As is tradition for the past few years, we shop for the turkey, and then split the cost with Andy's parents. This year we were fortunate enough to buy from a company called Black Earth Meats about which we felt pretty good (well, as good as one can feel about any farmed meat). As noted on Black Earth Meat's website, "Our animals are never held in confinement, are never fed antibiotics and never receive synthetic growth hormones." That's about as good as it can get in these times of big business and large farms. Well, short of going out into the woods and hunting down a turkey yourself!
Then, on Friday, as has become tradition, Darcy's parents came over for a Vegetarian Thanksgiving Feast. We started the day with pickled beets and beans, crostinis and cheese from our CSA box, and dates.
Later, we whipped up most of this year's Vegetarian Times' holiday menu. We modified a bit, and spent only $35.89 for this meal. Our canned foods, CSA box, and freezer stock helped out immensely. The seasonal Vegetarian Tiimes' menus never disappoint; this year was no exception. The menu was based off of Greens Restaurant in San Francisco and including the following:
- Winter Squash, Leek, and Apple Soup with Cider Creme Fraiche
- Wild Mushroom and Caramelized Onion Shepard's Pies with Mushroom Pinot-Noir Sauce
- Roasted Brussel Sprouts
- Roasted Carrots and Parsnips
- Rainbow Chard with Pumpkin Seeds
- Wilted Spinach and with Asian Pears, Blue Cheese, and Toasted Pecans (we didn't get to this one)
- Honey-Almond Tart with Orange Mascarpone (we had squash pie instead)
The highlights were the soup (which we consumed both Thanksgiving days and then had a few bowls for leftovers) and the Wild Mushroom Shepard's Pies with Mushroom Pinot Noir Sauce. This is our third blog entry with a different version of squash soup. Why so many, you might ask? Well, 1) each is a bit different, 2) it's fun to experiment and try new varieties, and 3) most importantly, the three versions point to the countless ingredients and ways you could make squash soup. It really is a simple soup incorporating squash, liquid, and spices. The rest is up to you and your palette.
Here's how you make this holiday's version of the soup and the Sheperd's Pie with Pinot-Noir Sauce.
Winter Squash, Leek, and Apple Soup with Cider Creme Fraiche
1 large winter squash, halved, seeds removed
1 tart apple, peeled, cored, and quartered
1 Tbs. olive oil
2 medium leeks, white parts only, sliced (2 cups)
1/2 tsp. salt
2 pinches ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup white wine
6 cups Vegetable Stock
1 bay leaf
Cider Creme Fraiche
1/2 cup creme fraiche
2 Tbs. apple cider or apple juice
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place squash face down and apple quarters in large baking dish. Add 1 cup of water, cover, and roast for 35-40 minutes, or until squash is tender.
Cool until squash is easy to handle. Scoop flesh from skin; you should have 6 cups.
2. Heat oil in large soup pot. Add leeks, 1/4 tsp. salt, and 1 pinch. pepper; cook 3 minutes, or until pot is nearly dry. Add squash, apple, stock, remaining 1/4 tsp. salt, remaining pinch of pepper, and bay leaf; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, uncovered 20 minutes. Remove bay leaf, and puree with immersion blender until smooth and creamy (we just put ours in our Cuisinart). Cook over low heat for 15 minutes.
3. To make Cider Creme Fraiche: whisk together ingredients in a small bowl.
4. To serve, ladle hot Soup into bowls and swirl with Cider Creme Friache. (Hint: If serving for a holiday, I would not skip this step. The Cider Creme Fraiche took the soup up a few notches. I'd also make a bit more Creme Fraiche if I were to serve it at another more formal gathering).
PER ONE CUP OF SOUP AND 1 TBS. OF CREME FRAICHE: 155 CALORIES; 2 G PROT; 6 G TOTAL FAT (3 GRAM SAT. FAT); 24 G CARBS; 13 MG CHOL; 392 MG SOD; 5 G FIBER; 10 G SUGARS
Wild Mushroom and Caramelized Onion Shepherd's Pie(s)
This can be made into 8 individual ramekins or into one 9-inch pie. We chose to do the latter.
FOR THE POTATOES:
3 lb. gold potatoes, peeled and quartered
1/4 cup heavy cream
4 Tbs. unsalted butter
6 Tbs. grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for sprinkling
2 Tbs. chopped chives
FOR THE FILLING:
5 Tbs. olive oil, divided, plus more for greasing
2 medium yellow onions, halved and sliced (3 cups)
3 medium portobello mushroom caps
1.5 lb. assorted wild mushrooms, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup grated Asiago cheese
2 Tbs. flat leaf parsley, thyme, oregano, and/or sage
1. To make Potatoes: Put potatoes in pot, and cover with water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 30 minutes, or until tender. Drain. Warm cream and butter in pot; add potatoes, and mash until smooth. Stir in Parmesan and chives, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Cool.
2. To make Filling: Heat 1 Tbs. oil in skillet over medium heat. Add onions, and cook 20 minutes, or until golden.
portobellos gill-side up on baking sheet, and drizzle with 1 Tbs. oil. Roast 25 minutes, or until tender. Cool, then slice thin.
4. Toss wild mushrooms with remaining 3 Tbs. oil and garlic on separate baking sheet; season with salt and pepper, if desired. Roast 20 minutes, or until tender. Cool, chop, and toss with Asiago, herbs, and onions.
5. Coat 9-inch pie dish with cooking pray. Layer portobello slices on bottom of each ring. (Add remaining portobellos to mushroom mixture). Use half of wild mushroom mixture to create second layer. Use one-third of potatoes to create a third layer, then add remaining mushroom mixture. Top with remaining Potatoes, shaping into a dome. Sprinkle pie with Parmesan. Bake 40 minutes or until golden.
1/8 OF PIE SERVING: 407 CAL; 12 G PROT; 23 G TOTAL FAT (10 G SAT. FAT); 40 G CARB; 41 MG SOD; 5 G FIBER; 4 G SUGARS
|We made our own Mushroom Stock. Yum!|
1/4 oz. dried porcini mushrooms
2.5 cups Mushroom Stock or prepared mushroom broth
1/4 cup Pinot Noir or flavorful red wine
2 Tbs. unsalted butter
1.5 Tbs. all purpose flour
1.5 tsp. tamari or mushroom soy sauce.
1. Soak porcini in 1/4 cup hot water 30 minutes. Drain and reserve liquid. Finely chop porcini, and set aside.
2. Bring Mushroom Stock, wine and soaking liquid to a boil in saucepan. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes.
3. Melt butter in separate saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour, and cook 2 to 3 minutes, whisking constantly. Whisk 1/2 cup Mushroom Stock into flour mixture to make paste. Add remaining stock 1 cup at a time. Add chopped porcini and soy sauce; simmer 15 minutes, or until sauce is thickened, stirring often. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.
PER 1/2 CUP SERVING: 39 CAL; <1 G PROT; 3 G TOTAL FAT (2 G SAT FAT); 2 G CARBS; 8 MG CHOL; 161 MG SOD; <1 G FIBER; <1 G SUGARS