. In total, it took longer to cook the brown rice than to make the fish from start to finish. Next time, we’ll add more fresh parsley at the end.

Langlois Andouille Cornbread Stuffed Green Pepper

 

On a recent visit to New Orleans, J and I got to take a cooking class at the amazing Langlois Culinary Crossroads. The very appropriate slogan is “decadent with no apologies” and that proved more than true during our class. We made several wonderful dishes, including an Andouille Cornbread Stuffed Artichoke. Unfortunately, the artichokes at home, didn’t quite look as good. Luckily, Chef Amy told us about 15 ways to use the same stuffing/dressing and we improvised stuffing a green pepper instead.

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Langlois Andouille Cornbread Stuffed Green Pepper
Servings
Ingredients
Servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. If not using pre-made cornbread, bake the cornbread according to package instructions.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large saute pan over medium heat, melt the butter and cook the andouille until browned.
  3. Then add the onions, bell pepper and celery (the holy trinity) and the garlic until the vegetables are wilted. Add the pinches of Emeril's essence cajun seasoning to taste. You want it to be a little red. That's from the paprika, not the cayenne, so don't panic. Remove from heat and add cornbread, parsley and green onions.
  4. Mix well and allow to cool. Add the cheese and mix again. If the mixture is too dry and crumbly, add chicken stock a little at a time to make it more like a dough (it should stick together). Stuff the peppers and bake for 15 to 20 minutes.
  5. Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 5 minutes.

My opinion:
I love this super filling dish. It is light enough for a summer meal, but surprisingly filling. Plus, if you have left over mix, Chef Amy suggests freezing it in patties for a nice side dish.

Tyler Florence’s Roasted Sweet Potato Banana Puree

As promised, now that Thanksgiving is over and we have had a chance to do a post-mortem on what worked and what didn’t, I’ll be sharing the recipes that made the cut. First, is this delicious take on sweet potato casserole.

C found this recipe on the Fabulousfoodshow.com and has perfected it in the last year.  We kept it warm in a crock pot while other dishes took up precious oven and burner space.

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Tyler Florence's Roasted Sweet Potato Banana Puree
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Prick the sweet potatoes all over with a fork and put them on a roasting pan.
  3. On another roasting pan prick bananas and lay out in a single layer.
  4. Roast sweet potatoes for 45 minutes until very soft and roast bananas for 25 minutes. (If you are in a huge hurry, you can boil the sweet potatoes, but do not try boiling the bananas!)
  5. Remove both pans from the oven and allow to cool slightly.  
  6. In a small sauce pot heat cream with bay leaf until reduced by half, then keep warm until ready to puree potatoes and bananas. 
  7. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh into the bowl of a food processor (A blender will work, but only if the potatoes are cool).
  8. Add peeled bananas. Season with salt, add butter, cream (make sure you took the bay leaves out!), cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and puree until smooth (or if you like it a little chunky, a little chunky).
  9. Pour into an oven-proof dish. 
  10. Make the topping by combining flour, cold butter and brown sugar in the food processor and pulse until you have the texture of coarse bread crumbs.
  11. Sprinkle on top of the puree and place under the broiler until golden brown and crispy, about 4-5 minutes.

My opinion:
I really love this dish. This year we actually forgot the topping and it was still just as wonderful! You can make it a couple of days (no more than 2!) ahead of your holiday meal and keep it refrigerated. Then reheat in a crock pot like we did or in the oven. If you are keeping it in the crock pot, sprinkle each serving with the topping and use a brûlée torch to make it golden brown and crispy.