Saturday, October 4, 2008

Butternut Squash Soup, Monte Cristo & Raspberry Parfait

My friend L (same name as my sister!) and I made plans for lunch. Then I thought, I should make lunch since I'm not that busy these days. I came up with a simple and hopefully yummy menu:

* Butternut Squash Soup
* Monte Cristo Sandwich
* Raspberry Parfait

Butternut Squash Soup
It seems once fall hits, everyone and every restaurant is serving some version of butternut squash soup. I think it's because it's so easy to make and guaranteed delicious-ness. This version is very basic, just butternut squash and spices.

* oil
* 1 small onion
* 1 garlic clove
* 1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed (or it can be sliced in two and baked in the oven - then scoop out the insides)
* ½ tsp each thyme, basil, oregano, whatever you like
* a dash of dried chili flakes (optional)
* 3 cups water

Saute onion and garlic in oil.
Add pieces of butternut squash.
Add spices and mix.
Add water.
Turn off the heat once butternut squash is cooked through.
Blend in a food processor until even.

Monte Cristo Sandwich - for two
I have never made this sandwich but the combination of ham, cheese and crusty exterior has always appealed to me. Not just that, but I got to use my panini maker for the third time in a month - that's a record! This tasted even better than I imagined. Ask your deli to slice the ham thickly.

* 2 slices of ham (mine was Black Forest ham with brown sugar)
* 2 slices of Swiss cheese
* 4 slices of country bread
* honey dijon mustard
* 2 small eggs
* milk
* salt
* paprika

Spread mustard on one slice of bread.
Top slice of bread with ham and cheese.
Cover with the second slice of bread.
Mix the eggs, milk, some salt and paprika.
Dip the sandwich into the egg mixture.
Grill in panini maker or in a pan (you can press the sandwich with a smaller pan on top).

Oozing cheese is always a good thing and the bread was nice and crusty.

The thick slice of ham added a nice saltiness to the sandwich.

Raspberry Parfait
When I came back from Vietnam, I found quite a few of my roommate G's bananas in the freezer. So I have been making banana muffins. I thought the leftover muffins would make a good base for a raspberry parfait!

* banana muffins - or any cake type of your choice
* plain or vanilla yogurt
* raspberries
* sugar or Splenda
* chocolate
* raspberries and mint, for garnish

Cut up pieces of muffins.
Crush the raspberries and mix into the yogurt with a bit of sugar (to taste).
Layer pieces of muffin, yogurt and shaved chocolate.
Garnish with raspberries and mint.


Gastronomer said...

Nina - you are the BEST! That is a damn fine three course menu! I've been eating canned corn these days :-(

Miss.Adventure said...

Well, thank you Cathy! Although i do like canned corn; I just microwave it!

Anonymous said...

Nina, this lunch sounds absolutely delicious!! Thanks for the recipes!! I love butternut and will try your recipe. I also like the parfait recipe; it's a great way to finish up my baked goods!!

Anonymous said...

p.s. I should have left my name...sorry! Chesca