Sunday, October 23, 2022

Jacques Pepin's Butternut Squash Gratin {The Perfect Fall Side Dish}

Butternut squash is a true fall favorite. Over the years we have come to absolutely love it! Back in 2011 I started things off simple with Tessa Kiros' Baked Butternut Squash. When that was a hit I moved on to Ina's Butternut Squash and Ricotta Bruschetta.The Bruschetta was addictive so I branched out further to Ina's Butternut Squash Hummus

The love affair was in full bloom so then we tried other favorites like Ruth Reichl's Butternut Squash, Sausage, and Walnut Lasagne and also Nigella Lawson's Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese. 

Now I'm furthering the love affair with butternut squash by trying my hand at Jacques Pepin's Butternut Squash Gratin

Pepin's gratin is so simple. It is right up my alley. Just a handful of ingredients.The hardest part is cutting the squash into 1/8-1/4" slices. Once that's done, you just boil the slices for about 2 minutes, then arrange them in a baking dish, top with salt and pepper, pour the cream on and cover with cheese. Bake for about 30-40 minutes and you have one delicious fall-inspired side dish or main dish.

You can arrange the squash slices artfully and really make the gratin beautifully arranged, but that's not really my style so I just threw the slices in the baking pan for a more 'rustic' look. I really love that word rustic, don't you?

My family walked in while this was cooking and they said "it smells like Thanksgiving in here." If that isn't the ultimate compliment then I don't know what is.

Butternut Squash Gratin

Adapted from Essential Pepin

Serves 6-8

1 large butternut squash (3-3/4 pounds)

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup grated Jarlsberg or other Swiss-type cheese or Parmesan

Preheat the oven to 400F. Cut off the stem of the butternut squash and split it in two at the bottom of the neck; this will make it easier to peel. Peel the neck lengthwise with a sharp knife or vegetable peeler, removing enough skin so the orange flesh appears (there is a layer of green under the first layer of skin). For the body of the squash, remove the skin with a sknife by going around it in a spiral fashion (it is easier to peel a round object in this manner); then cut lengthwise in half and, using a sharp spoon, remove the seeds. With the slicing blade of a food processor or a knife, cut the squash into 1/8- to-1/4 -inch-thick slices. 

Put the squash in a saucepan, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Boil over high heat for 1-2 to 2 minutes, then drain in a colander; the pieces will break a little.

Transfer the squash to a gratin dish and add the salt, pepper, and cream, mixing with a fork to distribute the ingredients. Cover with the cheese. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until nicely browned. Serve. 

Vegetables Unleashed @ IHCC

Sunday, October 16, 2022

José Andrés' Sausage with Cabbage #RecipesForThePeople


There are dishes that serve a family and then there are dishes that serve an army. Sausage and Cabbage is a recipe that serves an army. I was thrilled to see that Jose Andres has a very loose recipe for Sausage with Cabbage on his website. Cooks can literally make the recipe however they choose using his bare bones recipe.

You need only four ingredients to make this hearty and satisfying dish: Italian sausage, cabbage, onion  and garlic. Jose calls for sesame seeds and Pimenton, and they do add some pizazz, but are not totally necessary.

Cut the sausages or leave them whole. Chop the cabbage or cut it into thin slivers. Peel the garlic or don't. I like Jose's plan. He doesn't give you explicit instructions about chopping or amounts. It's your kitchen, he says. You're the cook. You make it your own!

 We love Italian sausage in this house and really enjoyed this recipe. We found it hearty and satisfying and absolutely perfect for this time of year. Total comfort food and more than enough to go around.

Sausage and Cabbage

Adapted from Jose Andres

Serves many

What You'll Need:





Sesame seeds


Olive Oil

The Recipe: You'll need some sausages, any kind. Then also onion, garlic, cabbage, sesame seed and paprika. The amounts are up to you (I used 5 sausages, 1 head of cabbage, 1 onion, 5 cloves of garlic, etc.) Start the oil in a large pan (the cabbage will need lots of space). Start with oil in the pan and lots of garlic (peeled or unpeeled, chopped onion. Add the sausage and saute so it's browned on all sides, and add some spices...pimenton, salt, anything old in your pantry that you want to get rid of.

Add the cabbage and keep stirring, then add some sesame seeds, if you have them. Saute until the sausage is cooked, and then at the end add some wine or whatever you're drinking. Write your own recipe he says! Then serve it!

Foods To Feed An Island @ IHCC

Sunday, October 9, 2022

The Recipe That Won Over Tiktok {The Best Way To Make Eggs by Chef Jose Andres}

 Dear People Of The World, 

Today I share with you Chef Jose Andres' Best Way To Make Eggs. Chef Andres is a big fan of making videos on Tiktok. In fact, his video sharing the best way to make eggs has been viewed over 2 million times! Try as a might, I cannot add the video here, but here is an article about Chef Andres' eggs.

Chef Andres begins with a pan that is ovenproof and he coats the bottom of the pan with a generous amount of butter.

He then layers in a generous amount of shredded mozzarella cheese, salt, pepper, 4 cracked eggs, and a layer of milk. He does not specify amounts. From what I could see, it was enough cheese and milk to coat the bottom of the pan each time. He tops that with some cheddar cheese and then coats pieces of bread in oil and throws it all in the oven at 350F for 5 minutes. I don't know what kind of oven Chef Andres has, but mine needed a little more time, closer to 15 minutes (toast is done in about 5 minutes). 

The result is a very quick ooey gooey cheesy egg dish that can be enjoyed on toast, dipping and enjoying straight out of the pan, if you so dare. 



Welcome Chef Jose Andres to IHCC!

Sunday, October 2, 2022

Eggs with Bread and Butter

 Dear Reader,

Sometimes the ugliest of foods are the most memorable. Think of this dish as a big hug. Something that mom would have made for you. In fact, in her cookbook Apples For Jam, Tessa states, "This is what my mom gave us so often - it is one of my earliest food memories. I have only to smell it and it takes me sailing back in time and fills me with wonderful memories. It is amazing how an egg and slice of bread can do that."

Tessa's words echoed back to me each and every time I picked up this cookbook. I had leftover Hawaiian rolls so I decided to make the dish and decide whether it was blog worthy.

Three simple ingredients, but let's be real. These are pretty much three of everyone's favorite all-time ingredients. How can one go wrong? 

Butter the bread, tear it into bits, place it into a cup or bowl. Then boil the egg for about 2-4 minutes (closer to 4 minutes for me) and mix the soft-boiled egg into the bread and butter mixture. Serve with a spoon.

THIS MAKES THE CUT FOLKS! It is so comforting. So easy. So delicious. Like a giant hug from mom. I made it once. Then I made it again. Then I made it every morning until I ran out of the ingredients. Sometimes I added salt and pepper. Sometimes I added Everything But The Bagel seasoning. Another time I added cheese. Last time, I added a little dash of poultry seasoning and it gave the whole mixture a stuffing vibe.

So, dear reader, you really can't go wrong. If you want a quick breakfast. If you're feeling under the weather. If you have small children or even grown children. If you're missing mom. If you're in need of a hug...make this dish. Use whatever bread you have (ideally it will be a soft bread). Use whatever seasonings you like. Add cheese or herbs. Make it your own, but definitely make it.

Do take note, it would be just as delicious served in a bowl, but it is really special served in a small glass with a spoon. There is just something so special, fun, and youthful about eating this out of a glass with a spoon. It really ups the fun factor!

Take comfort,


Eggs with Bread and Butter

Adapted from Apples For Jam

by Tessa Kiros

Serves 1

1 egg

1 to 2 teaspoons soft butter

1 slice fresh soft white or brown bread or roll

Put the egg in a pan of cold water and bring to a boil. Cook for 2-1/2 minutes from when the water comes to a boil (the white should have just set and the yolk will still be soft and runny). Lift out the egg with a slotted spoon. Meanwhile, butter the bread, break it into small bits, and put in a little bowl or cup. Hold the egg over the bowl, give it a sharp crack through the middle with a knife, and scoop out the egg with a teaspoon. Add a little salt and mash together well with a fork. Serve immediately.

Notes: After I made this the first time I made some changes. Namely, you can literally use any bread for this. I had leftover Hawaiian rolls and those were perfect for this recipe. The biggest change I made was in buttering the bread prior to breaking it into small bits. That is quite messy on one's fingers. Instead, I simply broke the bread into bits and set a teaspoon or so of butter on top of the bread. I would place the egg on top of the bread and butter and the heat of the egg would melt the butter into the mixture just fine.