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Archive for October, 2011

Nothing smells more like autumn than the smell of roasting squash in the oven, especially when it’s basted in olive oil, pressed garlic and herbs. I picked up a beautiful organic 2-pound butternut squash at the market, peeled and de-seeded it, and diced it into 3/4 inch cubes.  Then I tossed in in a mix of olive oil, fresh marjoram, garlic, corriander, cinnamon, cumin, black pepper and salt before roasting for an hour at 350 degrees.

The scent alone is to die for, but the flavors are aromatic and complex, amplified by a half-a-lemon’s worth of juice a little extra olive oil and toasted pecans.  Then toss with some fresh arugula, drizzle with a little aged balsamic and top off with some shavings of peppery pecorino cheese.  Amazing. … Or, just eat the roasted squash alone!

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Back to this space after a couple months of forced hiatus, thanks to a hectic work schedule that sucked the creativity out of my kitchen time.  And to kick off fall, wanted to share this amazing soup that packs a spicy punch with hearty, autumnal ingredients.  Italian sausage, red new potatoes, kale, and kidney beans dance together in this pot-o-goodness.

Portuguese Kale Soup

4 ounces spicy turkey or Italian sausage

1 medium yellow onion, diced

2 stalks celery, coarsely chopped (3/4 cup)

4 cups chicken stock + 4 cups water

8 ounces kale, thick stems removed and leaves sliced (8 cups)

1 clove garlic, minced

12 ounces red potatoes, halved and sliced (2 cups)

1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper sauce

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 can cooked red kidney beans, drained

(1) Remove casing from sausage, crumble and brown in a 5-quart stock pot. Drain on paper towel when cooked through, leaving 1 tablespoon of oil in the pot.

(2) Cook onion, celery and garlic over medium-low heat in the oil til softened. Return sausage to pot, and add stock and kale.  Bring to a simmer, cover and cook 10 minutes.

(3) Stir in potatoes, red pepper sauce, salt and simmer covered, 20 minutes or until potatoes and kale are tender. Then add the beans and cook until heated through.

Not quite sure what makes it ‘Portuguese,’ to be honest. (I take my Aunt Karron for her word that it’s inspired by the folks from Lisbon.)  All that matters is that it’s unique, addictively delicious and pretty healthy too.

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