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recipes

Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash
Serves 4

I love fall for so many reasons. One of my favorite reasons is the variety of squashes that start emerging at the farmer’s market and elsewhere. Brilliant colors, quirky shapes and sizes - so much whimsy and so darned delicious. Though, I love squash simply steamed with a big hunk of grass fed butter, salt and pepper, I also enjoy stuffing them. This recipe is fit for company or for you and your family. It dresses up or dresses down, depending on your mood. I like to pair it with Leeks Vinaigrette and a simple tossed salad.

Preheat oven to 350.

Prepare a sheet pan with parchment paper

You will need:
2 whole acorn squash cut in half, seeds removed
About a tbl maple syrup p/half acorn
1 sprig fresh thyme p/half
1 pat butter p/half
Few shakes of cinnamon p/half
Sea salt and fresh pepper to taste

1 onion, chopped
2 celery, diced small
Fresh thyme sprigs (for filling)
1 lb sausage out of its casing  (pork, chicken or turkey)
1/3 cup cooked wild rice
1/3 cup cooked basmati rice
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup toasted pecans
Chopped parsley
Extra sea salt and pepper to taste

Directions
Dress squash as described above and roast face down until soft (about 1 hour) and starting to brown. You can feel the skin of the squash and it should yield somewhat. Then flip upright.

Meanwhile, sauté onions and celery with more fresh thyme until caramelized, then add sausage of your choice. I used chicken. Pork or turkey would work well. Plus S and P.

Cover and simmer all together. Once sausage is tender add dried cranberries and toasted pecans (chopped) and simmer 15 minutes. Add cooked rice and chopped parsley.

Once everything is ready, stuff squash and warm in oven for 15-20 minutes.

Place on lovely platter and sprinkle with more chopped parsley.
Serve.
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Leeks Vinaigrette
Serves 4

Ingredients
4 leeks, cleaned of any grit, cut lengthwise in 3 pieces about 4” long. I usually take off 1-2 outer layers, since those tend to be tougher than the inner layers.
Fresh oregano or marjoram sprigs
Fresh parsley, chopped
Pinch of sugar
Salt and pepper
2 cups chicken broth or water
2 tbl balsamic vinegar
4 tbl excellent olive oil

Directions
In a medium deep skillet, place leeks carefully. Add stock or water with fresh oregano or marjoram sprigs, sugar, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and then cover pan and gently simmer for approximately 30 minutes, until tender. I usually test with a knife. Should yield easily.

Meanwhile, whisk up your vinaigrette of balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
Once leeks are tender, remove with a slotted spoon and place in a colander and drain. Save that cooking water! It’s gold! Use for soups or for making properly soaked grains and beans, etc!

On a pretty platter, place the drained leeks in a row, drizzle with vinaigrette, and chopped parsley. Shift leeks gently to distribute the vinaigrette into every nook and cranny.
Best to let this sit for a couple hours at room temperature, so plan ahead.

Enjoy and happy late Fall from Jennifer’s Kitchen :)

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Rhubarb Chutney with Pan Seared Wild Salmon (Sandy adds "You must try this!")
Serves 4
Rhubarb! I Iove when I see that rhubarb has arrived in the markets. It's vibrant color and tartness are a breath of fresh air as we welcome a long awaited spring. I have created a rhubarb chutney to accompany pan seared wild salmon, but a pork tenderloin or turkey tenderloin would be equally delicious. Served with a simple tossed salad with basil/mint mixed in and a lemony shallot vinaigrette, plus garlic roasted fingerlings, and you have a meal fit for company.

BONUS: This chutney keeps beautifully for a week or more and is a fabulous sandwich condiment.


Ingredients

3 stalks rhubarb
1 tsp. chopped ginger
2 tsp. vanilla extract
salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 tsp. chili flakes
1/4 cup maple syrup (or to taste)
2 tbl. apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup chopped shallot

Directions
Preheat oven to 350.
In big chunks, chop up rhubarb and place in a baking dish. Bake for 10-15 minutes until soft, but still maintains its shape.
Meanwhile place the remaining ingredients in a saucepan, cover and simmer until shallot and ginger are soft and maple syrup starts to create a glaze. If it seems too dry, add a few tablespoons of water. Once rhubarb is done, add mixture from saucepan and set aside. This can be made a head of time.

Salmon
2 lbs. wild salmon fillet, with or without skin, cut into 4 pieces
4 tsp. ghee
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions
Preheat your favorite skillet until very hot (I recommend cast iron). Salt and pepper your salmon fillets. Brush them lightly with ghee. Brown fillets face down for about 3 minutes. Turn and place skillet in oven for 7-9 minutes for salmon that is slightly rare in the middle (most delectable way to eat salmon, in my opinion). If you like your salmon cooked through, leave it in a bit over 10 minutes. .
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Roasted Smoky Radish (Easy peasy and impressive).
Serves 4
This simple way of preparing radishes creates a slightly smoky, slightly bitter and slightly sweet effect, resulting in a complex balance of flavors...Sure to please the palate. A lovely side dish to accompany any meal...and leftovers are delicious tossed in with your lunch salad the following day.


Ingredients

3 generous bunches rainbow radishes
  (or the more availabl e red radishes are fine, also),
  washed and cut in 1/2
salt and pepper, to taste
2 tsp. smoked paprika
1/2 red onion, sliced thin
1 rounded tbl. pastured lard, softened
chopped flat leaf parsley

Directions
On a large sheet pan covered with parchment paper, toss everything (except chopped parsley) together. Roast until radishes are soft, yet still have some crunch, roughly 15-20 minutes depending on size of radish. Toss in the chopped parsley.

Serve...

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Golden Beets with Gremolata
Serves 4
Not only does this beautiful amber salad echo the colors of fall, it is absolutely delicious…..


Ingredients

4 golden beets, rinsed
fresh thyme branch
bay leaf
1 tbl cider vinegar
1 tsp sea salt
2 grinds of fresh pepper
1/2 cup water

Directions
Simmer whole beets in the above mixture for 30-40 minutes, or until tender, covered. Peel and quarter. if water evaporates, add additional water.


Gremolata
1 cup parsley
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2-1 tsp salt
zest of 1/2 lemon
1 tsp raw honey
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Directions
Chop and combine. Toss beets with the above. Taste to adjust seasonings.
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Easy Lamb Stew with a whisper of curry
Serves 4
As the weather starts to turn chilly (although at of this writing I'm still waiting for the chilly - it is 82 on 10/2!) warm spices and warm food feel just right. This recipe has a generous amount of fresh ginger. I like to serve this dish with a bowl of cooked, sprouted quinoa (I like the brand Tru-roots), and a simple mixed lettuce salad…..


Ingredients

2 lbs of lamb shoulder, large cubes
2-4 tablespoons ghee or butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup each chopped carrots, celery, parsnips
1 tsp salt
2-3 grinds of pepper
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tbl garlic, minced
2 tbl ginger, minced
1 cup tomato puree (I recommend Bionaturae)
1/2 can organic coconut milk
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Directions
Brown lamb in ghee. Sauté veggies in the fat left over from the lamb. Add salt and spices. Stir. Allow to cook for 10 minutes. Add tomato and coconut and 1/2 cilantro. Bring to a boil and bring down to a simmer for 3 hours. Taste for seasoning and adjust. Once cooked, add remaining 1/2 cup cilantro. Delish!
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Tossed Asparagus
Serves 3-4 as a side dish
Spring is here! I love the freshness and vivid greens that come alive during this season. Welcome asparagus! Here is a simple recipe to celebrate and honor its sweet delicacy. This side dish would be lovely with baked flounder or lemon sole for an easy light dinner…..


Ingredients

1 bunch asparagus
sea salt and pepper
extra virgin olive oil
mint
lemon zest

Directions
While not absolutely necessary, I like to use a vegetable peeler to peel the outer layers of the lower third of stalks if they are at all thick or tough. Doing this also adds a lighter green contrast to the deep green tops. Cut on a diagonal and blanch in a pot of boiling salted water until just tender. Run under cold water to stop the carry-over cooking or immerse in a waiting bowl of ice water. Place on paper towels for a few minutes to absorb any residual moisture.

Toss with sea salt and freshly ground pepper, a delicate extra virgin olive oil and lemon zest, freshly chopped mint, to taste Simple, fresh, delicious and beautiful! 

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Barley and Chicken Salad

Serves 4-6
I like making salads with grains and chicken as the weather shifts and the temperature rises. Serve this with a simple Bibb lettuce, cherry tomato, sliced avocado salad with a lemony vinaigrette and voila! – you have dinner or lunch.


For Barley Salad

1 cup barley (soak overnight in water, if possible, for easier digestion, then drain and wash...otherwise, just wash)
2 cups water (or homemade chicken broth, if available)
bay leaf
diced cucumber
diced red pepper
diced yellow pepper
blanched snow peas, sliced on a diagonal
chopped fresh basil
chopped fresh parsley
grated carrot
extra virgin olive oil, to taste
sea salt and pepper, to taste

Directions
Combine barley and water/stock, bring to a boil with bay leaf, salt and pepper. Turn down flame to a simmer for 1 hour, until barley is fully cooked. Allow to cool.

For the chicken
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
juice of ½ lemon
couple glugs of extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and pepper
Combine and marinate for 1 hour

Directions
Bake covered in 350 oven for 15 minutes, or until cooked through Reduce (by boiling) juices and marinade in a small pot until syrupy, drizzle over chicken. Allow to cool and then cube.

Combine all remaining ingredients and toss in a large bowl. Taste for seasoning and adjust. This dish gets even better after a day or so as the flavors mingle…

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Potato Sausage Soup
Serves 4
A very satisfying, true one-pot dinner, this simple soup tastes luxurious and hits the spot on a cold winter evening.


Ingredients

1 lb. beef or sausage (preferably grass-fed)
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 lb. red potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 ½ cubes
Sea salt and pepper
1 tablespoon fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage or 1 teaspoon dried (optional)
4 cups (about) chicken stock (preferably homemade, if not Pacific is a good option)
Shavings of Parmigiano-Reggiano or Romano cheese (optional)

Directions
In a heavy bottomed, good sized saucepan (a 4 quart pot works well) sauté sausage over medium heat until browned and cooked through. Remove from pot and set aside
In fat from sausage, sauté onions 3-5 minutes over medium heat until translucent. Add potatoes and salt and pepper and herbs. Toss and cook for 1 minute. Add chicken stock - enough to just cover potatoes. (You may need less than the 4 cups, better to underdo to keep your soup thick and luxurious, than overdo as you can always add more). Bring stock to a boil, turn down hear and simmer for about 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender. While soup is simmering remove sausage casing and slice sausage into ½ inch rounds. Using an immersion blender, * blend until smooth and creamy. Add more liquid if you prefer a thinner soup. Add sausage and let soup simmer over low heat for 3 more minutes until sausage is warmed through. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed. 

Ladle into bowls, add 3 or 4 shavings of cheese to each serving if using and serve hot. 

Variations
1. When soup is simmering, add 2 cups of chopped greens (tough stems removed) – kale and chard will need about 10 minutes to simmer, spinach will be cooked in 3 minutes. 
2. For extra richness, add ¾ cup heavy cream in final 5 minutes while soup is gently simmering. Do not boil once cream has been added. 
*If you do not have an immersion blender, a food processor will do the trick (although you might want to invest in an immersion blender as they come in very handy for many purees and soups).

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Try these walnuts for a great holiday snack

Rosemary Walnuts
A phenomenal prelude to the holiday dinner, these walnuts are routinely gobbled up. I have given small jars of them out as holiday gifts with many a happy recipient.

Ingredients
2 cups walnuts
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons dried rosemary (ground, if too course)
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper


Directions
Melt butter with rosemary, salt and cayenne pepper. Toss with walnuts, spread on a cookie sheet and bake at 325 degrees for 10 minutes. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator or freezer.

Note: To get rid of the bitterness and mealy tendencies of walnuts soak overnight in water with a tablespoon of sea salt. Drain, spread on a cookie sheet and dry for roughly 12 hours in oven at lowest temperature setting (ideally 150 degrees, but not higher than 170) or in a dehydrator until walnuts are dry and crispy. You'll notice a big difference.


*Adapted from Sally Fallon's Nourishing Traditions