A Perfect Fall Meal

Another Challenge recipe from the Four Seasons Cookbook…after our last debacle (which luckily, we were able to save with some Captain Morgan’s – in the dish, not us, believe it or not - a can of coconut milk and a LOT of curry powder), we haven’t been very good at keeping up with our 3 recipes a week goal in order to get through the book within a year.

But then I found these gorgeous white chanterelle mushrooms from my favorite market vendor (whose name is Freeman, I found out this weekend). Thus, the cookbook came out, and lo and behold, we were able to put together a perfect fall meal: Mushroom and Pancetta Pizzas and Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Toasted Walnuts. The pizzas are tasty and crispy, and go perfectly with this simple, rustic, and low-fat soup.

Mushroom and Pancetta Pizzas
from The Four Season’s Cookbook, by Shirley Gill
Serves 4.

For the crust:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Dried yeast
2 tbsp. Olive oil
2/3 cup warm water

For the topping:
4 tbsp. Olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
8 oz. Wild mushrooms
3 oz. Pancetta, roughly chopped
1 tbsp. Chopped fresh oregano
3 tbsp. Grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

1. To make the crusts, put the flour, salt, and yeast into a bowl and mix thoroughly with a whisk. Measure 2/3 cup warm water and add the olive oil to this. Add the water and oil to the dry ingredients and stir with a spoon until mixed. Loving Boyfriend, who made the pizzas for us, contends that he would add some dried oregano and rosemary to the dough next time. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until elastic. Place in an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Leave in a warm place, and allow the dough to rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size. (You could start the soup now.)

2. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and divide into four pieces. Roll out each piece of dough thinly into a 5 inch round. Place the pizza bases on a lightly greased baking sheet and set aside. Alternatively, you could dress the pizzas and then cook them on a hot pizza stone, as we did.

3. Preheat the oven to 425F. Heat 2 tbsp. Of oil in a frying pan and gently fry the mushrooms and garlic until tender. Season, then cool.

4. Brush the pizzas with 1 tbsp. Oil, then spoon the mushroom/garlic mixture onto each pizza. Scatter the pancetta and oregano over the mixture, then sprinkle with parmesan. Drizzle over remaining oil. Bake 10-15 minutes or until crisp.

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Toasted Walnuts, from Cooking Light
Makes 8 one-cup servings.

8 cups cubed (1 inch) butternut squash – about a 2 1/4 lb. Squash
1 1/2 tsp. Olive oil
3/4 tsp salt, divided
1/2 tsp. Freshly ground pepper, divided
cooking spray
4 cups warm 2% milk, divided
14 oz. of homemade chicken stock – or commercial chicken stock or broth
1/4 cup of chopped walnuts, toasted

1. Preheat oven to 400F.
2. Combine squash, oil, 1/4 tsp. Salt, and 1/4 tsp. Pepper on a foil-lined baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake for 45 minutes or until tender (no need to stir unless sides begin to burn – you want the brown edges).
3. Place 1/2 squash, 1/2 the milk and 1/2 the chicken stock into a blender and process until smooth. Pour into a large saucepan. Repeat with remaining squash, milk and stock. Heat gently over medium heat for 5 minutes or until warm (do not let boil). Stir in remaining salt and pepper. Ladle into warmed bowls, then sprinkle each with 1 1/2 tsp. nuts.

6 comments from you:

vlb5757 said...

Okay, this just confirms that fact that I need to move to the Northwest! I never see mushrooms like that around HERE. The pizza looked really good. I love mushrooms so this will be one I will have to try too. Boy! Sticking to WW is getting harder and harder! lol!

Dawn said...

I've never had butternut soup. It sounds good! I think I might have to try that one!

Sara E Anderson said...

It all looks delicious, but mostly I wanted to give you a shoutout from another northwestern biologist food blogger.

michelle said...

Hi Vickie!
Gathering mushrooms from the forest is one of the best things around here! There's just something about gathering your own food. I think the soup would pass your WW! You could reduce the oil, and make the crust whole wheat to help with the pizzas!

Hi SoCal Foodie!
Do! Butternut squash is awesome! There's so many variations, but this one really surprised me that it was so simple but had so much flavor (the roasting is the key)! Plus, the seeds are really yummy roasted with olive oil, sea salt, and freshly ground pepper - even better than pumpkin seeds!

Hi Sarah!
I always love to see other NW foodies! Thanks for visiting! You and your man are a really cute couple, btw, and that Onion article on your site is hilarious!

farmgirl said...

What a delicious (and lovely) meal. Chanterelles are my absolute favorite mushroom. I find a few here now and again in the woods around the farm, but nothing like what you get in Oregon. *more envy* : )

michelle said...

Hi Farmgirl!
Thanks for visiting! I may have access to some yummy food stuffs, but my view is nothing compared to yours!! Samson is about 55 lbs now and growing at about a lb. a week - they say you can double their weight at 6 months, so that puts us at about 110 at one year! yikes!