On Cook’s Corner Today – Making a Special Happy Thanksgiving Salad

Many thanks for tuning in to watch me on Cook’s Corner today. I hope you enjoyed the segment and will love my Mixed Greens with Roasted Butternut Squash.

The segment was taped last week … which is a very good thing since I’m busy in my kitchen today.

Wishing your and yours a happy Thanksgving! Bon appétit!

Want more? Click Here! for seasonal menus or Here! for a complete list of and links to all the recipes on this blog!

What’s on tap for you this weekend? I’d love to hear from you! Let’s get a conversation going. To make a comment, just click on Comments below. I’d be delighted to add you to the growing list of blog subscribers. To subscribe: just scroll back up, fill in your email address and click on the Sign Me Up button.

And if you’ve got a minute … many thanks for taking a look at my philanthropic project Eat Well-Do Good. Why not join me at the next Eat Well-Do Good dinner?

© Susan W. Nye, 2012

In the Kitchen with Fresh Pumpkin Purée

With Thanksgiving next week maybe you are thinking about making homemade pumpkin purée for your pie. Or maybe not. Anyway, don’t do what I did the first time I attempted to make some.

I was in Switzerland and canned pumpkin purée was nowhere to be found. I simply steamed it until tender in the microwave and threw it in the food processor. Then, I thought it would be interesting to skip the traditional pie and made a pumpkin mousse. I soon discovered that the purée was much too watery. Instead of setting up nicely, it both seperated and was more soup than mousse.

Now I know better and share the recipe for a nice thick pumpkin purée! But don’t worry, I won’t tell if you decide to pick up a can of Libby’s at the supermarket. Enjoy!

Fresh Pumpkin Purée
Fresh pumpkin purée is very easy but you must plan ahead. Unless you want soupy purée it needs to drain overnight!
Makes about 3 cups

2 lb fresh sugar pumpkin
Melted unsalted butter

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a colander with overlapping coffee filters or cheese cloth and set it over a large bowl.

Cut the pumpkin in half; scrape out the seeds and membrane. Cut the pumpkin into wedges and brush the flesh side of the pumpkins with melted butter.

Arrange, flesh side down, in a large roasting pan and cover with foil. Bake for 1 hour. Turn the pieces, cover and return to the oven. Cook for 1 more hour or until the pumpkin is very tender. Remove the foil and cool the pumpkin in the pan.

When the pumpkin is cool enough to handle, scoop out the pumpkin and discard the skin. Purée the pulp in batches in a food processor. Transfer the purée to the colander and cover the pumpkin. Set it in the refrigerator and let drain overnight.

If you use a lot of pumpkin during the fall and winter months, particularly over the holidays, double or even triple this recipe. Divide the purée into 1 cup portions and freeze.

Happy Thanksgiving and bon appétit!

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©Susan W. Nye, 2012

In the Kitchen with My Food Mill

With cooler weather, cooking comes off the grill and into the kitchen. It’s a good time to make soup, soup and more soup. Soups loaded with veggies, packed with lentils or beans or filled with noodles and spice – I love them all. Many of my favorite soups are puréed to a chunky or smooth perfection. Two soups,Butternut Squash and Wild Mushroom, stand out. Enjoy either in a mug with a good book for lunch, serve them in your finest china at an elegant dinner or invite your guests to sip them from espresso cups at a cocktail party.

You can whip up a puréed soup in the food processor (chunky) or blender (smooth) or use a food mill. I discovered food mills when I lived in Switzerland. An old boyfriend who was particularly fond of smooth and creamy soups inspired me to buy my first moulinette. Widely used in Europe, I found mine in the supermarket. In the US, you can find them in specialty kitchen stores or on-line.

Unlike a food processor or blender, a food mill purées vegetables while it separates out the seeds, peels and fibrous bits. If you don’t feel like seeding and peeling the tomatoes and want a very smooth base, you can use it to purée the tomatoes, carrots, celery and onions in my Roasted Tomato Soup with Corn. It is also handy for making mashed potatoes, marmalade and apple sauce.

Bon appétit!

More Tips, Tricks & Tools

How will you celebrate the summer solstice? I’d love to hear from you! Let’s get a conversation going. To make a comment, just click on Comments below. I’d be delighted to add you to the growing list of blog subscribers. To subscribe: just scroll back up, fill in your email address and click on the Sign Me Up button. You’ll get an email asking you to confirm your subscription … confirm and you will automatically receive a new story and recipe every week.

Want more? Click here for lots more to read, see & cook! In addition, I hope that you will take a minute to learn about my philanthropic project Eat Well-Do Good. ©Susan W. Nye, 2012

Out of the Kitchen & the Summer Solstice

Today is the longest day of the year! And a hot one at that. On the beaches of Scandinavia, Great Britain and Ireland there will be bon fires. Given that the temperatures are threatening to top out at 100 in New England, I think you can skip the fires … but not the beach.

Celebrate the Solstice with a long lazy evening on the beach. Keep cool with a refreshing Shandy. Or spice it up a bit with a Caribbean Shandy, a fifty-fifty mix of ginger beer and beer over ice.

Thinking about Scandinavia, dinner has got to be salmon or shrimp. You can grill salmon or shrimp. Or keep it very cool with a beautiful platter of smoked Norwegian salmon with slices of lemon, red onion and capers. Add a lovely cucumber salad. Peel, seed and chop cucumbers, add thinly sliced scallions and roughly chopped oregano and parsley. Sprinkle with sea salt and freshly ground pepper, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar and toss. Then again, a salad with a few shrimp sounds good. Try a few precooked shrimp on a refreshing Thai Salad for a delicious too hot weather meal.

And when the temperature tops out above ninety … top it off with ice cream. Whether you make your own gelato or pick up a quart of your favorite ice cream, enjoy a cold and creamy finish!

Have a lovely evening and stay cool. Bon appétit!

More Tips, Tricks & Tools

How will you celebrate the summer solstice? I’d love to hear from you! Let’s get a conversation going. To make a comment, just click on Comments below. I’d be delighted to add you to the growing list of blog subscribers. To subscribe: just scroll back up, fill in your email address and click on the Sign Me Up button. You’ll get an email asking you to confirm your subscription … confirm and you will automatically receive a new story and recipe every week.

Want more? Click here for lots more to read, see & cook! In addition, I hope that you will take a minute to learn about my philanthropic project Eat Well-Do Good. ©Susan W. Nye, 2012

In the Kitchen with Tarragon

So … (hopefully) this week’s Asparagus Crostini recipe caught your fancy.
Since you only need a couple of tablespoons, could be your hand is hesitating over that big bunch of tarragon at the farmer’s market or grocery store.

Maybe you are wondering … What the heck do I do with all the extra tarragon? Tarragon is wonderful with chicken, seafood and vegetables. Stir some into a traditional Beurre Blanc and serve it with Roasted Salmon or Grilled Swordfish or swap out the rosemary in one of my favorite marinades for grilled chicken.

Or whisk up a batch of Tarragon Aioli. You will quickly find 101 uses for this tasty sauce. It is delicious with cold lobster or chicken at an elegant picnic or ladies lunch. It makes a delicious potato salad. Drizzle a little on steamed asparagus or grilled carrots. And finally, it is a great dip for veggies or shrimp.

Tarragon Aioli
Makes about 1 cup

1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2-3 drops or to taste hot pepper sauce
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup or to taste extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons minced fresh tarragon
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Put the mayonnaise, vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, hot pepper sauce and garlic in a small food processor* or blender and process to combine.

With the motor running, slowly add the olive oil until process until smooth and creamy.

Transfer the aioli to a small bowl and whisk in the tarragon. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to combine the flavors. Whisk before serving with seafood, chicken or fresh, grilled or steamed vegetables.

* I love my mini food processor but if you don’t have one or don’t want to get out the blender you can use a hand whisk to combine the ingredients.

Happy fun cooking with fresh herbs and bon appétit!

More Tips, Tricks & Tools

What’s your favorite herb? I’d love to hear from you! Let’s get a conversation going. To make a comment, just click on Comments below. I’d be delighted to add you to the growing list of blog subscribers. To subscribe: just scroll back up, fill in your email address and click on the Sign Me Up button. You’ll get an email asking you to confirm your subscription … confirm and you will automatically receive a new story and recipe every week.

Want more? Click here for lots more to read, see & cook! In addition, I hope that you will take a minute to learn about my philanthropic project Eat Well-Do Good. ©Susan W. Nye, 2012

In the Kitchen with Herbs

With summer here or at least fast approaching, it is wonderful to cook with herbs fresh from the garden. My still untamed oregano is roaming the backyard. My chives, thyme and tarragon are thriving. Newly planted rosemary and mint are flourishing.

All too often we (and by we I mean at least me) think of herbs as an after-thought or a bit of green to add a an otherwise dull plate. And optional … particularly when that bunch in the supermarket looks tired and tasteless. As obvious as it sounds, we (and again that means me)  sometimes forget that herbs are more than a garnish … they are food.

Especially in summer and especially in salads, why not add a handful (not just a sprinkle) of fresh herbs? Toss mint and cilantro with romaine in a Thai Salad or tarragon, parsley and mint with Israeli couscous in my Couscous Salad with Grilled Vegetables.

And on a rainy, chilly night? What could be better than Pesto? And when it’s not rainy or chilly? Pesto is great in a pasta salad!

Happy cooking with fresh herbs and bon appétit!

More Tips, Tricks & Tools

What’s your favorite herb? I’d love to hear from you! Let’s get a conversation going. To make a comment, just click on Comments below. I’d be delighted to add you to the growing list of blog subscribers. To subscribe: just scroll back up, fill in your email address and click on the Sign Me Up button. You’ll get an email asking you to confirm your subscription … confirm and you will automatically receive a new story and recipe every week.

Want more? Click here for lots more to read, see & cook! In addition, I hope that you will take a minute to learn about my philanthropic project Eat Well-Do Good. ©Susan W. Nye, 2012

In the Kitchen & On the Road with Asparagus

And now a little shameless self-promotion …

It’s asparagus season … and if you are in New England that means tasty, local asparagus. I’ve been doing my best to enjoy a little asparagus every day. To encourage any and everyone to join me, I’m on an asparagus road trip.

Last Friday I was down in Manchester roasting asparagus on WMUR’s Cook’s Corner with Erin Fehlau.

This Saturday, May 19th I’ll be up in Lebanon (that’s the town on the NH/VT border, not the country) at Board & Basket. I’m looking forward to sharing some of my favorite asparagus recipes and demonstrating Mauviel 1830® cookware. If you are in the area stop by to say hello, check out the store and sip asparagus soup, nibble asparagus crostini or try a bite of asparagus risotto.

Fresh Aspargus & Mauviel 1830®
at
Board & Basket
May 19th from 1:00 to 3:00

10 Benning Street #5 / Shaw’s Powerhouse Plaza
West Lebanon, New Hampshire
603-298-5813 or 800-635-1119

Happy cooking and bon appétit!

More Tips, Tricks & Tools

What’s your favorite herb? I’d love to hear from you! Let’s get a conversation going. To make a comment, just click on Comments below. I’d be delighted to add you to the growing list of blog subscribers. To subscribe: just scroll back up, fill in your email address and click on the Sign Me Up button. You’ll get an email asking you to confirm your subscription … confirm and you will automatically receive a new story and recipe every week.

Want more? Click here for lots more to read, see & cook! In addition, I hope that you will take a minute to learn about my philanthropic project Eat Well-Do Good. ©Susan W. Nye, 2012