AUTUMN table INVITE and LAURENTIAN country air

The start of Autumn is tough to handle when torn between task and fun.  
Market and garden goodies or some deserved time out?

Some time out was awaiting us for sure. 
Our colourful panoramas seem to have a short window of opportunity.
The Laurentians in Quebec have some of the most stunning scenery.
How fortunate we are to get a chance to appreciate Mother nature in all its splendour. 

Coming in from building up an appetite from a market promenade...
we quickly decided on what to put together for our generous brunch.

Green Cauliflower Egg salad...
with yogurt lemon sauce 
Protein from hard boiled eggs along with steamed green cauliflower, tomatoes and endives all get under a light umbrella of yogurt lemon sauce: 
(a little quantity of Greek-style yogurt, a dab of Dijon and a splash of lemon).  
Season to taste with sea salt, granulated powder, dried basil and marjoram. 

Although the generous harvest awaited our attention...
we caved and gave into nature's beauty. 

We were now properly fed and fully energized to face...
our upcoming day in the country.  
Off we went.

After some time off at the market and to the countryside...
we came back energized to meet up with our kitchen again.

Arriving famished, the fridge had leftover steamed Orange cauliflower.

Orange cauliflower
with creamy Sherry Cheddar Cheese sauce...
and chopped roasted almonds.

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(American / Metric measures)
. 1 small orange Cauliflower, cut into florets and steamed
 1 cup (250ml) of milk (1% fat or more)
. 1/2 cup (50g) aged Cheddar cheese, grated
. 1/2 tsp. (2.5ml) Dijon mustard
. 1/8 cup (30ml) fortified Sherry or dry Vermouth
. 1 tsps. (5ml) each of: sea salt, granulated garlic
. 1/2 tsp. (2.5ml) dried tarragon
. garnish: handful of roasted almonds, chopped
In a small pot, heat the milk on Low-Medium.  
Once warmed, whisk in the mustard, Sherry and seasoning.  
Add the shredded cheese and whisk until smooth.  
Pour immediately over the warm, steamed cauliflower florets.

A hearty and rich Indian inspired soup hits the spot while waiting for the main meal.  
This was made the day before...thank goodness for leftovers ;o)

Indian style
Mushroom Broccoli Tomato soup
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(American / Metric measures)

. 2 Tbsps. (30ml) coconut oil
. 2 Tbsps. (30ml) grapeseed oil
. 1/2 tsp. (2.5ml) each of ground: cumin, curry, ginger and turmeric 
. 1 large, sweet onion, finely chopped
. 8 cups (600g) cremini mushrooms, chopped
. 4 cups (500g) broccoli florets, fresh or frozen, lightly chopped 
. 1 Tbsp. (15ml) Dijon mustard
. 1 Tbsp. (15ml) tomato paste
. 1 Tbsp. (15ml) fresh ginger, grated
. 2 tsps. (10ml) each of: sea salt, granulated garlic powder
. 1/4 cup (60ml) fortified Sherry or dry Vermouth
. 1 can (398ml) crushed tomato
. 4 cups (~1 Liter) chicken stock

1. In a large pot, place the oils and the cumin, curry, ginger and turmeric. 
2. Position the heat to medium until the oil lightly bubbles. 
3. Add the chopped onions and cook for about 10 minutes.  Add the chopped mushrooms and also cook it for another 10 minutes.
4. Add the Dijon mustard, tomato paste, fresh ginger, salt and garlic powder.  Now, pour the Sherry and stir.
5. Add the broccoli, crushed tomato as well as stock and enough water to cover all ingredients.  Cook for another 30 minutes and serve.

Stuffed red Pumpkin Peppers 
with Red Quinoa, Mushroom and White beans
Note: This is one of those recipes made on the usual fly.  
A bit of this and a bit of that which our refrigerator kindly offered to our recipe.  
Change things out to leftovers in the fridge...you'll do just fine.

makes 5 to 6 stuffed peppers

(American measures) 

. 5-6 medium 'pumpkin style' red peppers,
        stem cut out and cavities cleaned.

. 3 Tbps. e.v.Olive oil
. 1 medium, sweet onion
. 2 garlic cloves, crushed
. 2 cups raw, cremini mushrooms, chopped
. splash of fortified Sherry (or vermouth)
. 1 cup cooked white beans
. 1 cup cooked, red Quinoa
. 1/2 tsp. each:sea salt, granulated garlic
. 1/4 tsp. dried basil
. 1/4 tsp. dried marjoram
. 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
. 1/2 cup mild cheese (Friulano, Mozzarella etc.)



1. In a large skillet, heat the oil on MEDIUM-HIGH.  Add the chopped onions and sauté for about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic.  Toss and cook for another 5 minutes  
2. Add the chopped mushrooms.  Cook them down until tender and caramelized.
3. Splash in some fortified sherry. 
4. Add in the beans as well as the pre-cooked red quinoa. 
5. Lastly, season and combine to the mix.  Remove the skillet from the heat and set it aside to lightly cool.
6...Meanwhile, wash and prepare the peppers.  Place them into an oven-proof casserole dish and lightly cover with a tea cloth while the stuffing is being finished.
Pre-heat the oven to 325F/160C/Gas3.
Position the oven rack in the center. 
7.When the mix has slightly cooled enough to handle, add in the cheeses. Give the mix a taste to see if there are any adjustments to be made.  Now, stuff the peppers.  Cover tightly with an aluminium foil.
8. BAKE the peppers for the first 30 minutes.  Then, remove the foil and bake for another15 minutes or until peppers are fork tender.  Serve.
Note: baking time could be reduced if the pepper cavities were steamed first for 10 minutes.

Hopefully I've inspired you to be attentive and dedicated to your pickings whether from your garden or the market.  

However, above all, I also hope you've been reminded to also get out of the kitchen once and a while.  
Get out there and take a great big whiff of country air.  

Have a wonderful week everyone and flavourful wishes,

Comments ... ??? ... or suggestions ... write me :o)
Claudia at:  foodessa [at] gmail [dot] com

Go HERE for more SAVOURY creations.

Please take note on how I bake and cook...
Here’s a 101 of sorts to make sure that there are no disappointments when trying my creations.  
Also...just so you know...feel free to increase the salt and sweet factor since I'm not high on either of them ;o)

. Use DRY cup measurements for...you guessed it...all DRY ingredients.
Anything DRY gets measured by spooning the overfilled ingredient (never shake the cup) and then level off with a flat edged tool.  Exception...Brown sugar should be packed in and leveled.
. Use LIQUID cup measurements for...all LIQUIDS that cannot be leveled like for example butter, yogurt...etc.  Measure the liquids at eye level to avoid overdoing what the recipe truly needs.
OVENS are unfortunately not created equal.  Mine is so old that it has reached many degrees off it's norm.  It's really worth investing a few dollars to test yours with an appropriate oven thermometer.  You'd be surprised how many ovens I've heard about not being where they should have been.  Before you lose any more ingredients and much time preparing a new recipe...run to the store...you'll thank me later. 

Here are a few more recipes that may be of interest:
- Onion Bacon Fennel Mushroom soup gratin
- Cauliflower Sausage stuffed Pepper cups
- MILLET stuffed Bell PEPPER cups
- roasted vegetable stuffed Bell Peppers