Sunday, November 6, 2011

Pears, Beans, and Soup oh my!

The Bishop’s Wife

3/4 to 1 oz. of Spiced Simple Syrup or Fee Brothers Falernum
1/4″ lemon slice
1 oz. white rum
red wine (I prefer a zin or a cab, but really any will do)

In the bottom of a shaker, muddle the lemon slice with the Spiced Simple Syrup.
Add the rum and fill the shaker with ice. Shake madly.
Place a few ice cubes in a goblet or double-old fashioned glass. Strain the contents of shaker
into the glass. Top with red wine. Stir and garnish with lemon.

Prepared madly by Lisa Kohli

Cheesy Pear Goodness

  • 1 d'anjou pear sliced thin
  • 2 baby bartlett pears - cut in half and cored
  • Candied walnuts
  • Spinach
Dressing - Pear Vinegrette from
  • 1 (4-ounce) firm-ripe pear, peeled, cored and cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons green onions
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil 
Combine the pear, Champagne vinegar, shallots, sugar, rosemary and black pepper in a skillet and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the pears are tender, about 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer to a blender or food processor.

Add the mustard, soy sauce, kosher salt, and green onions, and puree on high speed. With the motor running, add the oil in a thin stream and process until emulsified. Remove from the blender and refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to serve. (The vinaigrette will keep for up to 1 week refrigerated.)

Yield: 1 generous cup 

Prepared by Geri and Kathy

Navy Bean and Winter Squash Soup with Sage Breadcrumbs

The Beans
1 cup navy or cannellini beans, soaked
3 large garlic cloves, smashed
1 onion, peeled, halved, and studded with 2 cloves
Aromatics: 1 bay leaf, several sage leaves, a thyme spring, 4 parsley branches
1 tablespoon olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

The Vegetables
2 to 4 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound, more or less, butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed and flesh diced
1 large onion, diced
3 to 4 small turnips (about 3/4 pound), thickly peeled and cut into chunks
1 tablespoon chopped sage
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 plump garlic clove, chopped
Aromatics: 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, pinch of dried thyme, 2 bay leaves
1/2 pound Savoy cabbage, chopped into squares

To finish
1 1/2 cups fresh bread crumbs
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons finely chopped sage
1 garlic clove, minced

1. Drain and rinse the beans and put them in a pot with 2 quarts water, the garlic, onion, aromatics, and 1 tablespoon olive oil.  Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, partially covered, for an hour.  Add 1 teaspoon salt and continue cooking until the beans are tender, another half hour or so- cooking times vary according to altitude, age of beans, and hardness of water.  Drain the beans, leaving them in just enough liquid so that they don't dry out, then strain and reserve the cooking water.  You should have 6 to 7 cups.

2. Warm the oil in a soup pot.  Add the squash, onion, turnips, sage, parsley, garlic, aromatics and 1 teaspoon salt.  Give a stir then cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have state to brown a bit here and there and caramelize, about 15 minutes.  Add the cabbage and let it wilt, then add the bean broth or equivalent amount of vegetable stock.  Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, partially covered, until the squash is tender but still intact, 15 to 20 minutes depending on size.  Add the beans and continue cooking until heated through.  Tase for salt and season with pepper.

3. Toss the breadcrumbs with 2 tablespoons oil and sage to moisten them, and put them in a skillet and cook slowly over medium heat until crisp and golden, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic during the last few minutes so that it doesn't burn. Season with salt and pepper. Serve the soup and add a generous helping of hot crumbs to each bowl.

Yield: 2 quarts
From Vegetable Soups from Deborah Madison's Kitchen

Caramel shortbread bars take #3.  Will post the new recipe when it's finally completed.  This time the caramel was a little burned :-(

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