For the past few months, The Front Porch Gourmet, along with the crew from our sister blog, Drink.Dine.Do., have been traveling the Southeast. We’ve been visiting beautiful places, tasting delicious wines and creating memorable meals of our own.
Although the meals have run the gamut from whimsical and fun, to five-star decadence, one thing has been our constant companion; fresh ingredients from Sprouts Farmer’s Market.
We believe healthy living is a journey and every meal is a choice. We love to inspire, educate and empower every person to eat healthier and live a better life. ~ Sprouts Farmer’s Market
Unknown to many, Sprouts actually dates back to 1943 to the days of fresh market and fruit stands. Sprouts believes at the heart of healthy eating are fruits and vegetables. Every Sprouts market offers an endless selection of colorful, fresh produce at reasonable prices.
Sprouts also carries a rich line of seafood selections, fresh cuts of beef, pork and poultry, homebaked breads, pastries, desserts and more!
Throughout our travels, we are visiting Sprouts Farmer’s Markets as our preferred source for ingredients. On our recent trip to the Highlands, we created several recipes perfect for Easter or your Spring tables. We will be sharing these recipes with you over the next few weeks and hope you give them a try! As always, your feedback is very important to us and we would LOVE to hear what you think!
Red Wine & Mushroom Soup with Grilled Brie Croutons
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup baby bella mushrooms, finely sliced
- 1 cup white button mushrooms, finely sliced
- 1 cup red wine
- 4 cups beef stock
- 1/2 cup demi glace
- 1 large bunch Thyme, leaves removed from stem
- French Baguette, cut into 4 hearty slices, lightly grilled
- 8 oz. Brie, room temperature
- salt & pepper to taste
Melt butter in a large stock or soup pot. Add 1 tbsp. olive oil. Add onions and cook on medium low heat until translucent, about 7 minutes. Add minced garlic and continue to cook another 5 minutes until garlic is fragrant. Add the mushrooms and continue cooking until they are golden and the edges are a bit crisped, 7-10 minutes. Add wine, stock and fresh herbs. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Stir in demi glace and continue simmering for 20 minutes. Add salt & pepper to suit your taste.
Place baguettes on a baking sheet. Spread roughly 2 ounces of Brie on each baguette slice. Place baguette with Brie in each serving dish. Ladle hot soup over baguette. Top with additional fresh Thyme.
NOTE: For this recipe all ingredients were purchased at Sprouts. We chose Apothic Red for the wine used in this soup.
Roasted Butternut Squash, Arugula & Mascarpone Tart
Serves 4 main course, or 8 appetizers
- 1 box Puff Pastry
- 1 butternut squash, roasted and cubed
- 1/4 cup fresh Sage leaves
- 8 oz. Mascarpone
- 4 oz. Ricotta cheese
- 2 cups fresh Arugula
- Champagne viniagrette
- 2 ounces grated Parmesan
- salt & pepper to taste
- Balsamic glaze to drizzle for garnish
Remove thawed puff pastry from box. Reserve second sheet of pastry for another use. Unroll and place on flat surface. With a sharp knife, score the pastry along the boarders about 1/2 inch inside the edges to form a smaller square, being careful NOT to cut through the pastry. This will create an outer, puffed crust when baking.
Mix Mascarpone and Ricotta. Spread cheese mixture over the puff pastry, keeping it inside the smaller outlined square. Top with roasted squash and Sage leaves. Bake at 425 until puff pastry is cooked through, about 30 minutes.
In a small bowl, toss Arugula, vinaigrette and Parmesan cheese. Salt & pepper to taste. Top tart with salad mixture and drizzle with balsamic glaze if desired.
Roasted Spring Vegetable Napoleon with Herbed Goat Cheese & Red Pepper Cream
- 1 box puff pastry, each sheet (2 sheets) cut into four squares, (8 squares total)
- 8 oz. herbed goat cheese
- 8 oz. cream cheese
- 1 bunch fresh asparagus, trimmed
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup baby bella mushrooms, sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced, divided
- 2 zucchini, shaved into ribbons and dried on paper towels
- fresh Thyme
- 1 jar roasted red peppers, drained
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 2 tbsp. sherry
- 4 tbsp. butter, divided
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, chiffonade
- salt & pepper to taste
Bake 8 puff pastry squares until done according to package directions. Set aside. Mix goat cheese and cream cheese. Set aside.
Place asparagus on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Add salt & pepper to taste. Set aside & keep warm.
In a small skillet, melt 2 tbsp. butter. Add mushrooms. Cook for about 7 minutes, then add 1/2 of the garlic. Continue to cook for 5 minutes until mushrooms are crisped on the edges. Remove mushrooms to a plate and keep warm. Add zucchini and 1 tbsp. butter to skillet. Add Thyme. Stir fry about 2-3 minutes until heated through. Set aside and keep warm.
In a small pot, add red peppers, heavy cream, sherry, olive oil, basil, remaining garlic and remaining butter. Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes. Allow to cool and place in food processor. Blend to desired consistency. Return to pot and reheat. Add salt & pepper to taste.
Assemble Napoleons by removing centers of all pastry squares to form a well or cup. Place one square on a serving plate. Add a layer of cheese mixture, then top with asparagus. Place a second puff pastry on top of the asparagus. Add another layer of cheese mixture, then top with mushrooms. Form a pile of zucchini ribbons over mushrooms. Dress with the warm Roasted Red Pepper Cream.
To read more about our time in The Highlands of North Carolina, visit our complete post here, at drink.Dine.Do. and make sure to follow us on social media for future destinations and travel tips! Drink.Dine.Do. Visits the Highlands
THANK YOU SPONSORS
We would like to thank SPROUTS FARMERS MARKET (All recipe ingredients), HAMMERSTAHL COOKWARE & CUTLERY (Kitchen cookware & cutlery) and TWO BIRD’S EYE VIEW (Beautiful accommodations), for an absolutely stellar, memorable travel experience. We would also like to thank our readers for allowing us to share our thoughts and opinions on these complimentary tasting, traveling & cooking experiences and products with you. Thank you for your confidence in us and thank you in advance for visiting and supporting these businesses.