These past few weeks, so many local restaurants and volunteers stepped in at Suite D to help feed firefighters, police, first responders, victims, and evacuees of the North Bay fires. In a time of crisis, our community was able to come together to do what we do best. From this experience, we reaffirmed that food truly does have the power to bring people together.
As our community works to recover together, we'd like to encourage you to continue to gather around the table with your loved ones. Plus, today is National Food Day! From the girl & the fig Plats du Jour cookbook, here is an autumn-inspired meal you can make and enjoy with those around you.
Manchego Scones with Prosciutto
With Manchego cheese and crispy prosciutto, these little scones make for the ultimate comfort food bites. Plus, these scones can take on any flavor, so feel free to add some fig jam or even a dollop of red onion confit.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch of salt
2/3 cup grated Manchego cheese
4 tablespoons (half stick) very cold unsalted butter
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 large egg whites plus 1 egg yolk
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Set aside 2 tablespoons of the cheese.
Place the flour, baking powder, salt, and the remaining cheese in a food processor and process to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the dough takes on a crumbly texture.
In a separate bowl whisk the egg whites until light but peaked. Add the buttermilk to the flour mixture and fold in the egg whites. In a small bowl mix the egg yolk with a few tablespoons of water and set aside.
Knead the dough lightly on a floured surface until the dough is not sticky. Roll the dough out to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut out the dough with a 1 1/2-inch ring mold and place the circles on a baking sheet. Brush the circles with the egg wash and sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of cheese.
Bake the scones for 12 to 15 minutes until browned.
Note: Let the scones cool before adding a dollop of crème fraîche. Top with the crispy prosciutto pieces.
Butternut Squash Soup, Balsamic Reduction, Fried Sage
Nothing is better on a chilly autumn evening than a warm bowl of soup. With butternut squash, this creamy soup is both comforting and delightful (plus easy to make too!).
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 small yellow onion, chopped
3 celery sticks, chopped
1 medium carrot, chopped
1 large leek, white part only, cleaned and chopped
2 shallots, chopped
4 garlic cloves, crushed
2 1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, chopped
Salt and white pepper to taste
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 bunch fresh sage leaves, picked, for garnish
Balsamic Reduction, for garnish
Melt 4 tablespoons of the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the onion, celery, carrot, leek, shallots, and garlic and sauté until the vegetables are soft, about 7 minutes. Stir the vegetables occasionally to prevent browning. Add the squash to the vegetables and stir. Add 2 quarts of water and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook until the squash is just tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
Add the heavy cream and the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter. Remove the vegetables from the heat and purée immediately in a blender or food processor. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve and adjust seasoning if necessary.
Heat a small amount of blended oil to 300°F and fry the sage leaves until crispy. Transfer the sage leaves to paper towels to drain and cool.
Ladle the soup into 6 bowls and garnish each with a drizzle of the balsamic vinegar reduction and a few fried sage leaves.
Brioche-Fig Bread Pudding, Caramel Sauce
serves 6 to 8
In a time like this when so many have lost so much, there is no room for any food to go to waste. Bread pudding is great because its the perfect way to use up leftover or day-old bread. Plus, bread pudding is great because it is so universal. Different bread puddings can be topped with many different things, like dessert sauces, dollops of fresh macerated fruit, or even ice cream. With black mission figs and caramel, this bread pudding is especially delicious.
For the caramel:
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
For the bread pudding:
10 ounces brioche, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 1 loaf)
6 large eggs
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups whole milk
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups dried Black Mission figs, cut in 1/4-inch dice
pinch of salt
To prepare the caramel:
Heat the sugar with 2 tablespoons of water in a non-reactive pan until the sugar is well caramelized, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the sugar from the heat and add the cream, butter, and salt. Stir until incorporated.
To prepare the bread pudding:
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 8 x 8-inch baking pan.
Place the brioche on a baking sheet and bake for 6 to 8 minutes or until the brioche just starts to toast. In a large bowl whisk the eggs, cream, and milk together until light and pale. Add the sugar and vanilla and whisk until smooth. Add the toasted bread, figs, and salt and gently mix together.
Pour the mixture into the baking pan and let it sit for 15 minutes. Bake the bread pudding for 45 to 60 minutes or until set. Test for doneness by inserting a knife in the center of the pudding to see if the custard is still loose. Once it's set, remove the pudding from the oven and let it rest for 20 minutes.
Cut the bread pudding into 6 pieces. Place a piece of bread pudding on each plate, drizzle with caramel, and serve.
Cook this meal with a friend or you family; it's more fun! We hope you enjoy getting around the table and spending some quality time with your loved ones.
Love these recipes, and want to try out more? Purchase our cookbook, here.