Today I'm headed one hour north to Portland, OR, home of KOIN's STUDIO 6 - lifestyle show for woman and whoever else happens to be watching channel 6 at 4:00pm in the greater Portland area. Oh yes! I've hit the big time.
For those of you who read my blog or don't turn a blind eye to all the junk in the right hand column of this page, you know that I've been on STUDIO 6 before whipping up "Fast Fresh Sauces." But now that fall has hit, fresh just doesn't sound so appealing. No this is not blasphemy. I still like Fresh Air and Fresh Food when cool weather hits. I just prefer my fresh air heated by the fire place and my fresh food cooked to death - aka: "comfort food."
Turns out the ladies up at STUDIO 6 are into comfort in October too, like everyone else who is lucky enough to live in a place where sweater weather last most of the year. I love a good sweater.
So instead of tossing a salad, I'm throwing leafy greens in a warm, creamy squash soup topped with chicken sausage. Yes, I said creamy. No, there is no cream! This stuff is actually good for you.
Finish off with a Crimini Crostini and you have a full-on-comfort meal without having to slow cook some big chunk of meat or pour cream-of-whatever-soup over a greasy, cheesy casserole.
Tune in to catch the demo live or check back here (daily) until I post the clip. Then keep coming by daily . . . just because!
ACORN SQUASH AND KALE SOUP with Chicken Sausage
2 acorn squash, halved and seeded
2 cans fat free evaporated milk
1 medium onion
1/2 pound kale, thick stems removed, leaves finely chopped (about 8 cups)
1 cup chicken broth (or water)
6 tbsp canola or olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes.
Kosher salt and pepper (optional)
Chicken sausage, nitrate free, browned (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place acorn squash, cut side down, in a casserole dish with about 1 inch of water. Cover with tinfoil and bake one hour or until tender when pierced with a fork.
2. Meanwhile, drizzle half the oil into large pot. Heat and add onion, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Sauté over medium/high until onion is soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
3. When squash is cool enough to handle, scrape out flesh from squash halves and transfer to a food processor or blender (discard skin) along with onion mixture. Process Add nutmeg and process until smooth adding canned milk to thin as needed.
4. Meanwhile, drizzle remaining oil into pot and add kale in batches, wilting and cook until tender, about 8 minutes.
5. Add squash puree and as much milk and broth/water as needed to reach desired consistency. Bring up to just below boiling and simmer about 10 minutes to enhance flavor. Season with salt to taste. Serve hot!
In meatless meals, mushrooms are a standout. The hearty texture and deep, earthy flavor can make a meal out of crostini, which is after all just fancy toast.
1 small (or 1/2 large) baguette
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for dipping
1 clove garlic, minced
8 ounces crimini mushrooms, trimmed and coarsely chopped
6 ounces goat cheese, room temperature
1.Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Pour a few tbsp oil out onto plate or in a dish. Cut baguette crosswise into about 12 slices, lightly touch on side to oil, place on a baking sheet. Toast in the middle of oven until golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
2. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and mushrooms; cook, stirring, unilt mushrooms are tender and juices have evaporated, 7 to 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Spread a pat of goat cheese on top of each crostini; top with a tablespoon of mushroom mixture. Serve warm.