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Menu Plan for Fall I: Week 6, Friday

Cream of Mushroom Soup
Salmon Baked in Phyllo with Tarragon Shallot Sauce
Simple Couscous
Butternut Squash with Bacon and Sage

Cooking time:  40 minutes for menu          Cooking schedule: see below for instructions

         The Salmon in Phyllo is impressive and easy to make.  Working with phyllo is not hard, just requires one to be ready and quick. Phyllo can be thawed and frozen twice, and keeps in the fridge - wrapped well in film.

Cream of Mushroom Soup with Sherry

Total time: 20 minutes
     Try to get a variety of forest or wild mushrooms for this rather than the white button.  Cremini will work, but the flavor will have more depth with 2 or 3 types of mushrooms. 

Cream of Mushroom Soup with Sherry Ingredients:

 Instructions:

Salmon Baked in Phyllo with Tarragon Cream Sauce

Total time: 25 minutes
    A very impressive dish, easy to prepare, bakes quickly and makes an elegant presentation. Phyllo can be frozen twice.

Salmon Baked in Phyllo with Tarragon Cream Sauce Ingredients:

 Instructions:

Note: Phyllo dough is very fragile and prone to drying out.  Use one sheet at a time and cover the remaining sheets with a slightly damp towel or paper towel.

Simple Couscous

Total time: 15 minutes
    This is couscous at it's simplest:  just a bit of herbs and oil, the perfect dish to accompany a sauced fish or meat...

Simple Couscous Ingredients:

 Instructions:

Butternut Squash with Bacon and Sage

Total time: 40 minutes
    There is a group of cooks that feel almost anything can be improved with bacon. I'm one of them... Within reason. I love the combination of salty bacon or ham with sweet squash and spicy sage. And I love easy vegetables.  This started out to be a gratin, but I decided to leave the topping off, some things are best simple.

Butternut Squash with Bacon and Sage Ingredients:

 Instructions:

Note:  To clean butternut squash first peel it, using a potato/vegetable peeler.  If it's large (typically) cut it in half between the 'neck' and 'bowl' ends.  Then cut those in half the 'long' way.  Scoop the seeds out of the round end and discard.  I use the neck end for uniform pieces and the bowl end for soups and smaller pieces.

Cooking Schedule: 40 minutes
Assemble all food, utensils and serving dishes
Utensils: measuring cups, spoons, knives,
scissors, small skillet, 2 small saucepans, 1 lid, medium saucepan, baking sheet, baking dish for
squash, blender, pastry brush and dish for melting
butter (micro), medium bowl with lid or cover
Thaw phyllo if necessary
Turn on oven, 400F (200C), arrange 2 shelves
Fry bacon in small skillet
Peel, cut, clean squash
Slice what is needed, wrap and refrigerate the rest
Snip sage
Turn bacon
Clean mushrooms, chop
Remove bacon, crumble
Clean, slice leeks
Sauté leeks, mushrooms
Assemble squash dish, bake
Chop shallot for sauce, sauté

Melt butter for phyllo
Fuss with the salmon, rinse, dry
Dissolve cornstarch in stock, set aside
Add herbs, stock to shallots, simmer
Add stock, herbs, to mushrooms, heat
Heat stock for couscous
Make salmon parcels
Give salmon parcels a final brush of butter
Place on baking sheet and set aside
Thicken sauce, cover to keep warm
Put couscous, herbs in bowl, pour stock over, cover
Purée soup, adjust for desired consistency
Add milk, sherry to soup, reheat
Bake salmon
Ladle soup into bowls, garnish, serve, relax, enjoy
Done?
Remove squash
Finish couscous
Remove salmon when done
Stir yogurt into sauce, serve