In honor of Halloween today, we carved out a lid from a Fairytale pumpkin (such a great name!), scooped out the seeds, and filled the cavity of this noble squash with sliced onions and garlic, rich chicken stock, butter, a bay leaf, some nutmeg, kirmizi biber Turkish chile flakes, salt and pepper, and lots of grated Gruyère. We replaced the lid, and into a 375°F oven it went to roast until the flesh was tender, then took the lid off and added more cheese. Just before it was finished roasting, the pumpkin tricked us, and split on the sides, releasing all the flavorful broth into the roasting pan. Dang! It was so thick-walled, we thought it would never collapse. We should have stuck with Cinderella (Rouge Vif d’Etampes), the beige cheese, or the blue Jarrahdale varieties for this soup. Their thick sturdy walls won’t collapse as the pumpkin roasts in the oven. No Matter. We scooped the flesh and melted cheese into soup bowls and ladled in the broth. Happy Halloween!
The weekend is a great time to get set up for eating through the rest of the week. One of us made hummus on Sunday, so today we topped it with roasted butternut squash, chopped fennel, and scallions. We brought pita to toast then use to scoop up the flavorful “paste” but we didn’t even bother with it. We just scarfed it all down with forks, then back to work we went tummies full.
This morning it was overcast and chilly, the kind of weather that had it been ten degrees cooler, would have smelled like snow was in the forecast. Nevertheless, it’s cold enough to get our braising on. So we did. We filled our big Le Creuset Dutch oven with lamb shanks, onions, garlic, white wine, broth, and butter, covered the pot, and slid it into a 375°F oven to bubble away until the meat was about-to-fall-off-the-bone tender. Then we braised some leeks and scallions in butter. The aromas filled the studio with warmth. It’s been a long time since we’ve tucked into a big lunch like this, but it’s Friday and a worthy way to end the week. Remember to cook something delicious for yourselves this weekend, dear friends.
We are bringing dessert to a dinner party next week and have been cooking through some of our favorites to see what will fit just right with the pot luck menu. These red wine poached pears—Bartlett and Forelle—are strong contenders. Their poached flesh is so meaty, and the poaching liquid, reduced to a rich winey syrup, tastes warm and sweet. Kind of the perfect fall dessert. And not half bad for today’s lunch.
We had a great visit this morning with a group of creative minds from Bath & Body Works. They are touring Bucks County so they stopped by Canal House Station to see what we are up to and to grab a bite of breakfast. What a fun confab. We were asking them questions, “What are your favorite fragrances?” And they were asking us questions, “What are your favorite flavors?” We were all interested in each other’s point of view. They were on a schedule, so we showed them around the building, then fed them—waiting to eat later since we were the waitresses. We finally sat down around 2 P.M. to a breakfast lunch of buttered soft boiled eggs showered with tarragon and chives, toast with apricot jam, and the last piece of apple galette to share. Actually the day was about sharing. Everybody wins.
We returned to the studio this morning after being away all week. The fridge was virtually bare, save for some salted Irish butter and a hunk of parmigiano-reggiano. We’re in catch-up mode today, with no time to shop, so for lunch we indulged in big tangles of warm fettuccine bathed in sage butter with lots of cheese grated on top. We’ll have time this weekend to replenish our larder. Maybe we’ll make a pot of ragu bolognese and start next week off with a bang. Remember to cook something delicious for yourselves, dear friends.
We met at the studio late this morning, CH carrying bags of baby vegetables she picked up at Trauger’s Farm Market on her way in, and MH following bringing Bobolink’s cheddar cheese and fresh eggs that she gets from her post mistress. But how to get everything to go together for our lunch? So . . . we roasted the vegetables and made a delicate, trembling cheese flan. It was the perfect way to end this week. And best of all, it feels like fall is finally here. Remember to cook something delicious for yourselves this weekend, dear friends.
Comfort food for us on this dreary afternoon. Nothing quite like the rich sweetness of a baked white sweet potato with pools of melted, salted Irish butter all further seasoned with Maldon salt and black pepper. We were tempted to pour ourselves a splash of Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieux Télégraphe, but kept pious and sipped cups of hot milky tea instead.
We both happened to bring leftovers from last night’s dinners with us to the studio today to make lunch. CH brought beautiful finger-size eggplant she had braised in olive with salt and pepper in the oven until their skins were tender and their flesh soft and silky. MH brought a grilled flank steak and a cilantro-flecked, garlicky green sauce. We rarely know ahead what we’ll make for lunch, let alone who will make it. And if one of us text messages the other before getting to the studio that she’s “got lunch”, just what that will be is usually not revealed. So today’s lunch is a serendipitous one—a delicious combination of sliced cold steak and baby eggplant with lots of green sauce spooned on top. So nice when two things come together to make a whole.
We’ve been reluctant to dive head first into fall cooking, probably because we don’t feel like we really got enough summer produce this year with all the rain we have had. But there’s no denying it. The pumpkins and squash are the heroes at the farm stands now. So we bought ourselves a red kuri squash, scooped out the seeds, seasoned the cavity with olive oil, butter, salt, and a little smoked paprika, and roasted it in a 400°F oven. Squash wouldn’t be enough, really, so we put a slab of bacon in a heavy pot with a lid, added a splash of water, and roasted it next to the squash. Ahh, the deep flavors of this combo. So long summer. Fall cooking has commenced.
We made the simplest of lentil soups for lunch. We had a bag of lovely, little green lentils in the pantry and a tub of frozen rich turkey stock in the freezer. We rinsed the lentils then simmered them in the stock until tender. A little salt, black pepper, a splash of vinegar. Then, while looking for a lemon, we spotted some jellied pan drippings from a roast chicken in the back of the fridge and decided to stir them into the lentils. We each had a big bowl of soup garnished with some good olive oil, minced chives, and a squeeze of lemon—our version of a simple lentil soup. It sure helps having a few good ingredients to reach for.