FLOATING KITCHEN

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  • Squash and Apple Soup with Fried Sage and Halloumi
  • Squash and Apple Soup with Fried Sage and Halloumi

Squash and Apple Soup with Fried Sage and Halloumi

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Posted on October 1, 2014
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I hope you guys like the color orange. Because when I look at what recipes I have coming down the pipeline over next few weeks, the majority of them seem to be some shade of orange. Butternut squash, sweet potatoes and pumpkin for everyone! Hooray! FALL!

If you don’t like orange, then I would suggest adjusting the color on your computer screen. And stay away from Pinterest until the end of November.

Moving on…

This soup is blissfully uncomplicated. No roasting or fussing around with the ingredients. Just throw everything into one big pot, cook until softened and puree until smooth. It’s perfect for weekend lunch or a weeknight dinner. BUT with just about 5 minutes of extra effort, you can totally turn this soup into something company worthy and dare I say it: Holiday worthy.

Pureed soups are a great vehicle for fun toppings. Or for dipping grilled cheese…but that’s another post entirely. Today we are going to focus on toppings. Like fried cheese and sage. YUM!

Fried sage leaves go perfectly with the fall flavors of this soup. And they just look so darn pretty. And if you haven’t had Halloumi cheese yet, you need to fix that ASAP. Halloumi is a salty, mild, firm cheese that kind of squeaks when you eat it. You can fry it or grill it and it retains it’s shape. I just love cheese paired with apples, so I knew Halloumi would be the perfect addition to this soup.

Now orange you glad you took the extra time to fancy up this soup…

(Sorry. I’m done now.)

Cheers,

Liz

Recipe adapted from Foodess

One year ago: Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

Squash and Apple Soup with Fried Sage and Halloumi

Serves about 6

Squash and Apple Soup with Fried Sage and Halloumi

Ingredients

  • For the Soup
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cups onion, chopped
  • 4 cups peeled butternut squash, chopped
  • 1 large apple, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage leaves, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. allspice
  • 1/2 cup cream

  • For the Toppings
  • 3-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 18-20 fresh sage leaves
  • 8 ounces Halloumi cheese, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1-2 tablespoons cream

Instructions

  1. In a large heavy bottom pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and cook them, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients, except for the cream. Bring the mixture to a boil. Then turn down the heat to maintain a simmer. Simmer, covered, about 30-35 minutes or until the squash is very tender. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool briefly.
  2. Puree the soup using an immersion blender. You can also use a regular blender, making sure to work in batches. Return the pureed soup to the heat and re-warm. Stir in the cream. Keep the soup warm while you make the toppings.
  3. In a skillet over medium-high heat, warm enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the skillet. It doesn’t have to be very deep. Once the oil is hot, add the sage leaves and fry them for about 20-30 seconds per side. You don’t want them to turn dark brown. Remove them and place on a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Now add the cubed Halloumi cheese. I usually fry the cheese on two sides, about 20-30 second per side. The cheese should be golden brown. Remove and place on a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
  4. To serve, ladle the warm soup into bowls. Top with a few fried sage leaves, fried Halloumi cubes and a drizzle of cream. Enjoy!
  5. Once cooled, the soup can be stored in the refrigerator for 2-3 days in an airtight container.
http://www.floatingkitchen.net/squash-and-apple-soup-with-fried-sage-and-halloumi/
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  • How to Cook the Perfect Filet Mignon
  • How to Cook the Perfect Filet Mignon
  • How to Cook the Perfect Filet Mignon

How to Cook the Perfect Filet Mignon

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Posted on September 29, 2014
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If you’ve been hanging around here for a while, then you know that meat isn’t something I cook often at home. So when I do, I go big. And today friends, you and I are going to cook the most perfectly succulent filet mignon that will rival any restaurant steak house. Trust.

OK, let’s just talk about the elephant in the room: filet mignon is expensive. I paid $22.00 for two 6-ounce pieces at Whole Foods. So this isn’t something you’ll be cooking on a weekly basis. Unless of course you are that lucky lady who just landed the bank account heart of George Clooney. So save it for a special anniversary dinner, date night meal or intimate Holiday gathering. And keep in mind that if you were to order the filet mignon at a restaurant, it would easily cost you over $20.00 for a single entrée. At home, you can serve two people for the same price. Winning.

Are we still on board? Good. Keep reading.

This method is incredibly simple and takes only about 15 minutes. And a few little tricks help to make it completely foolproof. For example, always take your meat out of the refrigerator for about 20 minutes to remove the chill before you start cooking. Also, resist the urge to move the meat around in the pan while it’s searing. And most importantly, use a timer to keep track of the time. Things happen fast and you DON’T want to overcook filet mignon. That would be a sad thing.

I was inspired to share this little “how-to” with you today after an incredible session I attended at IFBC put on by the folks from Beef, It’s What’s for Dinner (Hi Erin!). Their session was purely educational (i.e. they weren’t pushing a particular brand or product), and their goal was simply to increase consumer knowledge about beef in America. Whether you are looking to save money at the meat counter, not sure what cut of beef to use in a particular recipe, or deciding if grass-finished beef is the appropriate choice for your family, these folks have answers for you. Be sure to check out their site for TONS of tips on shopping for, cooking and storing beef. And remember, you can always ask your butcher for advice. They are there to help you.

This filet mignon tutorial is the perfect way to help us become more confident when cooking with beef. Because when you pay the big bucks for filet mignon, you don’t want to mess it up!

One final note: I beg you not to slather this with steak sauce (just don’t), blue cheese or butter. Those toppings are all undeniably delicious, but filet mignon doesn’t need them. The meat is so tender and flavorful that it can stand on its own. A good pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper and a spoonful of any pan drippings is plenty delicious. Save your additional toppings for more inexpensive cuts of meat.

Cheers,

Liz

One year ago: Wheat Berry Salad with Whiskey Soaked Cranberries, Kale and Roasted Butternut Squash

How to Cook the Perfect Filet Mignon

Serves 2

How to Cook the Perfect Filet Mignon

Ingredients

  • 2 filet mignon steaks, each about 6-ounces and 2-inches thick
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • About 1/2 tsp. each salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Remove the filet mignon from your refrigerator and set them on your counter top to come to room temperature, about 20 minutes. Filet mignon is very lean and doesn’t usually require any trimming.
  2. Pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees. Season the filet mignon with salt and pepper on both sides. I use approximately 1/8 tsp. salt and pepper per side.
  3. Heat a large oven-proof sauté pan (I prefer a stainless steel skillet; don't use a non-stick pan) over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and let it get hot.
  4. Add the filets to the hot pan and let them cook undisturbed for 4 minutes. Use a timer and don’t move the filets around in the pan during this time. After 4 minutes, flip the filets. Then immediately transfer the sauté pan to your pre-heated oven and set your timer. Cook in the oven for 5-7 minutes, depending on your preferred level of doneness: 5 minutes for rare, 6 minutes for medium-rare or 7 minutes for medium.
  5. Remove the pan from the oven and transfer the filets to a clean plate. Tent with foil and let them rest for 5 minutes. Do not leave the filets to rest in your sauté pan or they will overcook from the residual heat in the pan.
  6. Spoon any juices from the sauté pan over the filets and serve immediately.
http://www.floatingkitchen.net/how-to-cook-the-perfect-filet-mignon/
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