Archive for Autumn

Sweet Potato, Apple and Pancetta Hash


6 oz pancetta or regular bacon, diced
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 large apple, cut into 1″ cubes
1 tsp cinnamon
1-2 tbsp coconut oil
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1″ cubes
1 tbsp fresh sage, minced (or 1 tsp dried)

In a medium cast iron skillet, cook pancetta 3-5 minutes or until crispy and fat has rendered.  Remove pancetta with slotted spoon, leaving fat in pan.  Add onion, apples, and cinnamon; cook until soft, about 7 minutes.  Remove from pan and add to reserved pancetta; set aside.

If pan is dry, add 1-2 tbsp fat and allow to melt.  Add sweet potatoes and cook undisturbed for 2 minutes.  Stir, allow to cook another 2 minutes undisturbed.  Continue cooking potatoes, stirring as needed to brown all sides, until soft – about 10 minutes total. Add reserved pancetta, onion, and apples back to pan.  Add sage and stir to combine throughout.

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Tuna Noodle Casserole


As a kid I hated tuna and noodle casserole!  But this one is a much tastier version.  It would work well with leftover meat, too – I should have thought of that earlier for the leftover Thanksgiving turkey!

½ lb. curly egg noodles
½ c. dried porcini mushrooms, broken into small pieces
½ c. chicken stock, heated to boiling
¼ c. butter, divided
1 small onion, diced
2 celery ribs, diced
3 tbsp. flour
2 c. whole milk, warmed
2 tbsp. dry sherry
½ tsp. fresh thyme
2 oz. grated mozarella cheese
10 oz. tuna packed in water, drained and broken into chunks
¾ c. frozen peas, thawed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 375° F; grease a medium-sized casserole.

Cook the noodles until they are just beginning to soften to al dente.  While the noodles are cooking, soak the mushrooms in the hot stock for 10 minutes; drain, reserving the stock.  Drain the noodles and rinse them under cold water, then return them to the pot.

Melt 2 tbsp. butter in a saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onion and celery and cook, stirring frequently, for 5-7 minutes, until the vegetables soften.  Scrape the vegetables into the pot with the noodles.

Return the saucepan to the stove, and melt the remaining butter over medium-low heat.  Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for one minute or until the mixture turns slightly beige, is bubbly, and appears to have grown in volume.

Increase the heat to medium and slowly whisk in the warmed milk, reserved stock, sherry, and thyme.  Bring to a boil, whisking frequently.  Stir in the mushrooms and reduce the heat to low; simmer the sauce for 2 minutes, until thickened.  Add the cheese a bit at a time, stirring until the cheese melts before adding more.

Pour the sauce over the noodles and stir well.  Fold in the tuna and peas; season with salt and pepper and transfer to the prepared casserole.  Top with a bit more grated cheese.

Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly and the cheese is lightly browned.  Serve hot with a crisp salad.

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Roasted Apple Chicken or Turkey


I used this for a Thanksgiving turkey, and it received rave reviews.  It was probably the best tasting turkey I’ve ever roasted.

Roasting chicken or turkey
Lemon, halved
Salt and pepper to taste
Equal quantities of dried rosemary and dried thyme
Fresh parsley, double the quantity of rosemary and thyme
Small onion, quartered
Apple, peeled and quartered
Butter, melted
Chicken broth
Apple juice

Preheat oven to 350° F or 180º C.  Clean and dry the bird, and rub the cavity with the halved lemon, then rub with salt and pepper.  Combine the herbs and parsley, and rub some inside the cavity.  Put the onion and apple quarters inside the cavity.  Brush the outside of the bird with melted butter and rub with remaining herbs.

Put the bird in a roasting pan, breast side up.  Pour the chicken broth and apple juice in the roasting pan and roast; baste every 20-30 minutes with the pan juices.

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Gratin of Pumpkin and Leeks


1 pumpkin (about 4 lbs.), peeled, seeded, and cut into ½  inch chunks
2 leeks, slit horizontally, trimmed, washed, and cut into 2 inch chunks
4 carrots, peeled and cut into ½ inch chunks
3 small onions, cut into ½ inch chunks
4 tbsp. olive oil
½ tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
2 tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
¼ c. white wine or chicken stock
¼ c. grated Parmesan cheese
½ c. toasted bread crumbs
4 tbsp. butter

Put the pumpkin, leeks, carrots, and onions into a large roasting pan; drizzle with the oil and sprinkle with the nutmeg.  Roast the vegetables in a preheated 375° oven for 30-40 minutes, or until tender.

Add the rosemary, salt and pepper, and the wine to the pan and gently toss together.  Sprinkle the vegetables with the Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs, then dot with butter.  Bake in a 350° oven for about 20 minute or until the cheese is melted, the bread crumbs are browned, and the vegetables are very soft.

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Crunchy Cabbage Salad


1 tbsp. white or red wine vinegar
2 1/2 tbsp. olive oil
1/8 tsp. minced garlic, or more to taste
Freshly ground salt and black pepper
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1/2 small red onion, minced
2-3 radishes, sliced
1/2 red or yellow bell pepper, chopped
1/2 small green cabbage, shredded

Combine vinegar, oil, garlic, and a pinch each of salt and pepper in  a small salad bowl.  Add the vegetables, toss to coat with the oil and vinegar mixture.  Add salt and pepper as needed to taste; serve immediately.

Variations:

  • Use lettuce or other greens instead of cabbage
  • Add 1/4 c. chopped nuts
  • Add 1/4 c. chopped dried fruit
  • Add 1 tsp. of mustard to the dressing
  • Crumble feta cheese into the salad

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Roasted Pumpkin Apple Soup


This is my new favorite pumpkin soup recipe!  Next time I may add a little roasted onion as well, to add some savour. 17/10/10; 24/05/15.

2 lb. (1 kg.) pie pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 2″ chunks
2 sweet-tart apples (Braeburn or pink lady are good), cored and seeded and cut into eighths
1/8 c. olive oil
Freshly ground salt and pepper
1½ tsp. chopped fresh sage
3 c. chicken broth
Chopped toasted hazelnuts
Hazelnut oil

Heat oven to 450° F (230° C).  In a large bowl, toss pumpkin and apples with olive oil, salt and pepper.  Spread evenly in a baking dish and roast for 30 minutes, stirring once.  Add sage and stir in; roast for another 12-15 minutes until pumpkin is very tender and starting to brown. Transfer the pumpkin and apples to a blender in batches, adding part of the chicken broth each time; pureé until smooth.  Pour pureéd soup into a pan and warm through, seasoning with salt and pepper as needed.  Serve with a drizzle of hazelnut oil and a sprinkling of hazelnuts on top.

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