Saturday, November 19, 2016

Butternut Squash Soup with Candied Pecans

After searching and trying recipes for years, I finally found THE ONE! I have been desperately seeking a way to replicate the Butternut Squash soup I had at Blue Lemon in Utah for years! Luckily, Favorite Family Recipes has a recipe that has it spot on. And we also have a recipe for candied pecans that's a must have on top of your soup.

Butternut Squash Soup (from Favorite Family Recipes)
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ginger (freshly grated is best!)
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup apple cider
  • 2 pounds of butternut squash (1 pkg. from Costco)
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 1-2 cups heavy cream
  • Croutons and chopped pecans, optional
  • In a large pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add brown sugar and spices to melted better and stir for 1 minute.
  • Add chicken stock and apple cider. Bring to a boil.
  • Add squash and carrots. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, or until squash and carrots can easily be poked with a fork. Check liquid in the pot while simmering. Add more chicken stock if necessary.
  • Pour all the contents of the pot into a blender. Puree until mixture is smooth.
  • Blend in 1 cup of heavy cream. Gradually add more until the mixture reaches the consistency of a creamy soup.
  • Pour the contents of blender back into the pot and keep warm until ready to serve.
  • After serving soup into individual bowls, garnish with croutons and chopped pecans.

Candied Pecans

1/2 c. pecan halves
1 T butter
1 T brown sugar

Melt butter in a saucepan over heat. Add pecans, then sugar to coat. Once sugar is melted, remove from heat. You don't want to overcook these.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Grilled Pizza Dough

Not every pizza dough is alike. This one is perfect for grilling on the BBQ. The wheat flour adds a sturdiness, not to mention health benefit, to aid in the perfect browning.

Grilling Pizza Dough

2 1/4 c. white flour
2 1/4 c. wheat flour
4 1/2 tsp. coarse salt
1 1/2 c. warm water
3 tsp. yeast
1 1/2 tsp. olive oil  
3 T honey

Mix flour and salt in large bowl. Place warm water in a small bowl and sprinkle yeast over water and let sit (sprinkle with sugar). Let stand until dissolved (about 10 minutes). Pour yeast mixture into bowl with flour and salt. Add oil and honey. Mix with until course dough forms. Knead dough if not using a bread mixer. Cover bowl, let stand for at least 30 minutes. 

Roll little dough balls onto lightly floured or greased surface making individual pizzas into 10 to 12-inch circles. 

Heat BBQ grill to low. Brush or spray the bottom of pizza crust and lay on the grill. Close grill and check every 3 to 4 minutes. Crust will be ready to remove from grill when it is puffy and has a golden bottom. 

Remove from grill and turn it over so the uncooked size is facing down. Place pizza toppings onto the COOKED side of the pizza. Return to grill and close lid. Check after 5 minutes. Toppings will be melted and "cooked." Bottom will be golden. 

*I like to make some leftover (half-grilled) pizzas and freeze them for a quick dinner or lunch later.

One of my favorite wood-fired pizzas is served at a local pizza place called Malawi's. The Capri is my favorite. I think I have mimicked it well. What I do is add Alfredo Sauce (recipe below), fresh mozzarella, basil leaves and fresh, garden tomatoes. Then once the pizza is cooked I drizzle reduced balsamic glaze on top.

Our Favorite Alfredo Sauce

1/2 c. butter
1 pint heavy whipping cream (2 cups)
4 oz. cream cheese
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

In a medium saucepan, add butter, heavy whipping cream and cream cheese. Cook over medium heat and whisk until melted. Add the minced garlic, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Continue to whisk until smooth. Add the grated Parmesan cheese. 
Bring to a simmer and continue to cook for about 3-5 minutes or until it starts to thicken. 

*I have noticed if you blend up the shredded Parmesan in a blender (might take more than 1 cup) it tends to melt better.