Sweet Potatoes, Apple and Cayenne Pepper Soup

I am a cold nature. I easily get cold, and when I do, it takes me for ever to regain my warmth. I have to put several layers, and socks over socks. I am the laughing stock of my family when i do… What is so strange is that it does not even have to be really cold outside for me to be cold so I have to have several sweaters on hand just in case. My husband makes fun of me because he says that i would never survive living back in France as their winter are usually more frigid than here…I really can’t disagree though I would probably readjust.

When you are cold, there is nothing more recomforting than drinking a warm soup at any time of the day. With the cool temperature coming up, soup is great for lunch or even for appetizers before dinner.

Last week I felt like eating a pumpkin and apple soup, but since I did not have any pumpkin on hands, I subsituted pumpkin with sweet potato. I really loved it. It is a bit different, but it was a nice change to the pumpkin or butternut squash soup that I often make in the fall.

Ingredients for 4-6:

  • 1 sweet potato peeled, sliced thinly
  • 2 gala apples peeled and sliced thinly as well
  • muscovado brown sugar
  • salt
  • pepper
  • cayenne pepper
  • 6 cups of broth ( chicken, or vegetable)
  • 2 cups of fat free milk or any other milk (you can even subsitute with almond milk)

Turn the oven to 450. Place a large silpat on  a large perforated sheet and set aside. Place all the sliced vegetables and fruit and large bowl and drizzle 2 tbsp of olive oil over them. With a spatula mix well so that the vegetables will be well coated with the olive oil. Spread the vegetables/ fruits over the silpat. Sprinkle some turbinado brown sugar, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper over the vegetables/ fruits and cook for 10-12 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked and are a bit roasted.

Empty them into a large pot,  add 6 cups of vegetable stock and cook for 15 minutes to 30 minutes. With an immersion blender, puree the soup. Add 2 cups of milk ( skim, whole, almond…whichever), stir and enjoy!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Tasty Appetizer: Gorgonzola and Apple Pie

My fridge is like Ali Baba’s treasure. They are various left-overs, and many bits and pieces of things : herbs, cheese, sauces, condiments. One of the item is a large piece of Gorgonzola cheese. I love that cheese, but being lactose intolerant, I am slow to eat it. In my previous post, I gave a recipe for a crustless quiche.

Since I had some pie crust left, diced apples and gorgonzola I thought it would make for a fun appetizer. And tasty it was!!! I love pear and gorgonzola, but apple and gorgonzola was great also.

For 30 small tartlets: 1 pack of pie crust ( 2 pie crusts), 2 cups of very very small diced apples, 1/2 cup of gorgonzola crumbled, 1/2 tsp of salt, and 1/4 tsp of freshly ground pepper, 1/4 tsp of cinnamon.

On the roulpat, roll out your dough and with the 2″ cutter, cut out small pie crusts. Place those pie crusts on each opening of the mini tartlet tray. Using the pie shaper, push the dough down. Then use a fork to perforate the dough so that bubbles will not occur. In a large bowl, add the apples and sprinkle the salt and pepper and the cinnamon. Mix well and spoon 1/2 tsp of the apple mixture in all the little pies. Sprinkle some gorgonzola on top of the apples and cook for 13 minutes in a warm oven at 375. C”est tout!!!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Saute Scallops over Coarse Apple Compote

What do you think about when your mind wanders? Me, food. I think about food. I think about things that would taste good. I think about recipes, and how things would taste when combined with various ingredients. Today I was dreaming of scallops. I was dreaming of scallops sauteed in hazelnut oil, topped with roasted hazelnut and carrot puree. So when I got home today, I set up everything to fix that dinner I had thought of all day long…. except that I did not have the main ingredient: Hazelnut oil. Grrrr…. What to do now… My carrot puree was already prepared. I guess I could have simply added sauteed scallops to it, but this would have not satisfied me. So instead I set put to prepare a total different dish. Sauteed Scallops over a bed of apple compote.

Ingredients for 1 person: 1 apple cored, peeled and sliced, 4-5 scallops, 1 tbsp of brown sugar, 1 tbsp of butter salt and pepper to taste.

In a small frying pan, melt the butter. When the butter is sizzling, add the broken hazelnuts and saute them for  a few minutes just enough to toast them. Remove them from the pan, and set them aside. In the same frying pan, melt 1 tbsp of butter and when the butter is sizzling again, add the apples and saute them. Add 1 tbsp of brown sugar and stir well. Cook for 5 minutes stirring constantly to avoid the caramel to burn. When the apples are turning golden and getting softer, remove them from the pan and set them aside. In the same frying pan, add 1 tsp of butter and melt it. When it  sizzles, add the scallops and saute the scallops for 2 minutes on each side. Et Voila!

To serve spoon the apple confit on the plate and place the scallops on top. Add a few hazelnuts over the scallops and devour!!!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

My Autumn Salad: Aragula with Apple, Grapes, Pecans and Gorgonzola.

My husband had some family visiting from Germany these past weeks, and to be polite I agreed to have them over for dinner. Though they stayed over for several weeks, we never could find a common time to share dinner but yesterday. Yeah!!!! So what to cook when you are in a hurry and have worked all day. No worry;-)… It is feasible….

I had 2 hours to do my grocery and do the cooking… But I made it:-)

Here is what I fixed:

  • Autumn Salad with Candied Pecans, Apple and Grape
  • Roasted Summer Squash and Zucchini
  • Pesto Coated Salmon
  • Sun-dried Tomato and Parmesan Crusted Chicken Breast
  • Spaghetti with fresh basil and Asiago
  • Chocolate Fudge Cake with Chocolate Ganache
  • Roasted Pear Creme Brulee Tart
This evening I will share with you the recipe of my Autumn Salad
Ingredients: 1 box of arugula Salad, 1/2 cup of pecan, 1 tbsp of olive oil, 1/8 tsp of Mexican Chili powder, 1/16 tsp of black pepper, 1 tbsp of brown sugar, 1 apple cored and sliced, 1 cup of red grape cut in half, 4 tbsp of balsamic vinegar, 3 tbsp of walnut oil, 1/8 salt, 1/16 tsp of pepper, 1/2 cup of gorgonzola cheese crumbled.
In a large bowl, pour 4 tbsp of balsamic vinegar, 3 tbsp of walnut oil, 1/8 tsp of salt, and 1/16 tsp of pepper. Mix well. Set aside. In a plastic bag, place the pecans, 1 tbsp of olive oil, 1/8 of  black pepper, 1/4 of mexican chili powder, 1 tbsp of brown sugar, close and shake well so that the pecans are well coated. Cook at 450 for 10-12 minutes in an already warm oven. Remove from the oven and let them cool. In the bowl where you already fixed the dressing, add the salad, the sliced apple, the sliced grapes, and the candied pecans. Mix well. Your guests can add gorgonzola on their own salad. I don’t generally add the cheese to the salad since not all guests eat such a strong cheese. But you should definitely add it to your salad. The bitter taste of the cheese counterbalances the sweetness of the fruits and nuts. I hope you will give it a try.
Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!