With the menu decided, I needed to do some additional preparations Friday night so that I would be the picture of calm Sunday afternoon — and be able to take advantage of the lovely sunny, warm weather and spend much of Saturday and Sunday outside.
I checked two items off my list (yes, there is a list, complete with hand-drawn check boxes): meringue nuts and squash apple soup.
The nuts I will serve with drinks and sausage bites (recipe to come) before dinner. The soup will be our first course.
This recipe comes from Grazing by Julie Van Rosendaal. It’s a family favourite. I usually make a double batch.
500 mL (2 cups) mixed unsalted nuts, such as pecans, cashews and almonds
1 egg white
125 mL (1/2 cup) packed brown sugar
5 mL (1 tsp) cinnamon
few drops of Tabasco (I use Frank’s Red Hot)
2-5 mL (1/2-1 tsp) salt
Preheat over to 300 Fahrenheit.
In a bowl, beat egg white until foamy. Stir in sugar, cinnamon, Tabasco and salt. Add nuts, stir to coat.
Spread mixture onto baking sheet that has been sprayed with non-stick spray Bake for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally until golden.
Cool on the pan.
Roasted squash apple soup
I was inspired by Christine Cushing’s roasted squash, celery root and apple soup. Here’s my version. I may add a little 35 per cent cream to give it a silky texture when I reheat it for dinner.
2 buttercup squash, cut into 2-cm pieces
2 Paula red apples, peeled and chopped
30 mL (2 tbsp) vegetable oil
salt and pepper
20 mL (1-1/2 tbsp) butter
3 onions, chopped
3 ribs celery, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 L (4 cups) chicken stock
10 mL (2 tsp) grated ginger
10 mL (2 tsp) fennel seeds, crushed
10 mL (2 tsp) ground coriander
Preheat oven to 375 Fahrenheit.
Toss squash with vegetable oil and roast until soft, about 30 minutes. Add apples, roast and additional 10 minutes.
In large pot, melt butter. Add onion, celery and carrot and cook until soft.
Add stock, roasted squash and apple and spices. Simmer for 30 minutes.
Puree with immersion blender or in stand blender until smooth.
Serve garnished with maple allspice sour cream.
Maple allspice sour cream
80 mL (1/3 cup) sour cream
1/2 mL (1/8) allspice
15 mL (1 tbsp) maple syrup
Mix all ingredients until well blended.