A Frenchman in the kitchen, Beef Bourguignon

Beefbourguignon

Stephane is making his debut on the blog today bringing us a classic French recipe, beef bourguignon.  He tells me that it’s called bourguignon because of the Burgundy wine that it is traditionally cooked with.  Once considered a peasant meal because of the method of tenderizing otherwise tough meat in red wine, it has become a staple of French cuisine.  As Julia Child puts it, “certainly one of the most delicious beef dishes concocted by man”. Voila, enough said.  

Miseneplace

One of the many things I’ve learned from Stephane in regards to French cuisine, (and all cuisine for that matter) is that the method in which you cook is the single most important thing you do to ensure your dish comes out well.  Like browning the meat before roasting, or properly deglazing a sautée pan, or how to  chop, mince, and carve your ingredients according to the dish you are preparing.  All basic steps, but oh so important.  And this dish is no exception.  The steps are all laid out for you in the recipe card below. 

potatoes

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butternutsquashsaladbowl

Roasted Butternut Squash and Pumpkin Seed Salad

Yeah!!!!  It’s Fall and what’s not to be happy about?  Other than the slight reminder that winter is right around the corner, but that can’t change the fact that…..1). It’s absolutely gorgeous around here.  2.) It’s back to making soups all the time.  3.) Pheasant and woodcock season has begun, which means bliss for our GSP and my husband who are actively stocking up for the winter.  4.) It’s time for roasting and slow-cooking all those vegetables we forgot about all summer  5.) It means pulling out all our cozy, chunky sweaters again. Shall I go on?  I think you get the gist…. 

butternutwhole

‘Tis the season of squash and there are a great many things to be done with these starchy friends but I love the sweetness derived from roasting them.  While heat can diminish the nutritive value of some vegetables, fear not!  Roasting maintains a great deal of the vegetable’s nutrients, especially when you use a good quality oil like extra virgin olive oil.

 butternutsquashsaladbowl

This is a super simple recipe that can be made even easier by buying pre-cut butternut squash, or marinating the onions the day before.  Otherwise it’s a throw-together that is substantial enough as a meal of it’s own or as a side. 

butternutsquash

You can also use any greens here so feel free to play around.  Baby spinach would be a nice substitute.   I personally like to add the squash while still warm from the oven, so that the salad wilts just a bit, especially during the colder months.

butternutsquashplate

 Happy fall, I hope you’ve had a chance to jump in some leaves.

Ciao for now,

Molly Bea

Roasted Butternut Squash, Marinated Red Onions and Toasted Pumpkin Seed Salad
Serves 6
The sweetness of the squash tossed with marinated red onions and toasted pumpkin seeds is the perfect fall combination!
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
35 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut in 1 inch cubes
  2. 3/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  3. 2 Tbs mustard seed grain
  4. 1/3 cup olive oil
  5. 2 Tbs maple syrup
  6. Enough mixed greens to make it a "salad" (spinach would work nicely as well, or baby kale)
  7. 1 Red onion, thinly sliced
  8. 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  9. heavy pinch of salt and pepper
  10. Crumbled goat cheese (optional)
  11. ......................................
  12. For the Vinaigrette
  13. 1 Tbs dijon mustard
  14. 1/3 cup olive oil
  15. Mix with vinegar leftover from red onion mixture
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 on roast setting if possible.
  2. Toss the cubed butternut squash in a bowl with olive oil, mustard seeds, maple syrup and salt and pepper. Coat well.
  3. Transfer to a lined parchment paper baking sheet, spreading evenly and place in oven.
  4. Let roast for 30-40 minutes, tossing occasionally to ensure equal cooking.
  5. At the same time on a separate baking dish, roast raw pumpkin seeds for 10-12 min.
  6. Meanwhile, let sliced onion marinate in 1/4 cup red wine vinegar for up to 5 hours, the longer the better.
  7. Prepare your vinaigrette, I like to do this right in the bowl that I will be using to serve the salad.
  8. Mix mustard and a couple teaspoons from the vinegar from the onions until blended, slowly add olive oil and mix well.
  9. Once squash and pumpkin seeds have roasted, remove and add to greens (if you wanted a warmer salad, add immediately, otherwise you can wait for it all to cool)
  10. Drain red onions and add to salad.
  11. Add crumbled goat cheese if using.
  12. Toss until well coated.
Notes
  1. Depending on how much squash you want in your salad, you may have extra.
  2. I let my red onions marinate for 5 hours which makes them a bit sweeter and less tangy.
Molly Bea http://www.mollybea.com/
babyonionconfit

Baby Onion & Sage Confit

These were supposed to be big onions when I planted them this spring, at least that was what I expected.  I kept waiting for them to enlarge, I left them for weeks until I could see that they did not want to be in the ground anymore.  What was I going to do with a ton of baby onions?  Why roast them of course, slowly and for a long time.  Slow roasting as an antidote to our fast-paced world, for days of puttering around the house, for those rare days when time is on our side.   

babyonionconfit1

I came up with the idea of infusing the onions with sage after watching a documentary on Grant Achatz.  He was presenting a dish on an inflated “pillow” that he infused with pine needle aroma and perforated the pillow so that when the plate was placed on top it slowly released the smell of pine simultaneously as the guest was eating the dish.  What a sensory experience that must have been!  Anyways, we are not talking molecular gastronomy here at Mollybea.  Not even close.  But the sage did give the slow roasted onions an even more savory and perfumed flavor, just sayin’!  

Small-onion-confit

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peachpreservsejar

Peach Preserves

Nothing says summer more than sweet, fuzzy peaches.  This year was a bumper crop at my parent’s “farm” in the Berkshires.  We’ve been making peaches and granola, peaches and basil, peach tarts, peach ice cream, peaches for snack, and the peaches are still coming….peach preserves seemed to be the obvious next idea.  Either that or set up a farm stand with the kids, like I used to do when I was little.  We’d make our signs, set up a table at the bottom of the driveway and sell our veggies for dimes. (Important to note: I had cows in my backyard and maybe 3 cars passed the road a day.  Of course the neighbors stopped!)  Ah, summer days….fleeting, summer days.  Yesterday my six-year old son pointed out a tree that was changing it’s colors already.  Here is an easy recipe to preserve a bit of sun, warmth, and farm stands.

peachesontree4

peachpreservsejar

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razorclamscooked

Razor clams

I’ve never eaten a razor clam before 2 days ago. I’ve found their shells on beaches of course, but never thought about the edible creature inside.  I didn’t know what I was missing….

razorclamsnet

You may have already known that we are big fans of foraging for our own food whenever possible. In today’s world, it’s a comfort knowing where our food is coming from and being able to feel good about it’s quality and purity is priceless.  We enjoy showing our children the start to finish process, and we find they are more apt to eat whatever we put in from of them if they have helped find it, dig it, prepare it or help serve it.  

mediggingclams

On a recent getaway to Cape Cod, we bought a clamming permit and tried our hand at it. We had small shovels (aka we used the kids sand toys) and a couple of nets. You have to go at low tide when you can scour the sand for the clams dens.  They look like tiny raised sand donuts.  If you put pressure near them, a sprout of water jumps up.  The kids were hysterical watching us get splashed in the face by the clam “pee”.

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