Thursday, October 18, 2007

Butternut Squash & Apple Soup


1 2.5Lbs. Butternut Squash
1.5” Piece of Ginger (xtra used for broth reinforcement)
½ Macintosh or Cortlandt, peeled (Reserve skin and cores for stock reinforcement)
½ Onion
5 Tbls Salted Butter
½ Cup Maple Syrup
Apple Jack or Calvados
½ Cup of Cream (Can use water also)

Stock Reinforcement

3 Cups of Chicken Broth
1 Bay Leaf
Apple Cores & Skin
¼ Onion, Sliced
2 Small Cloves of Garlic
½ Stalk of Celery


  1. Cut squash in half lengthwise. Roast squash at 400 degrees F for approximately 1 hour. At the 30 minute mark rotate the pan. At the 45 and 50 minute mark give it a check. When the squash is done it should be soft and easy to spoon out. Allow it to cool.
  2. While the squash is roasting, dice up the ginger, core and cut the apples, slice the onion. Add butter to the pot you’ll be preparing the soup in. Melt the butter at a medium heat and add the onions. Let them soften and when they begin to brown add the apples and ginger. Reduce heat slightly continue to cook.
  3. In a separate pan pour in the chicken stock. Add apple skins, cores, celery, onion scraps, garlic and bay leaf. Cook at medium to high heat for at least 15-20 minutes.*
  4. Carmelized “sucs” will start to form at the bottom of the pan you are cooking the onion mixture in, deglaze with the Apple Jack (Pour the measured amount in off the flame) and scrape up all the sucs (scrape with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon so you don’t scratch up the bottom of the pan).
  5. The squash should be cool at this point. Scoop it out and add to a food processor with the maple syrup and cream. Add a small amount of water if the mixture is too thick. Puree.
  6. Add onion mixture to food processor. Puree. Pour pureed mixture back into the soup pot. Strain the reinforced broth into the squash/onion mixture. Stir and mix well. Taste and adjust. Keep warm until ready to serve.

*Storebought broth is just not that flavorful and its usually over salted. Reinforcing the broth in this recipe makes a big difference.

Dill Yogurt & Sundried Tomato Chicken Salad

-1 Rotisserie Chicken
-6 Baby Carrots (or one whole carrot)
-3 Stalks Celery
-1 Macintosh Apple
-¼ Onion, diced
-8 Sundried Tomato Wedges
-¾ Cup of Plain Yogurt
-¼ Cup Dijon Mustard
-2 Dill Branches

The picture is more fancy than chicken salad needs to be, especially when you will just be throwing all the ingredients together. This recipe is really easy and the time is absorbed only by the cutting/slicing of the vegetables and the breakdown of the chicken which shouldn’t take more than ten minutes. I substitute yogurt for mayonnaise in everything recently and its much healthier. Dice up the dill and mix it with yogurt, lemon and salt.. After the veggies, fruit and chicken are sliced and diced add everything else. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Seared Tuna with Lavender Risotto & Orange Supremes

Tuna :

1 Lbs Tuna, cut into 4 even
Panko Bread Crumbs
Olive Oil

Ponzu Glaze :

60ml Soy Sauce
15ml Rice Vinegar
30ml Mirin
15ml Fish Oil
½ Lime, Juiced
¼ Cup Brandy
3 Tbsp Sugar

Risotto :

500g Purple Cauliflower
1L Chicken Stock
2 Tbsp Lavender
1 ½ Cups Heavy Cream
300g Arborio Rice
125ml White Wine
2 Tbsp Parmiggiana
½ Vidalia Onion, ciseler
1 Bay Leaf

Garnish :

1 Large Navel Orange,

1. Risotto: Bring stock to a boil and cook purple cauliflower. Boil Cream with lavender and reduce. Combine half the stock, cauliflower and cream in a blender and puree. Set aside.

2. Melt butter in a sautoir and soften the onions without coloration. Add rice and bay leaf and cook until chalky white. Deglaze with white wine and reduce.

3. Add 1 cup of remaining stock and let the rice absorb it. Continue to add ½ cups of stock until rice is just tender. Set aside.

4. Ponzu: Combine soy sauce, rice vinegar, mirin and lime in a small sateuse. Bring to a simmer. Pull the pan off the heat and add brandy. Ignite and reduce slightly. Whisk in fish oil. Add sugar and cook until a syrup consistency develops. Keep warm and reserve.

5. Slice oranges into supremes.

6. Finish: In a small sautoir combine risotto, parmiggiana, lavender/cauliflower cream puree and a small dollop of butter and reheat. Taste and adjust. Place in the center of 4 hot bowls.

7. Tuna: Dip the top of the tuna filet’s into oil. Then dip the tops into panko bread crumbs that have been laid out on a plate. Heat a sauteuse with blended oil and sear the tops of the filets. Flip and sear bottom portion. Place on sizzle platter and drizzle ponzu glaze on top of tuna. Replace tuna into bowls atop risotto. Garnish with orange supremes.

Apple Beet Compote in Puff Pastry with Vacherins

Pate Feuilletee Shells :

250g Puff Pastry
Egg Wash

Compote :

400g Granny Smith Apples
50g red Beet, Macedoine
¼ Cup Apple Jack
30g Granulated Sugar
50g Butter

Vacherin :

5 large egg whites
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 ¼ cups powdered sugar

Beet Syrup :

½ Cup Beet Water, Strained
½ Cup Sugar

1. Vacherin: Prepare a day ahead of time! Preheat oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Pour egg whites into mixing bowl. Turn on tabletop mixer at medium speed and add granulated sugar a tablespoon at a time. Whip to stiff peaks (8 minutes). Remove bowl and sift in 10-x, folding gently as not to deflate the meringue. Pour mixture into pastry bag with small-mid size tip. Portion out small mushroom shape and size caps on top of a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place in oven and bake for 1 hour or until firm to the touch. Turn off oven and let meringues sit 4-5 hours or overnight.

2. Preheat conventional oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.

3. Wash Beets and remove Greens. Bring 4 cups of water water to a boil and add beets. Cook until a paring knife easily slides into the flesh (Appx. 20 minutes). Cool and remove the skin and stem. Cut into macedoine. Reduce beet water until ½ cup remains. Add sugar and make simple syrup. Set aside.

4. Peel and core apples. Rub with lemon to stop browning. Coarsely chop apples.

5. Melt butter in sautoir. Add apples & beets and cook on medium heat with parchment lid. Once the juices have exuded remove the lid and stir. Remove the apple/beet mixture and cool.

6. Take pan off the heat and flambé with apple jack. Deglaze and reduce until syrupy, pour over compote. Set aside.

7. Roll out pate feuilletee dough to 1/8” thick.

8. Using circular mold cut 8 rounds from rolled out dough. In 4 of the pate circles cut out a circle in the middle so it looks like a cheerio or wheel. Place on top of the whole pate round. There should be 4 pate rounds with 4 pate wheels on top. Refrigerate until firm (5 minutes or more depending on heat in kitchen. Brush with egg wash and place in oven. Reduce heat to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake until golden brown and cooked on the inside, appx. 35 minutes. Let cool when done.

9. Assembly: Place compote inside of puff pastry shells and nap the rest over the side. Place vacherin caps on top and around plate. drizzle beet syrup atop vacherins.