Bareburger’s Roadhouse burger with bison meat, pepperjack, grilled onions, avocado, roasted red peppers, country bacon, and smoked paprika mayo. Oh, it was messy, but so good!
I eat. I cook. I travel. And I blog about it.
A couple weeks before Thanksgiving, my friend Matt told me he had just made butternut squash soup; which gave me the idea to make it for my Thanksgiving dinner. I requested his recipe and he e-mailed me very procedural and detailed instructions. Thanks Matt!
He told me he adopted ideas from several other recipes for this soup and likewise, I did the same. I tweaked Matt’s recipe a just little and added some fresh herbs and bacon. Also, I was making a bigger batch, I had 2 squashes and added an extra can of chicken stock.
The recipe below is essentially Matt’s with my little additions/comments in bold. I’m sure it’ll taste just as good with or without my additions. Hope you all enjoy it too!
Butternut Squash Soup
This is just like the restaurant, similar creaminess, healthier, but still full of flavor. This recipe makes 5-6 rice bowl servings, for larger groups and bigger portions double or even triple everything. Surprisingly you do not need to add other salt/pepper like ingredients. Of course you can if you want. Like all my other recipes, this is adapted from multiple ones and this is the second attempt. First attempt I used light cream, second batch was milk only. It made no “creamier” difference, milk is sufficient.
1.) Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2.) Wash the exterior of the butternut squash and cut off the stem. Slice into quarters lengthwise. Remove the seeds but it does not have to be perfectly clean. Place them on a pan with a sheet of tinfoil to avoid sticking but shouldn’t be a problem if used without. Optional: Melting 1Tbsp of butter and drizzle on the squash. (I just cut up chunks of butter and threw it into the cavity of the squash. I sprinkled the top with salt and pepper, and then I laid a few pieces of bacon on top of the squash before putting it into the oven) Time: 1 hour. Don’t worry if it starts to brown or darken. This is to make peeling the skin a lot easier and gives it that smoky flavor.
3.) While you are waiting dice the onions, peel and cut the potato, and dice the garlic. Try to make these slices small as it will reduce the cooking time, but don’t worry it will all be blended later. Put them into a pot (I also added the bay leaves and thyme) with a little bit of olive oil, stir a couple times to even out the cooking for 5-10 minutes over medium heat or until you feel they are soft. Pour in the can of chicken stock with the 3 Tbsp of butter, stir occasionally until everything comes to a boil. Set aside to cool.
4.) Once the butternut squash is done, let sit at room temperature for a few minutes or until you can easily handle. Peeling the skin is still tedious but easy to do with a fork or knife. Don’t forget to peel the extra skin on top where the seeds used to be.
5.) Place squash into blender and add the stock mixture from the pot. You may need to do this in batches as it may not all fit in. (Note: Depending on your style, blend as much or as little as you want to keep it grainy or smooth. Do not fill the blender to capacity since hot liquids and steam tend to blow off the top of the blender, pulse method and removing the top every now and then to release the steam pressure will alleviate any volcano explosions)
6.) Pour blended mixture back into the pot over medium heat. Add milk and/or heavy cream. Depending on your tastes, increase the quantity to the consistency you want. Adding a little bit of hot water may help too if you do not want to add more cream.
7.) Optional: I found that adding several heaps of sour cream increases the flavor and sweetness from the soup. Add a little at a time while tasting proves effective. Yes I was shocked to hear this too.
8.) Serve with garish or just by itself! Delicious.
Clinton Street Baking Co. & Restaurant
At 10:30AM, there was already a 1.5 hour wait. I should have taken a photo of the line outside the door. The people waiting to get a table took up most of the sidewalk. And yes, I think the wait was totally worth it. The food was great and the portions were generous. They are known to have the best pancakes in New York. I think that’s why people flock here in droves to come try them. Also, it’s “Pancake Month" but these special pancakes are only served on weekdays. Anyways, I think weekend brunch is usually this crazy for them. Clinton Street Baking Co. has made it to one of my top brunch places in NYC.
Photos from top left corner: Tomato Fennel Bisque with Grilled Goat Cheese Sandwich (special), Japanese Pumpkin Waffle (special), Blueberry Pancakes with Warm Maple Butter, Crab Cake Sandwich, Southern Breakfast-(2 eggs, cheese grits, sugar-cured bacon, fried green tomato), Country Breakfast (not really pictured- 3 eggs, grilled ‘cured 81’ ham steak, hashbrowns, and buttermilk buscuit)
Clinton Street Baking Co. & Restaurant, 4 Clinton Street (btw E. Houston & Stanton St.) Lower East Side
For nearly 4 years now, it has been kind of a tradition with my friends to meet up for brunch on Black Friday morning. This year we brunched at Food. Comtemporary Comfort located in Summit, NJ. It’s a cosy/ modern brunch spot with decent food. We started with the Apple “fruit pie” Fritters and those were yummy…exactly like McDonald’s warm apple pies. Then for $8, I had eggs & bacon which came with a side of toast and 2 hash browns. The bacon and eggs were good, but the hash browns were burnt to a crispy..yuk! We all shared a side of their sweet potato fries which was pretty good.
Food. Contempary Comfort, 339 Springfield Ave. Summit, NJ 07901
Bacon fried in a whole lot of butter taste so heavenly good! Yaah, they should totally sell this stuff in the movie theaters. Way better than popcorn.
My tomato bisque soup recipe used bacon fat and butter to add flavor to the soup; although it’s totally fine to just use olive oil. The fried bacon could then be used as a garnish or it’ll be great to use in a salad as well.
French Culinary Institute…Charcuterie & Pate class
I’ve been attending a class at the FCI and it has been the most amazing experience ever. In two weeks I’ve learned basic techniques on how to make prosciutto, deli ham, dried cured sausage, country pate, smoked bacon, and fois gras. Yummy, yummy, yummy! It’s the last week next week and starting to feel a little sad; but signing up for this has been the best decision I’ve ever made. Go do what you love, you won’t regret it!