Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut Squash Soup with croutons in a pumpkin decorative bowl

Butternut squash is one of the hearty winter squashes that can be used for soups, salads, and other side dishes. This soup warms the heart on a late cold autumn day. It reminds me of growing up on the farm when my father and I would spend and afternoon harvesting these beauties.

 

Butternut Squash Soup with croutons in a pumpkin decorative bowl

 

Ingredients:

4 pounds cubed fresh butternut squash (or two 32-oz packages pre-cut butternut squash)

3 shallots, chopped

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

8 cups low sodium chicken stock

2 TB unsalted butter (for sautéing)

2 bay leaves

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions:

1. In saucepan or dutch oven, sauté shallots until translucent.

2. Add butternut squash and season with pumpkin pie spice, salt, and pepper.

3. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil. Lower heat and let simmer for 40 minutes.

4. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.

5. Remove from heat and allow to cool until lukewarm. Discard bay leaves.

6. Puree in blender until smooth.

7. Return to pot and continue to simmer for 10 minutes on low heat. Serve with crusty croutons. Enjoy!

 

 

 

butternut squash

 

 

Enjoy!

The Petite Gourmande

© 2017 by Ruth Barnes, all rights reserved

 

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Stuffed Potatoes with Meat

potatoes

A Moroccan version of “meat and potatoes,” these patties of mashed potatoes are filled with seasoned beef and rolled into balls. The spice blend of turmeric, paprika, and exotic baharat adds a unique flavor to the beef. A bright green salad is the perfect addition to the hearty dish.

 

potatoes

 

 

 

Stuffed Potatoes with Meat

Ingredients:

8 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled

3 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 large onion, chopped

1/2pound ground beef

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon sweet paprika

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon baharat (or allspice)

1/2 bunch parsley, chopped

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

Directions:

1.Boil the potatoes in a large saucepan until fork tender. Drain and then mash while the potatoes are still warm.

2. In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil on medium and sauté the onion for 5 minutes or until translucent.

3. Add the meat, turmeric, paprika, cumin, baharat, and parsley, and cook until the meat is browned, stirring so that it does not clump. Add the salt and pepper and mix well.

4. Form the mashed potatoes into patties and place 1 tablespoon of the meat mixture on the center of each patty.

5. Close the patty around the meat mixture and form into a ball. Then flatten slightly with the palm of your hand into a thick hamburger shape.

6. Heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan and fry each patty on both sides until golden.

 

G’mar Hatimah Tovah, May you be sealed in the Book of Life!

© 2017 by Ruth Barnes, all rights reserved

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Poached Quince with Cinnamon and Honey

quince3

Quince is one of my favorite Autumn delights. It’s a member of the apple and pear family, and it tastes almost like a pear. It has to be cooked to be eaten, and I love preparing it with honey, cinnamon, and sugar. Despite its simple recipe, the outcome is delicious! I love it for dessert, and also with something savory, like duck. It makes for a beautiful side dish to any meal, or a fantastic dessert that’s not fussy or complicated.

I love mini cocottes, and I would cook everything in them if I could! Of course you don’t have to serve them this way, but the color enhances the beauty of the dish.

quince1

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Butternut Squash with Chickpeas

squash-and-chickpeas

Every autumn, we loved romping through the fields on our farm, picking pumpkins and squashes. Butternut squash has always been one of my favorite, with its rich orange color and soft, buttery texture. Chickpeas, used widely in Moroccan cuisine, add a protein. This side dish pairs well with lamb, beef, or chicken.

Serves 4 to 6.

squash-and-chickpeas

Ingredients:

– 2 tablespoons olive oil

– 1 large onion, chopped

– 1 small butternut squash, skin removed, seeded, and flesh cut into 1-inch cubes

– 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

– 1/2 teaspoon salt

– 1/2 teaspoon pepper

– 1 (16-ounce) can chickpeas, washed and drained

– 2 cups chicken stock

 

Directions:

1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat and sauté the onion for 5 minutes or until translucent.

2. Add the squash, cinnamon, salt, pepper, and chickpeas.

3. Add the chicken stock, lower the heat, and simmer for 25 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Serve warm.

 

Happy Cooking!

© 2017 by Ruth Barnes, all rights reserved

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Three Beet Salad

beet salad1

This gorgeous salad is best at the height of summer, which is coincidentally the height of beet season. Look at farmer’s markets for beets in a dazzling array of colors, but if you are unable to find yellow or orange beets, just replace them with red beets. Most beet salads are best when made the day you plan to serve them.

 

beet salad2

 

 

Serves 4 to 6

 

Ingredients

2 medium red beets

2 medium yellow beets

2 medium orange beets

1 medium red onion, sliced thin

1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped

1 teaspoon ground cumin

3 tablespoons olive oil

Juice of 1 lemon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

Directions

1. Cut off and discard the stems and leaves from the beets and then wash.

2. Put the beets in a medium saucepan, add enough water to cover, bring the water to a boil, and then lower the heat and simmer for 1 hour or until the beets are tender.

3. Remove the beets from the saucepan and let cool. Remove the beet skins, using gloves to avoid staining your skin.

4. Using a crinkle cutter or regular knife, cut the beets lengthwise and then into 1/8-inch slices.

5. Place the beets, onion, and cilantro in a mixing bowl. Add the cumin, olive oil, and lemon juice, and mix. Add the salt and pepper, and toss well.

6. Chill the salad for 30 minutes before serving.

Happy cooking

The Petite Gourmande

© 2017 by Ruth Barnes, all rights reserved

 

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Kefta Kebabs

kefta

Kefta is a Middle Eastern seasoned meat placed onto skewers and grilled. Moroccans enjoy kefta often, and street vendors serve kefta all over the  country. These are served with warm pita bread and tahini. Serves 4 to 6

kefta

 

Ingredients:

– 12 wooden skewers, soaked in water for 25 minutes to prevent skewers from burning (or metal skewers).

– 2 pound ground lamb or beef

– 1/2 bunch parsley, chopped

– 1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped

– 1 medium yellow onion, chopped

– 1 teaspoon ground allspice

– 2 teaspoons ground cumin

– 2 teaspoons weet paprika

– 1 teaspoon salt

– 1/2 teaspoon pepper

Directions:

1. Preheat a grill to medium-low heat

2. In large mixing bowl, place the ground meat, parsley, cilantro, onion, allspice, cumin, paprika, salt, and pepper, and mix well.

3. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

4. Wet your hands with water and mold the mixture into 3-inch-long sausages.

5. Stick a skewer through the center of each kefta, pressing lightly. Repeat the process for each kebab.

6. Grill the kefta between 6 and 8 minutes, turning occasionally.

7. Serve the kebabs with pita bread.

Enjoy!

 

The Petite Gourmande

© 2017 by Ruth Barnes, all rights reserved

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Moroccan-Style Bouillabaisse

bouillabaisse

Many countries have a version of this seafood soup. The Moroccan version of Bouillabaisse has french overtone (including the Pernod and fennel) accented by saffron. Fresh seafood is essential to this recipe, which invites you on a culinary adventure to the Moroccan coast. Serves 4 to 6.

bouillabaisse

Ingredients:

– 3 tablespoons olive oil

– 1 stalk celery, diced

– 3 shallots (or 1 medium Vidalia onion), chopped

– 2 carrots, peeled and diced

– 1 fennel bulb, cored and diced

– 1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped

– 1/2 teaspoon allspice (or barahat, if available)

– 2 cloves garlic, chopped

– 1/4 cup Pernod

– 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained

– Pinch os saffron

– 1/2 teaspoon salt

– 1/2 teaspoon pepper

– 6 cups fish or seafood stock (or water)

– 2 pounds boneless white fish (such as cod, sea bass, or halibut), cut into 1-inch cubes

– 12 mussels, scrubbed

– 12 small clams, scrubbed

– 12 jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined

– 1/4 bunch parsley, chopped, for garnish

 

Directions:

1. Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven on medium heat. Add the celery, shallots, carrot, fennel, cilantro, allspice, and garlic, and sauté for 5 minutes or until the shallots are tender.

2. Add the Pernod and deglaze the pot. Then simmer for 10 minutes.

3. Add the tomatoes, saffron, salt and pepper.

4. Add the fish stock and continue to simmer for 10 minutes.

5. Add the fish, mussels, clams, and shrimp, and simmer until the fish is cooked and the clams and mussels are open, about 6 to 8 minutes.

6. Discard any clams that did not open.

7. Remove from the heat and paddle into baby ramekins (mini-cocottes).

8. Garnish with the chopped parsley and serve with bread.

 

Enjoy!

© 2017 by Ruth Barnes, all rights reserved

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Watermelon Salad with Feta and Mint

Watermelon Salad with Feta and Mint, recipe by Ruth Barnes, the Petite Gourmande

Summer is here and this refreshing salad—with sweet watermelon and fresh mint—is just the thing to lighten up any meal. It goes wonderfully with an outdoor barbecue or can even be served as a dessert salad. Serves 6

 

Watermelon Salad with Feta and Mint, recipe by Ruth Barnes the Petite Gourmande

 

Salad

7 pound seedless watermelon

7 oz package solid feta

1 cup fresh mint

Dressing

4 TB extra virgin olive oil

4 TB champagne vinegar

2 TB honey

Salt and pepper to taste

Watermelon Salad with Feta and Mint, recipe by Ruth Barnes, the Petite Gourmande

 

Instructions

1. In a small bowl, combine olive oil, vinegar, honey, salt and pepper and whisk together. Set aside.

2. Cut fruit into one-inch cubes, taking care to remove rind.

3. Cut feta into half inch cubes.

4. Roughly chop mint and combine in bowl with watermelon and feta.

5. Lightly toss and drizzle with dressing.

6. Chill for 30 minutes to let flavors combine.

7. Divide salad into six portions and serve.

© 2017 by Ruth Barnes, all rights reserved

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