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Crispy Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Caramelized Onion Jam, Butternut Squash Soup with Lemon Ricotta and Pumpkin Seed Pesto and Celery Root Risotto with Roasted Granny Smith Apples


Crispy Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Caramelized Onion Jam

Brussels sprouts (about 4 whole sprouts per serving)
Extra virgin olive oil
Butter - 1/2 T per serving
Shallot - one half per serving, peeled and finely minced (optional)
Fresh lemon juice
Salt (preferably sea salt, but Kosher or regular will work)

1.    Trim bottom stem from sprouts and remove outside leaves.  Cut in half lengthwise

2.    Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a rapid boil, add sprouts and cook for 10 minutes.

3.    Immediately strain sprouts and, while still hot, toss them in a mixing bowl with olive oil and sea salt to coat. If you are using shallots, stir them in at this point.

4.    Add olive oil to sauté pan to coat.  Add sprouts and cook, tossing, until browned and crispy.

5.    Divided between plates and serve with Bacon and Caramelized Onion Jam.

Bacon and Caramelized Onion Jam
Makes enough for 4 Servings Brussels Sprouts

3/4 lb thick-cut bacon
1/2 large yellow onion, peeled and diced
1/8 cup brown sugar
1/8 cup red wine
1/8 cup red wine vinegar

1.    Cook bacon in sauté pan until crispy.  Set aside on paper towels to drain.

2.    Discard half of the fat in the ban.  In remaining fat, over low heat, cook onions until caramelized.

3.    Meanwhile, roughly chop bacon.

4.    Stir in brown sugar, wine, vinegar, and bacon.

5.    Continue to cook over low heat until reduced to a sticky jam, about 10 minutes.

Butternut Squash Soup with Lemon Ricotta and Pumpkin Seed Pesto
Serves 8

2 large butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1.5 gallon water
1 organic white onion, peeled and sliced
Olive oil
1 lb unsalted butter

1.    Preheat oven to 3500.  
2.    Toss cubed squash with a small amount of olive oil and spread out on sheet pan.
3.    Roast for 20 minutes. 
4.    Set a large saucepan over medium heat and add 1/2 tsp oil.
5.    When oil has heated add the white onion sauté until soft, about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
6.    Add water, butter, and roasted squash and simmer at a low boil for 1 hour.
7.    Carefully pour into a food processor or blender and puree until smooth.
8.    To serve, divide between serving bowls.  Swirl lemon ricotta on each serving and top with another swirl of pesto.

House Made Lemon Ricotta
1/2 gallon whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup plus 1 brimming tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

1.    Place a very fine strainer (preferably a chinoise) in a large (3 gallon) container and line with at least four layers of cheese cloth. 
2.    Place milk, cream, and salt in large sauce pot.  Bring to a simmer.  
3.    Add lemon juice and allow to simmer for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Milk and cream will curdle.

4.    Pour into lined chinoise and place in refrigerator to cool.
5.    Keep cheese refrigerated, discarding strained liquids.

Pumpkin Seed Pesto
1 bunch cilantro
Pinch oregano
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
    1 small clove    garlic
1-2 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/3 cup Canola oil
1/3 cup toasted pumpkin seeds (see Salsa Verde recipe)

1.    Place all ingredients except oil and pumpkin seeds in a blender.  Turn on high and add the oil and seeds.  Adjust salt to taste.

Celery Root Risotto with Roasted Granny Smith Apples

1.5 cups Arborio Rice
6-8 cups water
1/2 cup Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio
6 T olive oil, divided
2 T minced shallot
1 cup minced onion
1 lb celery root
3 Granny smith apples, unpeeled, diced
Salt and pepper to taste

1.    Trim the outer layer of the celery root, cutting around bulb and leaving the center white flesh. Dice celery root.

2.    Toss with a little olive oil and roast on a sheet pan in a 3500 oven for about 30 minutes.
3.    Remove to blender and puree until smooth.  Keep warm.  Do not turn oven off. 
4.    Meanwhile, heat heavy sauté pan and add 2 T olive oil. Stir in onions, sprinkle with salt, lower heat.  
5.    Cook, stirring, until onions have a Maui tan.
6.    Stir in water and wine and let mixture simmer.
7.    Heat a second heavy pan and add 2 T olive and shallot.
8.    When the shallots are clear (do not brown), add the rice.  Stir continuously for about 5 minutes, until the outside of the rice becomes clear.

9.    Add the simmering wine stock mixture a ladle at a time, letting each addition absorb into rice before adding more.  Stir continuously.

10.    After 15 minutes, start tasting the rice and do so constantly.  The finished rice should taste cooked, but still have a little chew (not a crunch!).

11.    Meanwhile, core and dice Granny Smith apples.  Roast on a sheet pan at 3500 for about 12 minutes.
12.    When rice is finished, stir in the warm celery root puree.  Taste, and season with salt and pepper.
13.    Just before serving, stir in roasted Granny Smith apples.

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