Squash Soup with Pepitas Two Ways

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Fall is finally upon us in California – it’s a chilly 59 degrees today! Which means it is time for soup!! This one is from Food & Wine – I love the use of pepitas two ways to add different textures to the creamy soup!

Ingredients:
3/4 c raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
6 TBSP olive oil
2 tsp sugar
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 3 lb kabocha squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 bay leaf
2/3 c white wine
4 c vegetable stock
2 c water
Pumpkin seed oil for drizzling

Preheat the oven to 375°. Spread 1/2 cup of the pumpkin seeds in a pie plate. In another pie plate, toss the remaining 1/4 cup of pumpkin seeds with the 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil, the sugar and a pinch of salt. Bake the pumpkin seeds for 12 minutes, stirring once, until lightly browned and crisp; let cool completely.
Transfer the plain roasted pumpkin seeds to a mini food processor. Add 1/4 cup of the olive oil and pulse until the seeds are ground to a paste. Season with salt.

In a saucepan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil until shimmering. Add the onion and a generous pinch of salt and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened and just starting to brown, 8 minutes. Add the squash and bay leaf and cook, stirring, until the squash just begins to soften, 5 minutes. Add the wine and cook until almost evaporated, 4 minutes. Add the stock and water and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderately low heat, stirring, until the squash is very tender, 20 minutes. Discard the bay leaf.

Purée the soup with an immersion blender until smooth.

Garnish with seeds, pesto and a drizzle of pumpkin oil.

Serves 6.

Bacon Cheese Scones

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I am more of a savory person when it comes to breakfast, and these savory scones hit the spot. I shredded the cheese and chopped the bacon in the processor to save time.

5 slices bacon, cooked crispy
2 c flour, plus more for the work surface
2 tsp baking powder
1 c finely grated Asiago or Gruyere cheese, plus more for sprinkling if you please
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 c unsalted butter, cold, cut into chunks
1 large egg
3/4 c buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 400°F (204°C) and position a rack in the middle of the oven. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a food processor, dump the flour, baking powder, cheese, bacon, salt, and pepper and pulse briefly to mix. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture looks like coarse meal.

In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and cream or milk until blended. Pour the egg mixture into the processor and pulse just until the dough beginsp to pull away from the sides of the bowl and come together into a ball. The dough will be quite sticky.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Gently knead several time, then bring the dough together into a ball. Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out the dough to 1⁄2 inch thickness. Using a pastry cutter, cut into triangles or use a floured cup to cut into circles. Repeat with remaining dough. Space the scones evenly on the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle the tops of the scones with additional cheese.

Bake until the scones are golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool slightly before serving.

Makes 12 – 14.

Pate stuffed Fruit

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Ok so it’s not really a recipe, since I did not make the pate, but is yummy and easy so I’m sharing.

Ingredients:
5 figs, halved
6 medjool dates
Pate
Truffle oil

Cut the fig halved almost in half and stuff with pate.

Remove seeds from dares and fill with pate.

Place on a plate and drizzle with a little truffle oil.

Serves 2.

Chanterelle and Leek Tart

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Costco has chanterelles!! This always makes my day! So after cleaning them (the only downside) I decided to whip up a little tart to showcase my find. I used trader joes puffed pastry, it takes great and means a little less work on my end, so what the heck. Also I can be in denial about all the butter 😉 outside of that this dish is on the healthy side.

Ingredients:
1 Frozen puffed pastry sheet
3 leeks thinly sliced, white and light green parts
1 lb chanterelles, cleaned and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
3 TBSP butter
2 tsp thyme, fresh
3 TBSP creme fraiche of heavy cream
3/4 c gruyere, grated
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375.

Roll out pastry on a floured surface so that it will cover your tart pan (I use one with a pop out bottom). Place your tart pan on a baking sheet. Lay the pastry in the pan and gently push into all the corners. Use a rolling pin to cut off the excess by rolling over the top of the pan. Lay a piece of aluminum foil over the pastry and fill the pan with dried beans, rice or baking stones – you don’t want the pastry puffing.

Bake for 15 minutes. Remove foil and prick the pastry with a fork, bake 10 more minutes.

In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat, add leeks and sauté for 5 minutes until soft. Add mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes, until they release their water. Salt and pepper. Turn off heat and stir in creme and thyme.

To assemble: spread 1/2 the cheese in the bottom of the pastry, top with mushroom mixture then spread remaining cheese on top.

Bake for 25 minutes, until cheese is melted and starting to brown.

Serves 4.