German Potato Salad

I love potato salad and have ever since I was a little kid. Here’s a great one we made the other day that was nice for the cooler seasons when you aren’t in the mood for the traditional southern potato salad that is served cold because it can be served warm.

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds red potato
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 1/2 pound pancetta or bacon, chopped
  • 1 large red onion, chopped
  • 3/4 cups cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of your favorite mustard (just don’t use yellow mustard)
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 8 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

Directions

Place a large pot of cold water on the stove. Add your potatoes and onion powder (to help season the potatoes). Heat the water and potatoes to a medium heat and allow to cook until the potatoes are tender. Then, drain the water and allow the potatoes to sit until they are cool enough to handle. Cut the potatoes into small cubes and then move them to a bowl and cover with a towel to keep them warm.

Using a large saute pan, place the pancetta or bacon in the pan and cook until crisp. Then, remove the pancetta but keep the grease. Add the onions to the bacon grease and cook for 3 or 4 minutes, until they are soft. Add the vinegar and mustard and cook for 2 more minutes. Then add the canola oil, bacon and salt and pepper.

Add the hot dressing to the potatoes and gently fold it into the potatoes. Then, add the parsley and green onion. Gently fold this into to the potatoes, being careful not to mash up the potatoes as you stir in the other ingredients.

Chipotle Pumpkin and Butternut Squash Soup

What do you do with an extra butternut squash, some pumpkin puree and some vegetables on a cold, grey winter day? Well, you make soup, of course!

I looked up some recipes online and they are all pretty much the same so we took some elements from different sources to add the flavors (and spice) that we like in our foods.

We served ours in a pumpkin bowl. The instructions for the pumpkin bowl are essentially the same as the one we used for the chicken pot pie in a pumpkin and the instructions are included below the instructions for the soup. We used a medium sized pie pumpkin, cut in half and then used each half as a bowl. You can also use a small pie pumpkin for each person, depending on what you have available.

Ingredients

  • 1 stick of butter
  • 3 cups diced butternut squash
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 3 large stalks of celery, diced
  • 3 large carrots, diced
  • 1/2 cup sliced leeks (optional)
  • 3 chipotle peppers (from a can)
  • 1 tablespoon of the chipotle pepper sauce from the can
  • 1 15 oz can of packed pumpkin (not the pumpkin pie filling)
  • 4 cups of chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley (for garnish)

Directions

In a large pot on medium heat, add the butter, butternut squash, diced onion, diced celery, diced carrots, and leeks. Saute this mixture for 10 minutes. Add the chipotle peppers, chipotle pepper sauce, pumpkin and chicken stock. Leave the heat on medium and allow this to simmer for 30 minutes, until all vegetables are soft.

pumpkin soup

Once the vegetables are soft, use an immersion blender to blend the soup. If you don’t have an immersion blender, allow the soup to cool and then use a regular blender.

Pumpkin soup in a pumpkin

Pumpkin bowls:

Ingredients:

  • 4 (2-pound) sugar pumpkins, preferably short and squat (or two larger ones cut in half with the bottoms trimmed so each side sits flat.)
  • 2 tablespoons melted
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. While it’s heating, slice the tops off the pumpkins. (Placing a pumpkin on a towel will help keep it from rolling around.) Scoop out the seeds, and save them, they are great after you toast them! Using a pastry brush, brush insides of pumpkins with 2 tablespoons melted butter. Season insides of pumpkins with 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg. Place pumpkins on a baking sheet; cover tightly with foil. Bake until tender, about 45 minutes.

This pumpkin is ready to be filled. It has already been seasoned and gone through the initial coking.

This pumpkin is ready to be filled. It has already been seasoned and gone through the initial cooking.

Tomatillo Green Sauce

This is a green tomatillo sauce that we made for enchiladas. We made extra and have used the sauce for a salsa dip and in tacos. It’s very versatile and tasty!

UPDATE: If you don’t want to use a grill, or don’t have one, try this Roasted Tomatillo Sauce recipe.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound tomatillos, husks removed
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 or 5 jalapenos, chopped
  • 1 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 cup chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
  • 2 poblano peppers
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Directions

Grill the tomatillos on your grill over high heat for about 10 minutes. You want them to have a little char but still a little firm. Then grill the poblano peppers until the skins are black. Allow the poblanos to cool in a plastic bag, this will help when you remove the skins. Once cooled enough to be able to handle, peel the skins off the peppers and then chop them.

grilled tomatillos

Saute the onion, garlic and jalapenos in olive oil until soft, then remove from heat to cool.

Onion peppers garlic

Mix the tomatillos, poblano, onion, garlic and jalapenos in a blender until smooth. Then move into a pan and add the chicken stock. Allow to simmer for 1/2 hour.