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Why a PINK chef's coat?

Simply put, I carry my Dad's legacy with me through my cookbook, cooking and everyday I am writing my food columns, he is always with me. I carry my Mom with me through a silent reminder of her struggle with breast cancer that took her life, as well as the lives of many other women who have dealt with, and are still dealing with, this horrible affliction. Besides, why not pink? It makes a man look good!

Vermont in the Fall Bisque

The only "work" involved here is the cooking of the squash. You can substitute squash preparation for packaged squash cubes found in supermarkets if you desire. It will take about 7-8 cups(1 1/2-2 pounds cubed squash to equal the amount needed.

As for the apple I enjoy with this bisque? Tart, It's Just That Simple!™. Here is a quick rundown of apples that start with the most tart and end with the sweetest. Although these are my personal choices, other lists may not agree, but being a New Englander, and with cider running through our veins, I think this is without debate(yeah, Yankee stubbornness at the forefront again).

Granny Smith, Winesap, Northern Spy, Puritan, Rome, Paula Red, Ida Red, Jersey Mac, Cortland, Paula Red, Macoun, Northern Spy, Empire, Pink Lady, Baldwin, Winesap, Braeburn, Rome, Empire, Jonathan, Cortland, Spartan, Pippin, MacIntosh, Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Pippin, Redcort, Cameo, Fuji, Crispin (Mutsu), Jonagold, July Red, ,Honey Crisp, Quinti, Gala, Spencer, Sonya, Fuji and the sweetest(to me) is the Liberty.

Ingredients

For 4 people

Recipe

  • 3 tablespoon(s) butter or margarine
  • 1 small onion, peeled and minced
  • 1 rib celery, minced
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cooked, cooled and chopped*
  • 1/4 cup(s) maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup(s) vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon(s) salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon(s) marjoram
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon(s) nutmeg
  • 2 cup(s) milk(see NOTE below)
  • shredded, extra sharp Cheddar cheese, optional

Vermont in the Fall Bisque Directions

  1. In a large saucepan, add butter, onion, celery and chopped apple over medium heat. Cook for 3-4 minutes, or until the celery is soft. Add cooked squash, maple syrup, broth, salt, pepper, marjoram, cinnamon and nutmeg. Mash with a potato masher to mix together well.
  2. In batches, transfer pumpkin mixture to a food processor or blender. If using half the mixture at a time, add half the milk; pulse until smooth. Repeat until all the pumpkin is pureed with milk, return to saucepan. Stir well and bring up to temperature over medium-low heat, stirring frequently. Serve immediately with or without shredded Cheddar on top.
  3. *You can either cube the squash before boiling or simply cut it in half horizontally, remove seeds(do not peel) and bake it in a 350-degree F oven for about an hour, or until soft. Let cool completely before scooping out the flesh and using in recipe.
  4. NOTE: If you would like thinner bisque, reduce milk. thicker, more milk. Try low fat milk, skim milk, almond milk, buttermilk or light cream if desired.
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