Saturday, November 12, 2005

Been asked to post my butternut squash soup recipe, so here it is in one form. I've experimented with it and depending on whether I want something quick and healthy for lunches or something a bit richer and fancier for parties, I change the recipe accordingly.

For a quick healthy soup:

saute one leek or a medium yellow onion in about 2 tblspoons butter and a bit of olive oil
add minced garlic to taste (one or two cloves)
add one peeled and cubed butternut squash (use a vegetable peeler for best results or purchase the already peeled and packaged version at the grocery
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
two teaspoons ground sage or fresh sage from your garden
1 cubed apple( skin on for fibre)
let saute for about 10 minutes and then add chicken or vegetable broth to just cover the vegetables. Simmer until tender, about 20 minutes.

Take off heat and let cool before transferring to blender. Blend until smooth and return to pot
heat and serve.

If you want something a bit richer for parties, ditch the apple and add 1 cup carrots, cook and blend. After returning to pot, add 1 cup parmesan cheese heat, pour into bowls and swirl in a dollop of sour cream or creme fraiche. Top with fried sage leaves (dredge leaves in flour and fry in vegetable oil until crisp)

We had one of our winter pot roasts last night. I got a great cut of pot roast meat at Graves in Camden and salt and peppered it, dredged it in flour, browned it in a pot with sauteed leeks and then added a 1/2 cup of port, 1/2 cup of bourbon, and about a cup of water to the pot and brought to a boil, adding minced garlic to the fray and then letting it simmer for four hours. Served with roasted cubed butternut squash that I put in a roasting pan with chicken broth and salt and pepper and roasted for a bout 45 minutes until tender. mmmmm

We then treated ourselves by going out to 3Tides for drinks with Vicky. David set down their new special menu which contains all sorts of great things to eat, including garlic mashed potatoes, pasta bean and herb soup, spicy hot crab and lobster dip, and lots of new pizzas and sandwiches. Sounds perfect for the long winter months.
We got talking to David about Vodkas and before we knew it, he had set up a Vodka tasting for us with two grain vodkas and three potato vodkas, including a new high end potato vodka, Cold River, that is distilled and bottled in Freeport, Maine.
Here are the results:

Potato Vodkas:
Chopin: a bit of biting aftertaste, somewhat sour to my palette, doesn't mix well with cranberry
Luksusowa: strong but smooth, perfect for sipping
Cold River: The smoothest of the potatoes, but has a hint of butterscotch and vanilla flavors at the end that I didn't find enjoyable. Mixes well with cranberry, but the expense makes it not a great choice as a mixing vodka.

Grain Vodkas:
Belvedere: Very smooth, my favorite after Luksusowa. Chilled and straight up, this is a winner
Grey Goose: Certainly, the strongest taste, not so smooth, clearly the loser of the bunch. Mixes very well though.

Thanks again to David and Sarah at 3Tides for a great evening. As I say, its so nice to walk into a bar or restaurant and know not only the owners, but a lot of the patrons as well.


Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Hey everyone, this has been a very busy week for me, been to Boston twice and Portsmouth once on different auction ventures. Waste of time if you ask me. After all of that I bought a single stoneware jug for a client....hohum!

Needless to say, I haven't been out to eat or cooking too much. It is soup season, so I had the chance to make my butternut squash and apple soup last week. Bit of ground sage in it and I was good to go. Greg hates soup, but I'm sure you all know that by now if you read everything on this site. The squash soup recipe is on here somewhere.

Am off to vote today. Remember if you live in Maine and have the will to no on 1.

Vote no on 1 and help end discrimination in Maine.