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July 2004
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November 2004

Enchanted Pumpkin Soup!

j0309566 Every autumn, this is the soup that I make when I want to begin a meal with a harvest flavour. It can be served many different ways, but in my mind, it looks just wonderful in a Armetale or other pewter type bowl, in a style reminiscent of Colonial Williamsburg! I've also served this many times in a large hollowed out pumpkin that has been gilded with edible silver or gold leaf. It's a very easy trick, and you can find the edible leaf along with the directions for it's application in a good craft store where they have a baking section.
The recipe is actually very simple, and the ingredients are easily available , although if you're on a low cholesterol eating plan......!
Take a chunk of really good butter (I love Plugra!) and melt it in your soup pot. Add several chopped spanish onions and a shallot or two! Saute the onions until they are translucent and add 3 large cans of cooked pumpkin and several quarts of really good chicken stock. Bring the whole of it to a simmer and let the flavours brew! The magical ingredient here is...PEANUT BUTTER!!!!!! I whisk in a cup of it or even more depending on the taste. After it has simmered for about 20 minutes, stir in a quart of organic half and half. I always use organic milk or cream if possible because I've discovered that the texture is much finer and the taste is just much better. Add salt and pepper to taste and about a tablespoon of good curry powder or pumpkin pie spice if you like it! You can also add a 1/4 of a cup of Calvado's (an apple brandy) if you'd like. I've also made this soup with butternut squash, halved and roasted with butter,olive oil,cinnamon and a bit of real maple syrup. I usually roast about 4 large acorn squash to get the amount of pulp that I need. The canned squash just doesn't seem to have the nutty flavour that the roasted does and the texture is exquisite. this will take some extra time, but I promise you that it's worth it. A lovely glass of wine and a bit of cheese while you're waiting should make the task really bearable, let alone the aroma of the roasting squash!
This soup will stand alone as a meal with a tossed salad with some ripe pear,pecans and warm camembert cheese or as a starter for my roasted pork tenderloin. A Black and Tan (that delectable combination of Guinness Stout and Bass Pale Ale) or some good sparkling apple cider would be very satisfying with this soup especially if you served it in an Williamsburg tavern mug! The entire collection of Armetale serving pieces is available online at http://www.wiltonarmetale.com


Enchanted Pumpkin Soup!

j0309566 Every autumn, this is the soup that I make when I want to begin a meal with a harvest flavour. It can be served many different ways, but in my mind, it looks just wonderful in a Armetale or other pewter type bowl, in a style reminiscent of Colonial Williamsburg! I've also served this many times in a large hollowed out pumpkin that has been gilded with edible silver or gold leaf. It's a very easy trick, and you can find the edible leaf along with the directions for it's application in a good craft store where they have a baking section.
The recipe is actually very simple, and the ingredients are easily available , although if you're on a low cholesterol eating plan......!
Take a chunk of really good butter (I love Plugra!) and melt it in your soup pot. Add several chopped spanish onions and a shallot or two! Saute the onions until they are translucent and add 3 large cans of cooked pumpkin and several quarts of really good chicken stock. Bring the whole of it to a simmer and let the flavours brew! The magical ingredient here is...PEANUT BUTTER!!!!!! I whisk in a cup of it or even more depending on the taste. After it has simmered for about 20 minutes, stir in a quart of organic half and half. I always use organic milk or cream if possible because I've discovered that the texture is much finer and the taste is just much better. Add salt and pepper to taste and about a tablespoon of good curry powder or pumpkin pie spice if you like it! You can also add a 1/4 of a cup of Calvado's (an apple brandy) if you'd like. I've also made this soup with butternut squash, halved and roasted with butter,olive oil,cinnamon and a bit of real maple syrup. I usually roast about 4 large acorn squash to get the amount of pulp that I need. The canned squash just doesn't seem to have the nutty flavour that the roasted does and the texture is exquisite. this will take some extra time, but I promise you that it's worth it. A lovely glass of wine and a bit of cheese while you're waiting should make the task really bearable, let alone the aroma of the roasting squash!
This soup will stand alone as a meal with a tossed salad with some ripe pear,pecans and warm camembert cheese or as a starter for my roasted pork tenderloin. A Black and Tan (that delectable combination of Guinness Stout and Bass Pale Ale) or some good sparkling apple cider would be very satisfying with this soup especially if you served it in an Williamsburg tavern mug! The entire collection of Armetale serving pieces is available online at http://www.wiltonarmetale.com


Savory Pork Tenderloin with Fruit!

bbq_apricot-ginger_pork_tenderloin_recipeSometimes, there's nothing like a flavorful roasted pork tenderloin. Lately, the air has had a slight nip to it, a smell that says that the harvest is near and autumn will soon arrive. In my home,such a day calls for a roasted piece of meat laced with herbs and fruit. Here is my recipe for a lovely roasted pork tenderloin that is a delicious centerpiece to a midsummer's meal.
Take a pork tenderloin and rub it with a paste of garlic oil,chili sauce and italian seasoning (heavy on the rosemary and sage please!)and let it marinate for several hours. Layer a baking dish with slices of cappicola ham (either sweet or spicy will do depending upon your taste!) and lay the pork tenderloin on top of it.
Slice about 5 young potatoes into 1/2 inch slices and place in the pan. You'll also need a jar of peaches in light syrup, (the spiced ones are especially good and please reserve the syrup!) to layer inbetween the potatoes. Take a good sized red onion, and slice it thinly , and sprinkle it all over the pork, potatoes and peaches. Slice a good bunch of green onions into about 2 inch pieces and sprinkle on top of the whole casserole!
In a bowl place a cup of barbecue sauce, 6 cloves of crushed fresh garlic, about 1/3 cup of chopped crystallized ginger and about 1/4 of a cup of teriyaki sauce. Stir into this mixture the reserved peach syrup and pour it all over the meat and vegetables. Roast for about 25 minutes per pound in a 350 degree oven, basting frequently. The meat will caramelize on the outside and is delicious . Arrange the slices of pork on a pretty platter with the onions, potatoes and peaches as a side garnish. A drizzle of excellent quality white truffle oil (La Truffiere is a wonderful brand) and a drop of the apple glaze from Williams Sonoma will throw this right over the top! I serve this often with pumpkin soup, and a salad of roasted beets , arugula, creme fraiche and a bit of caviar. Another wonderful accompaniment would be a small plate of gnocchi with garlic and spinach. I have a beautiful platter that I love to use with this dish that comes from a small Italian comapny called Vietri. It is a lovely handthrown piece in a pattern named Cucina Fresca and the color is "Crema". Its hue is the shade of thick cream poured over a terra cotta base. For some real inspiration and just plain fun, visit their website at www.vietri.com There you will find not just my gorgeous platter, but a million wonderful pieces from Italy, guaranteed to make you want to bring them home and use them tonight!
This pork tenderloin will also make a wonderful Autumn hors d'eourve if you're in the habit of makeing your own potato chips! Making the chips is really easy. Bring some fresh peanut oil up to frying temperature (you'll know it!) and slowly add potatoes that you have sliced very thinly and patted dry. Watch them and take them out of the oil when they are a little more than golden and drain them on a paper towel. That's all! Just take a fresh chip and put a shred of the pork loin on top of it with a dollop of the caramelized onions and peaches. A fresh sage leaf and a bit of crystalized ginger completes the treat!


Savory Pork Tenderloin with Fruit!

bbq_apricot-ginger_pork_tenderloin_recipeSometimes, there's nothing like a flavorful roasted pork tenderloin. Lately, the air has had a slight nip to it, a smell that says that the harvest is near and autumn will soon arrive. In my home,such a day calls for a roasted piece of meat laced with herbs and fruit. Here is my recipe for a lovely roasted pork tenderloin that is a delicious centerpiece to a midsummer's meal.
Take a pork tenderloin and rub it with a paste of garlic oil,chili sauce and italian seasoning (heavy on the rosemary and sage please!)and let it marinate for several hours. Layer a baking dish with slices of cappicola ham (either sweet or spicy will do depending upon your taste!) and lay the pork tenderloin on top of it.
Slice about 5 young potatoes into 1/2 inch slices and place in the pan. You'll also need a jar of peaches in light syrup, (the spiced ones are especially good and please reserve the syrup!) to layer inbetween the potatoes. Take a good sized red onion, and slice it thinly , and sprinkle it all over the pork, potatoes and peaches. Slice a good bunch of green onions into about 2 inch pieces and sprinkle on top of the whole casserole!
In a bowl place a cup of barbecue sauce, 6 cloves of crushed fresh garlic, about 1/3 cup of chopped crystallized ginger and about 1/4 of a cup of teriyaki sauce. Stir into this mixture the reserved peach syrup and pour it all over the meat and vegetables. Roast for about 25 minutes per pound in a 350 degree oven, basting frequently. The meat will caramelize on the outside and is delicious . Arrange the slices of pork on a pretty platter with the onions, potatoes and peaches as a side garnish. A drizzle of excellent quality white truffle oil (La Truffiere is a wonderful brand) and a drop of the apple glaze from Williams Sonoma will throw this right over the top! I serve this often with pumpkin soup, and a salad of roasted beets , arugula, creme fraiche and a bit of caviar. Another wonderful accompaniment would be a small plate of gnocchi with garlic and spinach. I have a beautiful platter that I love to use with this dish that comes from a small Italian comapny called Vietri. It is a lovely handthrown piece in a pattern named Cucina Fresca and the color is "Crema". Its hue is the shade of thick cream poured over a terra cotta base. For some real inspiration and just plain fun, visit their website at www.vietri.com There you will find not just my gorgeous platter, but a million wonderful pieces from Italy, guaranteed to make you want to bring them home and use them tonight!
This pork tenderloin will also make a wonderful Autumn hors d'eourve if you're in the habit of makeing your own potato chips! Making the chips is really easy. Bring some fresh peanut oil up to frying temperature (you'll know it!) and slowly add potatoes that you have sliced very thinly and patted dry. Watch them and take them out of the oil when they are a little more than golden and drain them on a paper towel. That's all! Just take a fresh chip and put a shred of the pork loin on top of it with a dollop of the caramelized onions and peaches. A fresh sage leaf and a bit of crystalized ginger completes the treat!