Monday, December 13, 2010

Autumn Harvest Dinner

A couple of weeks ago, my boyfriend and I picked up a bounty of Autumn vegetables at Pepper Place (a local farmer's market). In true "fall" fashion, there was football blaring on the television all day after we got home from the market. We made an "Autumn Harvest Dinner" that turned out to be a very warm, rustic, and tasty dinner...all with an exotic twist!

We roasted acorn squash and stuffed it with Moroccan cous-cous, butternut squash soup with an Indian twist, and rutabagas with local honey, caramelized onions and a splash of ground ginger! I'm getting all warm inside just thinking about it all! I didn't exactly have a recipe for anything I made that day and I can't remember specific measurements, so I w,ill just give you a run down of the basics...

Roasted Acorn Squash stuffed with Moroccan Cous-Cous:
You will need 1 Acorn squash per 2 people (split in half, cover with melted butter and roast in 400 degree oven for 45 minutes). Prepare cous-cous according to packaging and add a smidgen of olive oil, raisins, chickpeas, roasted or powedered garlic and salt and pepper to taste. Stuff acorn squash halves with lovely concoction. Devour!

Butternut Squash Soup:
Now, I can't lie, this stuff was absolutely divine. I could've eaten an entire bucket of it! Cut your butternut squash in half, cover with melted butter and roast in 400 degree oven for 45 minutes (just like you did with the acorn squash). When the squash comes out it should be soft and gooey and easy to scoop out of the skin with a spoon. After you scoop it out, cut it into manageable pieces (one inch cubes is good). Add the roasted squash to a pot on medium heat and add the following to taste: heavy cream or half & half, butter, brown sugar, curry powder, garam masala (just use cinnamon if you don't have this on hand), and then add just a dash of nutmeg and a larger dash of cayenne pepper. Bring to boil, then immediately reduce to simmer and let simmer for about 20 minutes. Afterwards, I used a hand held immersion blender to smooth out my soup to a desired consistency, but I suppose you could use a food processor if you don't have one (be careful not to burn yourself with the hot soup though)! Eat with a spoon or dip some yummy bread in it!

Rutabagas with Caramalized Onions and Ginger:
Peel and chop the rutabagas (I used about 4-5 medium to large ones) into bite sized cubes. Boil for about 15-20 minutes. While the 'bagas are boiling, saute 1 small chopped onion in butter until brown and caramelized. Drain rutabagas, add to sauted onions, and brown rutabagas with onions (add more butter if needed). Add generous drizzling of honey and sprinkle in some ground ginger. Saute in pan for another 5-7 minutes until tender. Grab a fork and dive in!

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