I’m a fan of soup. A big fan. Anything that requires slow simmering and very little attention on my part is a good thing. And when I think of Thanksgiving, I always think of butternut squash, so naturally, I thought I would throw together a butternut squash soup for our first course. Then I asked myself, “What could possibly make a luscious soup such as this even better?” My answer? Bacon and lobster, of course!
Although they are a pain to peel, the flavor of a butternut squash is well worth the effort. I chopped it up along with an onion and garlic and tossed them all together with olive oil and the rendered fat from the bacon. To that, I added minced sage, thyme, and a few whole bay leaves. After a sprinkling of kosher salt and black pepper, I roasted them in a 450º oven for just under an hour, stirring them halfway through to ensure even roasting.
Despite the state of our house (we’re still living out of the basement due to floor refinishing) I was still thrilled to be cooking for our Thanksgiving. The roasted veggies smelled amazing and in the meantime, I prepped the lobster tails. It was quite simple, really. I just snipped up the sides of the lobster tail and snipped up the belly side of the shell, removing it and exposing the flesh. A little salt, pepper, and olive oil and voilà!
I wrapped the lobster tails in foil packets and after the butternut squash mixture was sufficiently roasted, I removed it, and into the oven they went! Before I knew it, the soup had been puréed, the lobster was done, and it was only 1:00pm!
The finished product with lobster pieces. Delicious!
As if one dessert wasn’t enough, I went ahead and put together a quick apple tart. I’ve made them before, but usually labored over the pastry…not this time! No way! Into the freezer I went and Eureka! I had a package of puff pastry! This apple tart is the simplest way to serve a fruit dessert and if you have the right ingredients: apples, puff pastry, butter, and sugar, you should be in business!
I tossed my peeled and cored apples with a few tablespoons of sugar and a few tablespoons of brandy, but the alcohol isn’t necessary. We all know I like hooch with my food, and I feel that brandy adds a nice element to an apple dessert. I then layered the apples on the puff pastry, sprinkled it with more sugar, and dotted the apples with cubed butter. After about an hour in the oven, it was golden brown and gorgeous!
All in all, I think this non-traditional Thanksgiving went off without a hitch. Pat prepared a standing rib roast with roasted Brussels sprouts, carrots, and fingerling potatoes. And Holly prepared a lovely scalloped celery root dish with bacon. It was a nice change to spend the holiday with close friends and I hope we can all do it again soon.