BUTTERNUT SQUASH, BACON and APPLE HOT DISH

This is a Molly Yeh recipe from Girl Meets Farm. I normally love her recipes and experimenting with new things, but this one needed some serious tweaking to make it right.

BUTTERNUT SQUASH, BACON and APPLE HOT DISH
FILLING
3/4 pound thick-cut bacon
2 large purple onions, chunky thin wedges
2 pounds 1 small butternut squash, seeded, peeled and chopped into small 1/2-inch cubes
6 sprigs fresh thyme, stems removed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Crushed red pepper flakes
1/8 cup white wine
1/2 cup vegetable broth
2 3 large Honey Crisp Granny Smith apples, chopped into 1/2-inch cubes

  • In a LARGE cast iron skillet cook bacon until crisp. Remove to paper toweling for draining.
  • Drain half the bacon grease from the skillet, leaving just enough to coat the skillet.
  • Add the onions and turn the heat to medium-high. Saute until soft, about 10 minutes.
  • Add the squash, thyme, some salt, a few turns of pepper and a few pinches of crushed red pepper, stirring occasionally, about 8-10 more minutes.
  • Add the wine and broth.
  • Roughly chop the bacon and add it to the skillet along with the apples.
  • Bring the mixture to a SLOW boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10-15 minutes, while you make the biscuits.

BISCUITS
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for dusting
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
14 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cubed
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 large egg, lightly beaten
FRESHLY ground black pepper

  • Preheat the oven to 425°.
  • Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
  • Add the butter and, using a food processor, pastry cutter or your hands, incorporate the butter until the mixture is the consistency of raw oatmeal.
  • Mix in the cream until the mixture comes together to form a dough.
  • Turn it out onto a floured work surface, pat it out to 3/4-inch thick and then cut out round biscuits, re-rolling scraps as needed.
  • Turn off the heat before dotting the top of the skillet with the biscuits.
  • Brush the biscuits with the beaten egg and top with black pepper.
  • Bake until the biscuits are golden brown, cooked through and flaky, about 25 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and serve right from the skillet!

NOTE: 

  • NEXT TIME I will change the apples to Granny Smiths and add an extra apple and decrease the squash.  Hubby wants me to trade the squash altogether for potatoes or Brussels sprouts.
  • This recipe also works well with “cheater” biscuits from the dairy case 😀

CHEDDAR, GREEN BEAN & BREAD CASSEROLE

CHEDDAR, GREEN BEAN & BREAD CASSEROLE
1 1/2 pounds trimmed greens beans
1 1/4 cups SMALL stale bread pieces
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1 tablespoon butter, melted
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
FRESH ground nutmeg
1 1/4 cups WHOLE milk
1 cup grated EXTRA sharp cheddar cheese
Parmesan cheese, for garnish

  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Blanch green beans in boiling water for 3-4 minutes until JUST tender.
  • Immediately transfer green beans in ice water and then drain WELL.
  • In a large bowl toss the bread pieces with the oil, melted butter and green onions. Set aside.
  • Whisk together 1/2 cup of the milk, cornstarch, nutmeg and FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper until smooth in a saucepan. Add in remaining milk and bring to a boil over a medium high heat for 2-3 minutes, but do not scald.
  • Reduce heat and gradually stir in cheddar and Parmesan until melted and smooth.
  • Toss with green beans to evenly coat.
  • Transfer green beans to baking dish.
  • Top with scallion bread crumbs.
  • Bake 25-30 minutes until golden brown.

SKILLET CHOPS & OVEN BRAISED RAINBOW CARROTS

This recipe came out of a an old (1960’s) cookbook put together for a lake area homeowner’s association. I loved the sound of it, but canned pork and beans use mustard in their recipes and I’m deathly allergic so I had to adapt it and the flavor profile was GREAT.

SKILLET CHOPS
2 tablespoons butter
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
4 thick bone in pork chops
1/2 sweet onion, sliced thin
1 can great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup tomato sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons jalapeno ketchup

  • Melt butter in cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Saute onions 1-2 minutes
  • Generously season chops on both sides.
  • Add chops and quickly sear to a golden brown.
  • Whisk together the tomato sauce, brown sugar and jalapeno ketchup.
  • Fold beans into sauce.
  • Arrange beans around pork chops, cover and simmer on LOW 15-30 minutes until chops are cooked through.

OVEN BRAISED RAINBOW CARROTS
1 1/2 pounds rainbow carrots, cleaned and cut to like sizes
4 LARGE green onions, halved lengthwise
1 teaspoon orange zest
1/3 cup orange juice
3 tablespoons melted butter or avocado oil
1 medium shallot, FINELY chopped
1 tablespoon champagne vinegar
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper to taste

  • Preheat oven to 425°.
  • Whisk together the butter or oil, orange juice, vinegar, orange zest, shallots, FRESH ground salt and pepper.
  • Toss carrots, and green onions with orange juice mixture.
  • Pour into a large flat baking dish, cover with foil and bake 15 minutes.
  • Remove foil and bake another 30 minutes.

SCALLOPED POTATO TURNIP GRATIN

SCALLOPED POTATO TURNIP GRATIN
4 tablespoons butter
2 green onions, sliced thin
1/4 cup WONDRA flour
1 pound turnips, peeled and thinly sliced
1 pound YUKON gold potatoes, thinly sliced
2 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped FRESH thyme
1 tablespoon chopped FRESH oregano
1/3 cup chopped Italian Parsley
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup FRESH grated Parmesan cheese

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • LIGHTLY spray sheet pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Alternately layer turnip and potato slices.
  • Generously sprinkle with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Repeat with a second layer and sprinkle again with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • In a skillet melt the butter.
  • Add the green onions and saute 30 seconds.
  • Whisk in flour until smooth.
  • Add garlic, thyme, oregano, parsley and heavy whipping cream, cooking until thickened.
  • Pour sauce over potatoes and turnip, smoothing evenly.
  • Top with Parmesan cheese.
  • Bake 25-30 minutes until cooked through and golden.

BRAISED RED CABBAGE

BRAISED RED CABBAGE
2 slices bacon, diced
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 shallot halved and sliced thin
1 small head red cabbage, cored and sliced 1/2 inch thick
3/4 cup Marsala wine
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup frozen orange juice concentrate
1 1/2 tablespoons PACKED brown sugar
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and sliced into 1/4 inch pieces
3 tablespoons FRESH minced Parsley

  • Brown bacon pieces and drain.
  • Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in Saute pan over medium heat.
  • Add onion and cook 5 or so minutes until golden.
  • Stir in cabbage pieces, wine, orange juice concentrate, vinegars, brown sugar, salt and pepper.
  • Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer 10-15 minutes until tender.
  • Stir in apple and simmer uncovered until cabbage is tender and liquid is syrupy, 10 minutes more.
  • Remove from heat, stir in Parsley, bacon pieces and remaining butter.
  • Season to taste and serve immediately.

HONEY MISO FISH FILLETS & CAMP CARROTS

HONEY MISO FISH FILLETS & CAMP CARROTS
HONEY MISO FISH FILLETS

4 tablespoons QUALITY honey
3 tablespoons white miso paste
1 tablespoon water
3 tablespoons Bragg’s liquid aminos
2 tablespoons sake or dry white wine
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
4 5-6 ounce fish of choice fillets* (SEE NOTE)

  • In a small saucepan mix the honey, miso and water, whisking until smooth. Bring to a SLOW boil, simmering until dark golden.
  • Remove from heat and whisk in soy sauce, white wine, liquid aminos, rice wine vinegar and sesame oil.
  • Divide mixture in half.
  • Add half to ziploc bag along with fish fillets and marinade overnight.
  • Reserve other half for next day.

NEXT DAY

  • Preheat oven to 475°.
  • Add reserved marinade to cast iron skillet and heat over medium-high heat until it begins to bubble.
  • Add fillets skin side up and brush with marinade.
  • Transfer cast ion to oven for 5-10 minutes until golden in color and fish is flaky.
  • Flip fillets and plate.
  • Spoon remaining sauce over fillets and serve immediately.

NOTE: COD, SALMON, HALIBUT OR SWORDFISH WORK BEST.

CAMP CARROTS
3 cups sliced carrots or baby carrots
1/4 pound crisp crumbled bacon
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon QUALITY honey
FRESH ground sea salt and tri-color pepper

  • In a 2 quart saucepan add carrots and enough water to cover.
  • Bring to a FULL boil, reduce to medium and cook 10 minutes until carrots are crisp tender.
  • Drain well.
  • Add butter, brown sugar and honey to pan, mixing well.
  • Add carrots and season to taste with FRESH ground sea salt and tri-color pepper.
  • Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until heated through.
  • Add bacon pieces and serve immediately.

OVEN ROASTED SALMON & FRESH TOMATO RELISH

OVEN ROASTED SALMON
2 pounds skin on salmon fillet, 1 1/2 inches thick
2 teaspoons avocado oil
FRESH ground sea salt and tri-color pepper, to taste
Tomato Relish (see recipe below)

  • Preheat oven to 500° and set rack at lowest position and add baking tray to heat.
  • Cut fillet into equal pieces.
  • Make several SHALLOW slices into the skin side ONLY, DO NOT cut into flesh.
  • Pat salmon slices dry and rub with oil and generously season with salt and pepper.
  • Reduce oven temperature to 275°.
  • Place salmon skin side down on hot baking tray.
  • Return to oven and roast 10-12 minutes until centers are still translucent and edges have reached 125°.
  • Transfer to platter and top with tomato relish.
  • Serve immediately.

FRESH TOMATO RELISH
1 1/2 cups ripe tomato pieces
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1 teaspoon apple cider or champagne vinegar* (see note)
2 tablespoons FRESH chopped basil
FRESH ground sea salt and tri-color pepper, to taste

  • Combine all ingredients in a medium size bowl.
  • Season to taste.

NOTE: Original recipe called for olive oil and red wine vinegar. Personally, I’m not an olive oil fan so I substitute avocado oil AND red wine vinegar just didn’t have enough of a “bite” for us so I substitute a QUALITY apple cider vinegar or champagne vinegar.

  • This is another recipe adapted from Cook’s Illustrated Cook’s Science cook book.

POLYNESIAN CARROTS

POLYNESIAN CARROTS
2 1/2 tablespoons sweet cream butter
2 cups sliced carrots
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
3 tablespoons golden raisins
1 small can crushed pineapple, well drained
1 tablespoon QUALITY honey

  • Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
  • Add carrots and seasonings.
  • Cover and cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until carrots are tender.
  • Stir in pineapple and honey, sauteing 2-3 minutes until heated through.
  • Serve immediately.

CARROTS & APPLES

CARROTS & APPLES
2 pounds carrots, baby or 2 large carrots cut into 1 inch pieces
6 granny smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced
1/4 cup QUALITY honey
1 tablespoon Whiskey
1 tablespoon molasses
2 tablespoons butter, cut into chunks
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
Sprinkle of paprika

  • Spray crock pot insert with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Layer carrots on bottom of crock pot.
  • Add apple slices over carrots.
  • Sprinkle with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Whisk together the honey, whiskey and molasses.
  • Drizzle honey mixture over top.
  • Randomly place butter chunks.
  • Cover and cook on low 3-3 1/2 hours or until carrots are fork tender.

CREAMY GARLIC BACON PARMESAN BRUSSELS SPROUTS or CARROTS

Creamy Garlic Parmesan Brussels Sprouts & Bacon will become your NEW favorite way to eat Brussels Sprouts! Pan fried PLUS bacon and baked in a cheesy creamy garlic sauce topped with bubbling mozzarella and Parmesan cheese is a sure fire winner! This recipe is guaranteed to convert ANY sprouts hating fan!  BUT, and this is a GREAT but, this recipe is even better with carrots!

CREAMY GARLIC PARMESAN BRUSSELS SPROUTS
10 ounces bacon, diced
2 tablespoons butter
2 pounds Brussels sprouts, washed, trimmed bottom and cut sprouts in half
FRESH ground salt and pepper, to taste
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch mixed with
1 tablespoon water cornstarch slurry
1/3 cup fresh grated mozzarella
1/4 cup fresh shredded or grated Parmesan cheese

  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Fry the bacon in a large oven-safe skillet over medium heat until crispy.
  • Use a slotted spoon to transfer bacon to a paper towel lined plate to soak up some of the oil. Set aside.
  • Drain most of the bacon fat from the pan, leaving about 2 tablespoons for added flavor.
  • In the same pan, melt the butter.
  • Add the Brussels sprouts and season with salt and pepper.
  • Scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan, and cook while stirring occasionally, for about 6 minutes.
  • The edges should start crisping and slightly charring.
  • Add in the garlic and stir it through the sprouts for a minute, until fragrant.
  • Pour in the cream, reduce heat down to low and allow them to come to a SLOW simmer until tender, another 3-4 minutes.
  • If the sauce is too thin, whisk together the cornstarch and water and add to sauce stirring it through until combined.
  • Add the bacon in and mix well to blend all of the flavors together.
  • Top the sprouts with the mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.
  • Bake until cheese is bubbly and Brussels sprouts are done to your liking, about 15 minutes. If you like your cheese browned, change oven settings to broil for 2-3 minutes, until golden.
  • Season to taste before serving.

BACON WRAPPED ASPARAGUS BUNDLES

BACON WRAPPED ASPARAGUS BUNDLES serves 6
6 slices bacon
1 pound asparagus, trimmed
¼ cup PACKED brown sugar
¼ cup butter
2 teaspoons Bragg’s liquid aminos
FRESH ground black pepper
½ teaspoon sea salt

  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • Arrange bacon on baking sheet and cook 5-6 minutes JUST until fat starts to render, but NOT browned.
  • Cool bacon on paper toweling.
  • Wipe down baking sheet.
  • Arrange asparagus into 6 bundles.
  • Wrap a slice of bacon around each bundle securing with a toothpick.*see notes
  • Arrange on baking sheet.
  • In a small saucepan combine the butter, liquid aminos, brown sugar, garlic salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over high heat.
  • Pour over asparagus.
  • Roast 20-25 minutes until asparagus is tender and bacon is cooked through.
  • Heat broiler.
  • Place baking sheet under broiler for 2 minutes JUST until bacon crisps up.

NOTE: If your bacon pieces are long enough you can tuck them in and place the tucked portion on the bottom to avoid the need of toothpicks all together.

SWEET & SOUR CUCUMBERS & ONIONS – 2 versions – AMERICAN & JAPANESE

SWEET & SOUR CUCUMBERS
3 medium cucumbers, peeled and sliced thin
1 small red onion, quartered and sliced
FRESH sea salt and ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
3-4 tablespoons avocado oil
1/2 cup COLD water

  • Whisk together water, vinegar, sugar and oil until well blended.
  • Season with FRESH ground sea salt and pepper.
  • Toss cucumbers and onions in a bowl.
  • Pour vinegar mixture over and gently toss.
  • Chill.

NOTE:  If I have them I often add thinly sliced radishes also.

The Japanese version is similar, but just enough different for a nice flavor change.
JAPANESE CUCUMBER SALAD
3 medium cucumbers, peeled and sliced thin
1 small onion, quartered and sliced
2 tablespoons sea salt
FRESH ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Bragg’s liquid aminos

  • Sprinkle cucumber slices with sea salt and let stand 30 minutes.
  • Wash salt off cucumber slices, gently squeezing the water out of the cucumbers.
  • Place cucumbers and onion pieces in a bowl.
  • Whisk together the vinegar, sugar and liquid aminos.
  • Pour over cucumbers and toss gently.
  • Chill.