Monthly Archives: October 2010

Bacon and Apple Stuffed Squash

Bacon and Apple Stuffed Squash

Bacon and Apple Stuffed Squash

Well hello there, how have you been?  I am not sure what happened but I must have blinked because October is almost over and we haven’t done any blogging.  Yikes.  Luckily, it is fall and we just got our first Winter CSA distribution so there is plenty of inspiration to go around.  The winter CSA is lots of fun because the distributions are over flowing with tons of vegetables, apples, dried beans, and other goodies.  With that big box of yum, we were quickly inspired to make this delicious (almost vegetarian) butternut squash stuffed with flavors of fall.

Apples and Bacon (home cured)

Apples and Bacon (home cured)

The squash is roasted with butter and maple syrup and then filled with a stuffing made from leeks, apples, bacon, brown rice, and more maple syrup.  The stuffing nicely balances the sweet with the savory and makes for a light but filling main dish.  The recipe calls for butternut squash but you could easily substitute acorn or another hard shelled squash if that is what you had on hand.

Chopped Leek

Chopped Leek

This dish requires a few steps to make but it can almost all be done ahead of time.  It makes a great Thanksgiving option because you can prep it all a day or two in advance and then heat it up right before serving.

Ready for Roasting

Ready for Roasting

Bacon and Apple Stuffed Squash

Ingredients:

2 medium butternut squash

1 tbls butter

3 tbls real maple syrup, divided

2.5 ounces thick cut bacon

1 leek, white and light green parts only, cleaned and finely chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

2 small apples, peeled, cored, and finely diced

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1 cup cooked brown rice

To Make:

Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds.  Arrange the squash in a roasting pan, cut side up.  Divide the butter and 1 tbls of the syrup between the four cavities.  Fill the pan with about an inch of water, cover with foil, and roast at 375 until mostly tender, about 40 minutes.  Remove the foil, rub the butter and syrup from the cavity all over the squash and cook for another 10-15 minutes until it starts to caramelize around the edges.

Meanwhile chop the bacon and cook in a heavy skillet over medium heat until browned and crisp.  Remove the bacon and set aside to drain on paper towels.  Drain off all but about 1 tbls of the bacon fat from the pan.  Add the leeks and garlic and sauté until the leeks are softened, about 10 minutes.  Add the apples to the pan and sauté until they are soft, another 10 minutes.  Remove from the heat and stir in the cooked rice and 2 tbls of maple syrup to bind it all together.  At this point, you can refrigerate both the squash and the stuffing, tightly wrapped in separate containers, until you are ready to serve.
Mound the stuffing into the cavity of the squash halves and bake in a 375 degree oven until warmed through, 10-20 minutes, depending on how cold everything was.
To Serve:
Serve hot as a main dish or as a hefty side.  Make it vegetarian by omitting the bacon and using olive oil or butter instead of bacon fat for sauteing the filling.  Serves 4.

 

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Filed under Dinner, Fruit, Recipes, Rice, Vegetables

Earl Greyer Ice Cream

Earl Greyer Ice Cream

Earl Greyer Ice Cream

Did you hear that summer is back?  Seriously, it has been really warm here lately.  To celebrate, this recipe is about holding on to summer and not letting go.  We decided that we had to hold onto summer for just one more pint of ice cream.

Ice cream ingredients

Ice cream ingredients

Have you ever noticed how many popular morning beverages have been turned into ice cream flavors?  For example, hot chocolate and chocolate ice cream.  Coffee?  Sure, there are a lot of coffee ice creams.  Tea?  Hmm, what about tea?  Lots of people drink tea… where’s the tea ice cream?   Right now, it is in my freezer.  This is thanks to David Lebovitz and his fantastic book, The Perfect Scoop.  We have written about this book before.  It is our go-to ice cream bible and has a plethora of recipes to try.  In this case, we decided to use his recipe for black currant tea ice cream as a foundation.  But we adapted it to use one of our most favorite tea flavors, Earl Greyer from The Republic of Tea.  The black tea flavored with bergamot makes for a delicious and light ice cream.

Cream, sugar, and tea

Cream, sugar, and tea

One final note.  Don’t feel like you have to wait for dessert to eat this ice cream.  I suspect that many of you out there have had a scoop or two of ice cream for breakfast somewhere along the way.  But now, you have the perfect accompaniment to a hot scone or fresh donut.  Go ahead, after all, it’s tea.

Ready to strain and cook

Ready to strain and cook

Earl Greyer Ice Cream

Adapted from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz

Ingredients:

1/2 cup whole milk

1 cup heavy cream

3/8 cup (75 grams) sugar

1/8 cup (8 grams) Earl Greyer loose leaf tea

3 large egg yolks

To Make:

In a medium sauce pan (with a lid) over medium heat, gently warm the milk, 1/2 cup of heavy cream, the sugar, and the tea leaves.  The idea is to heat the milk so the sugar is fully dissolved and you see some steam coming from the mixture.  Remove from the heat, cover and let steep one hour.

In a bowl, (using your wicked awesome) whisk the three egg yolks together.  In another bowl, pour in the other 1/2 cup of heavy cream and set a mesh strainer over it.

After an hour, re-warm the milk-tea mixture.  While whisking the egg yolks, slowly pour in the warm milk mixture.  Whisk constantly to avoid cooking the eggs.  Once the milk team mixture is incorporated in egg yolks, pour it all back into the sauce pan.  Heat the custard mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly.  To ensure that you have fully cooked eggs, the custard must reach a temperature between 170F and 175F.  An indication that this is done is when there is steam coming from the custard and it feels like it is starting to cook on the bottom of the pan.  To test if the custard is ready, dip a spoon into the mixture and run your finger down the back of the spoon.  If the trail left by your finger stays, the custard is ready.

When the custard has reached the right temperature, pour it through the mesh strainer and into the rest of the heavy cream.  Whisk to combine with the bowl set over in an ice bath to cool it quickly.  This must chill for at least eight hours.  Overnight is even better.  Once the custard is chilled, churn in the ice cream maker of your choice according to the manufacturer’s directions.

To Serve:

Eating the ice cream right out of the churner, which is very tempting, yields a lovely soft-serve texture.  Put it all back in the freezer for a few hours will yield something more like a traditional ice cream.  If you serve it frozen, it’s best to remove the ice cream from the freezer for about five minutes before serving.  Makes about 1 pint.

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Filed under Dessert, Ice cream, Recipes

Congratulation to our Winner

Sorry for the delay in announcing the winner.  I was traveling this week and couldn’t get to the blog.

Congratulations to Scott Johnson!  You are the lucky winner of the $40 gift code for CSNstores.com

Keep an eye on your email for all the details.

Thanks to everyone who entered the give away and for all of our readership over that last year.  We are looking forward to many more.

Kelly and Marc

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