Monday, October 13, 2008

Butternut Squash Gratin With Goat Cheese And Hazelnuts

Wow.. this was amazing. If you love butternut squash and you love goat cheese, you will absolutely love this recipe. I will be making this again!

Butternut Squash Gratin With Goat Cheese And Hazelnuts (

3 1/2 pounds butternut squash (about 2 medium), peeled, seeded, cut into 3/4- to 1-inch cubes (8 cups)

2 tablespoons olive oil
Coarse kosher salt
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, divided
3 cups sliced leeks (white and pale green parts only)
1 1/ teaspoons chopped fresh sage
1 5.5-ounce log soft fresh goat cheese
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted, husked, coarsely chopped (I could not find hazelnuts so I used chopped walnuts and lightly toasted them in a dry pan)

Preheat oven to 400°F. Place butternut squash cubes and olive oil in large bowl; sprinkle with coarse kosher salt and ground pepper and toss to coat. Spread out squash cubes on large rimmed baking sheet. Roast until just tender and beginning to brown, stirring occasionally, about 35 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt 3 tablespoons butter in heavy medium skillet over medium-low heat. Add sliced leeks and chopped sage; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sauté until tender but not brown, about 15 minutes. Coat 11x7-inch baking dish with remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Spread half of leek mixture over bottom of prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with half of squash and half of cheese. Repeat layering with leeks, squash, and cheese. DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Pour cream evenly over gratin. Sprinkle with toasted chopped hazelnuts. Bake uncovered until gratin is heated through and cream is bubbling, about 30 minutes (40 minutes if previously chilled).

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Lunch and Dinner in Ireland

When in Ireland, you tend to eat a lot of pub grub. I would equate this to the affordable food options that we have here in America. Its usually pretty simple food - stews, fish and chips, chowder, grilled sandwiches. After spending 12 days in Ireland, we got a bit sick of meat and potatoes so we ventured out to try some other cuisines - Thai, Indian, Italian. I wouldn't say that we loved Irish food as it seemed a bit bland, but we did enjoy trying the many variety at pubs and restaurants across the country. We did have some of the best thai food we have ever had in a little town called Kinsale. It was so hot, it really made me sweat! I can't even get them to make it that hot in California!

Fish Chowder and Soda Bread

Burger and Chips

Fish and Chips

Spicy Seafood Pasta

Bangers and Mash


Beef and Guinness Stew

Fish and Chips



Fish Chowder and Brown Bread

Meat Lasagna (sorry its dark)

Hot Irish Smoked Salmon


Chocolate Cake with Baileys Irish Cream Ice Cream

Panang Curry

Pad See Me

Fajita Wrap with Chips

Fish and Chips

Grilled Ham and Cheese

Fajita and Salad (sorry its dark)

Chowder (sorry its dark)



Real Fish and Chips

Breakfast in Ireland

We spent 12 days in Ireland and stayed at a B&B for each night. Breakfast is included and it was very interesting to see how the traditional Irish Breakfast changed from place to place. An Irish breakfast is normally 2 eggs (any way), 2 pieces of bacon (the best bacon ever.. not like american bacon), 2 sausages, 2 puddings (black and white, basically the leftovers of a pig and the black one includes the blood), grilled tomatoes, mushrooms or potatoes, toast, and brown bread. It was a ton of food! I'm not a huge fan of pudding but some people love it.

At some places we were lucky enough to get pancakes (crepes), smoked salmon, or omelets. Each B&B had their own variety.

Irish Breakfast

Irish Breakfast

Smoked salmon and scrambled eggs

Irish Breakfast

Irish Breakfast



Pancakes and Bacon

Half Irish

Eggs and Bacon