Sage Butternut Squash Soup with Sage Browned Butter

Sage Butternut Squash Soup with Sage Browned Butter

Ah! What beautiful colors fall brings us not only in the fall leaves but in the colors of our foods. I just love the beautiful bright orange color of butternut squash and this soup is a lovely reminder of the beauty and taste of this food. 

I had fun taking a basic recipe and adding my own special flavors and elements to the dish. The browned butter on top really takes this dish to the next level! :) YUM!! 

Sage Butternut Squash Soup with Sage Brown Butter: 

Makes 3-4 small servings

1.5 pounds butternut squash, peeled and cut into small cubes (1/2 inch) 

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage

1.5 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 1/2 leeks, white and tender green parts, coarsely chopped

2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage

1 1/3 cups chicken stock or veggie stock

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Brown Butter: 

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage

1. Heat the oven to 350. In a medium bowl, toss the squash cubes with the olive oil and fresh sage. Place onto a rimmed baking sheet and roast for 20-30 minutes until the squash is soft and beginning to brown. 

2. While the squash is roasting, in a large saucepan melt the butter over fairly low heat. Add in the sage and leeks and cook, stirring from time to time, until softened and browned- about 15 minutes or so. 

3. Stir in the chicken or veggie stock and the roasted squash. Simmer the mixture over medium heat for 10-15 minutes.

4. While the soup is simmering, make the brown butter. Over medium to high heat, add the butter and sage to the skillet. The butter will foam for a while. Stir the butter with a spatula. After a while the bubbling subsides and the butter will begin to brown. Take the butter mixture off the heat once it is browned and set aside. 

5. Puree the soup in a blender or food processor. Add in more stock as needed to create the thickness of soup that you want. 

6. Serve in bowls and top with browned butter. You can also top with homemade croutons! 

**You may serve these with homemade croutons if you'd like. I made some gluten free cornbread that I made into cubes, then brushed with butter and sprinkled with Parmesan cheese and baked them in a 350 oven for a few minutes. 

Gluten Free Romesco Sauce

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This adapted recipe came from when last Sunday I got a pedicure at my favorite local salon! I love to read food magazines and this month's Food and Wine magazine was all about food from Spain. I read the magazine cover to cover, so intrigued by every recipe! 

I came across this delicious sauce and wanted to adapt it to be gluten free and to my tastes. I used a few different ingredients and used tortillas instead of bread to thicken the sauce. I am more than thrilled with the results! It is an amazing sauce that tastes so great with everything! I hope that you make it today and enjoy it too! 

Romesco Sauce: 

Adapted from Food & Wine Magazine

3 large dried ancho chilies (stems and seeds removed

1 cup sundried tomatoes (not oil packed, just dried) 

1 heaping cup grape tomatoes

1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

6 tortillas cut into triangles

6 large garlic cloves, cut in half

1/2 cup almonds

1/4 cup hazelnuts

1 teaspoon sweet paprika

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Kosher salt and pepper to taste

1. Place the dried chilies and sun dried tomatoes in a large bowl. Pour boiling water over them. Let them soak for 1 hour, drain the liquid off and reserve it. 

2. Put the grape tomatoes in a roasting pan. Turn on your oven to broil. Broil the tomatoes for 5-7 minutes or until they are slightly browned. Set aside to cool. 

3. Heat the olive oil (1/4 cup) until very hot (almost smoking). Add the tortilla pieces and the garlic. Toast them/saute until they are browned all over. Remove the garlic and tortillas from the pan. 

4. Add the nuts to the pan and roast them for 3-4 minutes. Remove the nuts with a slotted spoon and reserve the garlic oil. 

5. Pulse the tortillas, garlic and nuts in a food processor until finely chopped. Add the chiles  & sun dried tomatoes, roasted grape tomatoes & paprika. Process until smooth. 

6. Add in the garlic oil and 2 extra tablespoons of olive oil to the food processor and process. 

7. Spoon the sauce into a medium bowl and season it with plenty of kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. Taste to see if the seasoning level is right. 

Use this sauce on top of polenta, as a dip for chips or veggies. It's so good!! 

 

Red Wine Marinated Burgers

red wine marinated burgers

Ah! These are the fancy burgers that I remember my mom making for a very large family party at our house when I was a kid. We used to serve these with French  bread as the bun and with optional onions which is also delicious. However, these can be so yummy served "bun-less" on their own alongside some oven fries and some vegetable or pasta salad. YUM!! 

Take your family barbecue to the next level with these tasty burgers! You will not regret it!! 

Marinated Red Wine Burgers: 

Adapted from: The Sunset Book of Entertaining

Note: This recipe makes 12 burgers. You may reduce it to make fewer burgers if you wish. 

4 pounds grass fed beef (80% lean and 20% fat) 

1/2 cup (heaping) of chopped green onions

1.5 tablespoons sea salt

1/4 teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper

1/2 a bottle of red wine of your choice

Optional: Crumbled blue cheese for the top

1. Mix the beef, onions, salt and pepper together in a bowl. Don't over mix. 

2. Form 12 patties and put a "dimple" with your thumb in the center of each one. 

3. Place the patties in a large rectangular glass dish. 

4. Pour the wine over the burgers. 

5. Cover the dish with foil and place the dish in the fridge. Marinate the burgers 2-4 hours. 4 hours is best. 

6. Heat your grill to medium heat. Grill the burgers, flipping only once. Make sure the internal temperature reaches 145F. Then, take the burgers off the grill and top with optional blue cheese. YUM!! 

 

Enjoy!! 

 

Mexican Street Corn Salad with Grilled Lime & Pepper Chicken and Avocado Lime Dressing

Mexican Street Corn Salad with Grilled Lime and Pepper Chicken

Ah! I love how delicious and colorful ideas come together all of the sudden, as if in a dream! The other day I was really thinking about how delicious Mexican Street Corn is and I wondered about making a salad out of it by adding chicken to top it and including a yummy, creamy dressing! 

The best part about this salad is- you can customize it. You could add grape tomato halves instead of peppers and you can omit the cotija cheese for a dairy free entree. You may also choose to top the salad with grilled polenta or grilled tofu for a vegetarian/vegan entree. The sky is the limit with this amazingly healthy and colorful salad! YUM!! 

Get out grilling and enjoy one today! 

Mexican Street Corn Salad with Grilled Lime Pepper Chicken and Avocado Lime Dressing: 

Makes 2 salads (You may double this to make 4) 

Salad: 

2 cups chopped romaine lettuce

2 ears of grilled corn, corn cut off of the cob with a knife and placed into a bowl. 

1/2 of a red or orange bell pepper, diced

1/2 cup of canned black beans

1-2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (add more to taste) 

1-2 teaspoons chili powder

3+ tablespoons crumbled cotija cheese

1. Place the lettuce on each plate. Sprinkle pepper pieces onto each portion. 

2. In a small bowl combine the grilled corn kernels, lime juice, chili powder and cotija cheese. Add salt, pepper and lime juice to taste. 

3. Top the lettuce/peppers with the corn mixture. Top that with the black beans.

4. Then, add a sliced, grilled chicken breast and serve the dressing on the side. 

Grilled Lime Pepper Chicken: 

1 large chicken breast, sliced in half crosswise to create 2 flat fillets (place them on a cutting board, top with plastic wrap and pound with a meat mallet until they are around 1/3-1/4 inch in thickness

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon pure maple syrup

1/2 tablespoon freshly ground pepper

1/2 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Place the chicken in a large bowl with the marinade. Marinate for 30 minutes. 

2. Heat your grill to high & oil the grill.

3. Place the chicken breasts on the heated grill and cook, turning only once until the internal temperature reaches 165F. 

4. Take off the grill to rest 5-10 minutes before slicing into strips to place on top of the salads. 

Avocado Lime Dressing: (makes enough for about 4 servings) 

1 large avocado

1/4 cup olive oil

1 handful fresh parsley or cilantro

1 teaspoon chili powder

2 cloves garlic

1 tablespoon maple syrup

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

1/8 cup (or more) water

1. Place all of the ingredients in a food processor or blender. Process until smooth. Add salt, pepper, lime juice or more chili powder to taste. Serve on the side of the salads. 

Enjoy!