Fall is here and with the recent cool nights there’s nothing more comforting than cozying up at home with a bowl of homemade soup.
For the last week, I’ve been on a cauliflower kick. I almost always have a head of this healthy vegetable on hand, however, I usually roast it or make “fake” mashed potatoes by puréeing it with garlic and a little butter. Today I decided to make soup – well, a chowder in fact. This super simple recipe only requires a few ingredients yet it packs a punch with flavor and the best part – it’s healthy.
4 pieces of applewood smoked bacon
2 tablespoons butter, unsalted
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 small white onion, diced
1 bay leaf
1 head of cauliflower
4 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
4 cups of chicken broth
Salt and pepper, to taste
Fresh parsley, roughly chopped
Cook bacon over medium-high heat, until browned and crispy. Set aside on a paper towel lined plate.
Melt butter in stockpot over medium heat. Add garlic, carrots, celery, and onion. Cook until tender – about 4-5 minutes. Add cauliflower and bay leaf and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender – about 4-5 minutes. Gradually add flour and stir until browned – about 1 minute. Gradually add in milk, then broth and continue to whisk constantly until thickened. Bring to a boil and then lower heat and simmer until cauliflower is tender, about 12-15 minutes.
Serve immediately and garnish chowder with bacon pieces and parsley.
The fall season calls for deliciously irresistible winter squash and butternut squash is one of my all-time favorites. Last night I had the opportunity to hang out with Chef Don Garrett from Wine Country Artisans Catering who made an AMAZING homemade butternut squash ravioli. These raviolis were hands down the BEST butternut squash raviolis I’ve ever tasted (perhaps we will have a blog post soon and Don will share with us his recipe!) Nevertheless, as I was eating his leftovers this afternoon for lunch, I got inspired to whip up something tonight for dinner that incorporated this wonderful autumn squash. In the past, I’ve made butternut squash soup, roasted squash with thyme and butternut squash risotto… hmmmm, I have lasagna pasta sheets – let’s make lasagna! I haven’t made lasagna in a long, long time so this was the perfect dish to make. Not only is this dish comforting — a perfect pair to the cooler weather — but it’s easy to make.
2 1/2 cups fresh butternut squash, seeded, peeled, and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 – 3 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 – 2 cups milk
2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups freshly grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons butter
No-boil lasagna pasta
1/2 cup heavy cream
salt & pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. In a large bowl, toss fresh butternut squash pieces with olive oil and lightly season with salt. Roast for 10 minutes. Stir butternut squash and roast for another 10 – 15, until tender and golden.
While squash is roasting, melt butter in a large saucepans. Add garlic and cook over medium heat until fragrant (1 minute). Stir in flour and cook roux, stirring for about 2-3 minutes. Slowly add milk, rosemary, salt and pepper. Cook and stir frequently until thickened yet smooth – about 5 – 8 minutes. Stir in roasted squash.
Butter a casserole dish and pour some sauce on the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Begin layering the lasagna pasta sheets. Spread the sauce on top of the noodles and sprinkle freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Repeat layering noodles, adding the sauce and finishing with Parmesan cheese. Pour heavy whipping cream over the top of the entire dish and sprinkle a little more cheese. Cover dish tightly with foil and bake in the middle of the oven for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until the top is bubbling and golden brown. Allow dish to cool for about 5 minutes. Garnish with rosemary sprigs.
Serves 4 – 6.
Wine Pairing? Try pairing this decadent dish with a rich & buttery Chardonnay. Do you have a personal favorite? Share with us in the comments below or on twitter!
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With our gardens filled with persimmons and pomegranates and Thanksgiving around the corner I was inspired to throw a few of my favorite fruits together and make a festive salad. Simple and delicious with colors that scream Fall, this salad will be a great addition to your Thanksgiving feast or a new just because treat. And don’t worry if you don’t think persimmons are your thing, give this combination a chance and you just might become a fan .
FALL in LOVE with FALL salad (for 4)
1 bag of Arugula (5 oz)
1 Red onion
Olive oil, one lemon, salt and pepper for dressing
I started off by slivering off round thin pieces of persimmon ( I used a mandoline) which can get tricky since some might not come out perfect, but its for taste so don’t worry. Place each sliver one by one covering each individual plate as I did or on your dish of choice if you are making a bigger salad. Take the arugula and toss with olive oil, fresh lemon juice and season to taste with salt pepper and when its ready place the greens in the middle of your dish so the persimmons are still visible. Add your red onions slices and I actually added slices of fennel as an afterthought which was great, and then top it off with sprinkles of chia and pomegranate seeds. The salad is not only visually appetizing but taste amazing and fresh. Hope you enjoy!