Friday, October 22, 2010

Recipe: Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Warm Cider Vinaigrette

Oh how did I forget about this recipe.   I made it last fall and fell in love, then proceeded to cook it every week until I couldn't stand it any longer.    Well we were reunited this week and it is STILL that good.   Ina... thank you for being so reliable.

Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Warm Cider Vinaigrette
Barefoot Contessa

1 (1 1/2-pound) butternut squash, peeled and 3/4-inch) diced
Good olive oil
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons dried cranberries
3/4 cup apple cider or apple juice
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons minced shallots
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
4 ounces baby arugula, washed and spun dry (I also sometimes use spinach)
1/2 cup walnuts halves, toasted
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Place the butternut squash on a sheet pan. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, the maple syrup, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and toss. Roast the squash for 15 to 20 minutes, turning once, until tender. Add the cranberries to the pan for the last 5 minutes.

While the squash is roasting, combine the apple cider, vinegar, and shallots in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes, until the cider is reduced to about 1/4 cup. Off the heat, whisk in the mustard, 1/2 cup olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper.

Place the arugula in a large salad bowl and add the roasted squash mixture, the walnuts, and the grated Parmesan. Spoon just enough vinaigrette over the salad to moisten and toss well. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Fall Dinner: Chicken with Morels

Hi.   I know you all think I have fallen off the earth.   Not so.  My life this fall has been a whirly, crazy mess...there is a lot going on in my life right now... wedding, trip and some secret news.   All of which has been very distracting, consequently I have neglected my blog.   But, enough of all the turmoil in my life... on to food.

Those of you who know me, know how much I love Ina and there are many reasons to love her.   First, she creates (and tests) awesome recipes; second, she and her husband are so cute together I just want to run over to the Hampton's and hug them both; third, her garden and kitchen are so beautiful; and finally, she seems cool.    By the way people, she has a new cookbook coming out in a few day titled - How easy is That?.

Anyway, I love this recipe from her Paris cookbook.   It is Chicken and Morels and not for those who are dieting or on a strict budget (morels are about $14 an ounce).   But, it is a once a year fall treat that we should all splurge on.   I serve it with mashed potatoes and roasted vegetables.

Chicken and Morels
Barefoot Contessa
  • 1- ounce dried morels, soaked for 30 minutes in 3 cups very hot water
  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • All-purpose flour, for dredging
  • 1⁄4 cup clarified butter
  • 1⁄3 cup chopped shallots (2 large)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic (3 cloves)
  • 1 cup Madeira wine
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) creme fraiche
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Lift the morels carefully from the hot water in order to leave any grit behind in the liquid. Rinse a few times to be sure all the grittiness is gone. Discard the liquid and dry the morels lightly with paper towels. Set aside.
Sprinkle the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Dredge them in flour and shake off the excess. Heat half the clarified butter in a large saute pan and cook the chicken in 2 batches over medium-low heat until browned on both sides, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove to an ovenproof casserole.
Add the rest of the clarified butter to the pan along with the shallots, drained morels, and garlic. Saute over medium heat for 2 minutes, tossing and stirring constantly. Pour the Madeira into the pan and reduce the liquid by half over high heat, 2 to 4 minutes. Add the creme fraiche, cream, lemon juice, 1 teaspoon salt, and 3⁄4 teaspoon pepper. Boil until the mixture starts to thicken, 5 to 10 minutes. Pour the sauce over the chicken and bake for 12 minutes, or until the chicken is heated through. To make ahead, refrigerate the chicken and sauce in the casserole and reheat slowly on top of the stove.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Hello all.   So I have finally caught up on everything that I neglected while I was gone.   Whew.   Just the amount of tomatoes almost crushed my soul.   Now I am busy thinking of other things... in four weeks I will be leaving for a month... to go here

Then here....

And finally here...

Yes.   I am one lucky girl.   Of course, while I am there I will be getting married AND turning 40, it takes a month to celebrate all of those things... I have so much to be thankful for! 

I hope to blog a bit while I am away, because I have never been away from my friends and family that long... let alone Ms. Moxie... I don't know how I will survive that long without her.    And I am sure you all will want to know what I am doing.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Canning: Salsa

aka, Oh my god that is a lot of tomatoes, part deux.  

Spicy tomato Salsa
(About 12 – 8 oz jars)

9 dried chili peppers (New Mexico or Cascabel)
Hot water
12 cups diced tomatoes
3 cups red onions
1 ½ cups tightly packed chopped cilantro
6 Jalapeno peppers seeded and chopped
15 garlic cloves finely chopped
¾ cup red wine vinegar
1 T salt

1. remove seeds from dried chilies and cover with hot water.   Allow to stand for 15 minutes.   Drain off half of the water and puree in a blender.

2. Prepare canner, jars and lids.
3. Combine remaining ingredients in a stock pan and bring to a boil,.   Reduce heat and simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes.
4. Ladle hot salsa in jars, leaving ½ inch head space.  Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace.   Wipe rim and add lids.
5.  Process for 15 minutes

Jalapeno Salsa
(makes 6 – 8oz jars)

3 cups of chopped tomatoes
2 cups seeded, chopped jalapenos (I only used 2 cups)
1 cup of chopped onions
1 cup cider vinegar
6 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 tbs finely chopped cilantro
2 tsp salt
½ tsp cumin
1. Prepare canner, jars and lids.
2. Combine remaining ingredients in a stock pan and bring to a boil,.   Reduce heat and simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes.
3. Ladle hot salsa in jars, leaving ½ inch head space.  Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace.   Wipe rim and add lids.
4.  Process for 15 minutes