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Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Ancho Chili
The great thing about a Convection oven is that it is incredibly easy to cook several different foods at one time. All it takes is a little planning. Best of all it’s so easy to quickly chop a butternut squash and add it to the oven to cook while you are cooking another dish at the same time. Since one of the benefits of convection cooking is being able to cook on multiple racks at one time with no transfer of flavor, it’s a shame to miss the opportunity to get another meal started.
This recipe serves 4
1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed, cut into 1 - 2” chunks
1 tbsp olive oil
¼ tsp Ancho chili powder
1 tsp toasted Pistachio or Walnut oil (optional)
1 medium yellow onion, coarsely chopped
2 stalks celery, strings removed, cut into 2” chunks
2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 2” chunks
3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
¼ tsp dried oregano
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
Heat the oven in the Convection Bake Mode 375 degrees.
Toss the cubed butternut squash with the olive oil and chili powder or spice of your preference. The squash should be lightly coated with oil, so drizzle a little more oil over the cubed squash if needed.
Spread the squash onto a rimmed baking pan and bake on the lower rack for 25 - 30 minutes until the flesh has softened. Meanwhile prepare the soup base.
Heat a 2 qt saucepan over moderate heat. Add 2 tbsp unsalted butter and a little olive oil.
When the butter is sizzling and beginning to brown, stir in the onion and cook over moderate heat until translucent.
Stir in the celery and carrots and cook for about 5 minutes on medium low heat taking care not to burn the onions. Add the garlic and oregano and cook for a few minutes then stir in the stock.
Bring the mixture to a gentle boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir in the cooked squash then puree. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.
A nice way to finish this soup before serving is with a drizzle of a specialty oil such as roasted pistachio or walnut oil, it just adds that little extra depth of flavor.
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Baked Ham with Tangerine Glaze and Roasted Carrots
Since ham is already cooked by smoking it is most often eaten cold, however heated through and brushed with a fruity glaze it makes a great centerpiece for celebration meals.
In order to heat the ham through it usually needs a fair bit of time in a slow oven and to avoid drying out the meat it is covered until the final stage when the glaze is added. However, if you bake your unsliced ham in Convection you will not need to cover the ham and the heating through time will take approximately 1 ½ - 2 hours, depending on the weight of the ham. If you are heating a sliced ham then it must remain covered in foil to avoid drying out.
1 - smoked ham, bone-in, skin on 7 - 9 lbs
1 - bunch fresh sage leaves
¾ - cup olive oil
1 - cup unsalted butter, cut into chunks
2 - cups tangerine juice
2 - tangerines, sliced thin, seeds removed
2 - cups, packed light brown sugar
1 - cup water
½ - teaspoon whole cloves
2 - cinnamon sticks
1 ½ - lbs baby carrots
Preheat the oven in the Convection Mode 300 degrees.
Place the ham on a rack in a large roasting pan.
Score the ham with cuts in a diamond pattern about 2 inches apart and ½ deep.
Season generously with salt and pepper. Chop 8 of the sage leaves and mix with the olive oil to make a paste, rub all of the ham getting into the slits.
Bake for 2 hours.
Combine the butter, tangerine juice, tangerines, brown sugar, water and spices in a heavy medium saucepan and heat over medium heat.
Bring to a gentle boil and simmer until the liquid is reduced to a syrupy glaze, 30 - 40 minutes.
Brush the glaze over the ham when it has completed its initial heating phase. Add the baby carrots and another 8 chopped sage leaves and continue baking for another 40 - 50 minutes until the carrots are tender and the internal temperature of the ham is 150 degrees.