Yes I do like to cook…BUT not always! After all, living in NYC, the capitol of take-out and delivered food makes it really easy to never have to cook. Not to mention the late late serving hours in many restaurants and the neighborhood Coffee Shop that’s open 24 hours. Can you imagine how liberating and indulgent that is? If you can’t sleep and you think a Belgian Waffle would hit the spot, you can just pick up the phone at 3:00 am and in 15 minutes you can be pouring maple syrup over a steaming hot waffle.
Ok I digress…this past week, I’ve been cooking every night and one of the main reasons is economics. I’m not making Beef Wellington, or Lobster Bisque. I served up some yummy food and none of the meals cost a lot.
I started off making a batch of Butternut Squash Soup. This savory version of a root vegetable soup came from the latest issue of Wegman’s MENU magazine. It’s not as thick and rich as some other recipes, however, it has a flavorful twist. Here it is:
1 TBS olive oil
1 cup of chopped onion
1 cup of thinly sliced leeks
1 cup thinly sliced celery
1 TBS chopped garlic
2 tsp salt
pepper to taste
2 pkgs of cleaned, cut butternut squash (20 oz ea.) or 3 lbs bulk squash cut in 1 inch dice
2 cartons of vegetable broth ( I used chicken broth)
2 TBS amber maple syrup
pumpkin seed oil ( I didn’t have any)
toasted pumpkin seeds (had those and toasted them)
You’ll need a stockpot and a blender
Heat olive oil in stockpot on MEDIUM. Add onions, leeks, celery, garlic, and bay leaves; season with 2 tsp salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring, 10 minutes till softened bu not browned.
Add squash and stock. Increase heat to MEDIUM-HIGH. Bring to a simmer, cover, vented. Reduce heat to LOW; simmer 20-25 minutes.
Turn off heat. Remove bay leaves. Stir in maple syrup. Working in batches, add soup to blender. Puree till smooth, pouring pureed soup into another pot. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Ladle soup into warmed serving bowls, garnish each with 1 tsp pumpkin seeds and a drizzle of pumpkin seed oil.
The next day I got the stockpot out and made one of favorite winter Wegman’s recipes; Slow-Cooked Beef Minestrone. I posted this truly economical and delicious recipe previously -see post at http://pbenjay.wordpress.com/2010/09/29/slow-cooked-beef-minestrone/
On another night we had veggie burgers and as a side dish I made Pan Steamed Cauliflower, also a Wegman’s MENU magazine recipe. This is a great way to prepare vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower.
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tsp chopped garlic
1 anchovy fillet (in the jar, not tin) or 1 1/2 tsp capers
1 – 1 1/2 lb trimmed vegetables (cauliflower, broccoli, romanescu, brocoletti, green beans)
1/2 cup water
1 tsp salt
cracked black pepper to taste
Heat olive oil, garlic, and anchovy on MEDIUM-LOW. Cook, stirring, 2-3 minutes (until anchovy dissolves).
Raise heat to HIGH. Add vegetables, water, and salt. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer; cover. Cook, stirring occasionally 8-12 minutes or until water is evaporated.
Season to taste with pepper. Finish with a squeeze of lemon juice, grated cheese or red pepper flakes, if desired.
My husband loves pasta so we don’t go too many days without a pasta night. I decided to make a special sauce – Wegman’s San Marzano Tomato Sauce. This was Soooo Goooood. I will post the recipe for you but not today because I just previewed this post and it’s already getting long. And to finish up my Wegman’s Week, I prepared Chicken Breasts with a Lemon Caper Sauce -I’ll post that one later too.
- Wegmans Additional Deals as of 02/17/2012 (livingrichwithcoupons.com)
- Butternut caponata (fiveandspice.wordpress.com)