Nov 18

Acorn squash soup

4 acorn squash
extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 shallots, minced
4 1⁄2 c. chicken broth, plus extra 3⁄4 c. half-and-half
salt and freshly ground pepper
1⁄3 c. chives, minced

1. Slice the tops off of the acorn squashes, scoop out the seeds andpulp and reserve for later use. Arrange the squash shells on a bak-ing sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Transfer to the oven to roast for 45 minutes. 2. Meanwhile, in a food processor, purée the squashpulp and set aside (if necessary add a little chicken broth). 3. In a large pot over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the shallotsand cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. 4. Add the squashpurée, broth and half-and-half, season with salt and freshly groundpepper and bring to a boil. 5. Lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Divide the soup equally among the roasted acorn squashshells and sprinkle with the chives. Serve immediately. Serves 4

Replace: acorn squash with pumpkin
Replace: acorn squash pulp with canned pumpkin or butternut squash pulp

A light to medium-bodied white wine, such as a Sauvignon Blanc

Nov 11

What size turkey should I buy for the holidays?

It’s safe to buy 1 pound of turkey per person. If you want to have plenty of leftovers or have guests with large appetites then buy 1 1⁄2 pounds per person.

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Nov 4

 

 

Arista arrosto con patate, or roasted pork with potatoes, is a very popular dish in Italy. The recipe is simple and produces delicious results. However, the origin of its name is not so simple. According to one legend, the word arista, the Florentine term for pork loin, originated during the 15th century. In 1439, when the Ecumenical Council was held in Florence to unite the Greek and Latin churches, the emperor Giovanni Paleologo VIII came from Constantinople to assist with the grand assembly. One evening, a group of soldiers accompanied him to a tavern that was located in the Oltrarno section of Florence. At this tavern, they were served roasted pork with garlic and rosemary. After tasting it, they exclaimed, “Ta arista!,” which means “the best” in Greek. From that point on, Florentines started to refer to pork loin as arista, a term that is still used today. However, there is evidence that disproves this legend; the Italian author Franco Sacchetti (who had a true appreciation for food, as indicated by the fact that in almost all of his short stories he talked about wine and feasts) used the term arista in a short story that he wrote years before the council took place. So, the word must have already been relatively common prior to the emperor’s visit to Florence. There are other theories that suggest that arista derived from Greek prior to the council. Former Florentine mayor Piero Bargellini thought that the term was coined by a colony of Greek perfume merchants who lived in Florence during the 13th century; the street they lived on was later named after them: Borgo de’ Greci. Many Italian words have Greek origin, so it isn’t hard to believe that arista may come from Greek. However, the exact date that the word originated is still unclear. We may never know exactly where the word comes from, or when it originated, but one thing is for sure: for anyone who has ever tasted this dish, arista is synonymous with “delicious.” – By Dana Knowles

11⁄2 lb. pork loin
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
4 rosemary sprigs, leaves only, minced
salt and freshly ground pepper
olive oil for drizzling
1 lb. potatoes, cut into large pieces
chicken stock, heated for basting (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 400°. Cut slits all along the top of the pork loin and stuff them with the garlic. 2. Arrange the meat in a roasting pan. Season with 1⁄2 of the rosemary, salt and freshly ground pepper and drizzle with olive oil. 3. Add the potatoes to the pan and drizzle with olive oil. 4. Transfer to the oven to cook for about 20 minutes, then lower the heat to 350° and continue to cook for about 1 hour, basting the meat with its own juice or the chicken stock every 15 minutes, or until the meat is cooked through and the internal temperature of the thickest part of the meat reads 160°. Serve immediately garnished with the remaining rosemary. Serves 4

A full-bodied red wine, such as Brunello di Montalcino

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