Super Easy Caramelized Onion and Potato Soup

It’s hard to believe something so simple can be so delicious.

A couple of bowls of Super Easy Caramelized Onion and Potato Soup make the perfect dinner for cooler weather.

This Super Easy Caramelized Onion and Potato Soup is the perfect example of how just a few ingredients can turn into something completely magical. We’re talking creamy mouthfeel, layers of flavor and in fact a pretty darn healthy meal. Once you taste it, your life just may be changed forever.


The hubs and I have a favorite restaurant here in Santa Barbara, Trattoria Vittoria, that serves quite possibly the most legit Italian food I’ve encountered stateside. They employ Italian chefs, the owner spent a good portion of his childhood in Italy and speaks fluent Italian, the food is amazing and, in fact, so are the drinks with an incredibly entertaining flair bartender manning the helm (who also has a blog, Flair Project, that you should most definitely check out for some out-of-this-world cocktail recipes.)

The restaurant also happens to be one of my husband’s work accounts, so we often find ourselves eating there both for lunch during the week and quite frequently on a “date night” out on the town. What can I say, when we find something good, we stick with it.

Anyhow, even though alllll of the food is delicious, one of my favorite things to order at lunch (okay, even often at dinner) is a cup of their soup of the day. It changes frequently, and you’ll rarely get the same thing twice, but it’s always tasty and I’ve never been disappointed.

A big bowl of Super Easy Caramelized Onion and Potato Soup ready to be devoured.

A while back, I met Chris there for lunch and they were serving a Caramelized Onion and Potato Soup. I wasn’t too sure what to expect (for some reason I thought it might be chunky?) but I went ahead and ordered it because I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed. What came out of the kitchen was a delicious, velvety smooth purée that was chock full of flavor and left me practically licking the bowl. I immediately knew I wanted to recreate something like it in my own kitchen!

And that’s what you have here today folks, what I’m proud to say is almost a spot-on rendition of the soup I tasted on that fateful day. I made this Super Easy Caramelized Onion and Potato Soup all from taste, without asking the chef for any tips on how they did it, but I’d have to say I’m really darn proud of the result.

The best part about this recipe? It only requires 6 ingredients (well, 8 counting the optional one and salt and pepper) and comes together easily and beautifully as long as you (a) have the patience to caramelize some onions beforehand and (b) have a regular or immersion blender on hand. I mean, I found myself standing at the stove asking “Is this really all I need? Is the flavor really already this outstanding?” Yep yep, they are!

Mix up a big pot of Super Easy Caramelized Onion and Potato Soup for dinner tonight!

So here’s all you need to make this Super Easy Caramelized Onion and Potato Soup tonight:

Onions
Potatoes
Butter
Chicken stock
Garlic
Heavy cream (optional)
Prosciutto (again, optional)

Plus a little salt and pepper. That’s it! I’m venturing to guess you may already have a lot (if not all) of this stuff on hand, which means Super Easy Caramelized Onion and Potato Soup is becoming even more of a reality for gracing your dinner table tonight.

Although this recipe is easy and does not require much hands-on work, it does take a little bit of time. We have to give all of those delicious flavors time to come together, after all! But the results are totally worth it. Promise.

Super Easy Caramelized Onion and Potato Soup is the perfect comfort food meal.

Do you have any fun and delicious soup recipes I need to try? Now that fall is just around the corner (and Baby D’s due date!) I’m looking for all the cooler weather recipes I can get my hands on. Leave me your recs in the comments below!

A couple of bowls of Super Easy Caramelized Onion and Potato Soup make the perfect dinner for cooler weather.
Print
Super Easy Caramelized Onion and Potato Soup
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
55 mins
Total Time
1 hrs 5 mins
 

A creamy, velvety soup full of hearty potatoes and flavorful caramelized onion. The perfect, easy comfort food meal for cooler weather!

Course: Main Course, Soup
Servings: 4 servings
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 white or sweet onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 baking potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 4 cloves peeled garlic
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream (optional)
  • 3 slices prosciutto, to top (optional but highly recommended)
Instructions
  1. First, you’ll want to caramelize your onions. Melt butter in a sauté pan over medium-low heat. Add sliced onions and cook, low and slow and stirring occasionally, until onions take on that beautiful caramel color. This may take up to 30 minutes. Be patient! You don’t want to cook the onions too fast and give them a burnt flavor. 

  2. Once onions are sufficiently caramelized, add them to a large stockpot along with potatoes, chicken stock and peeled, whole garlic cloves. Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium heat and simmer until potatoes are tender when you poke them with a fork. Reduce heat to low.

  3. Use either an immersion blender or transfer the soup to a regular blender and purée until there are no longer any chunks. Transfer back to the stockpot on low heat (if using a regular blender), stir in heavy cream (if using) and season with salt and pepper to taste. Keep soup simmering on low while you make some crispy prosciutto to top it off!

  4. Heat a small nonstick sauté pan over medium-high heat. Once pan is hot, add slices of prosciutto and cook until crisp, flipping when necessary. Transfer to a cutting board and chop prosciutto into little pieces.

  5. Ladle warm soup into bowls and top with crispy prosciutto. Enjoy immediately!

Super Easy Caramelized Onion and Potato Soup | CaliGirlCooking.com

Mom’s Peanut Butter Chicken

Looks can be deceiving…

Mom's Peanut Butter Chicken | CaliGirlCooking.com

I know, I know, this photo doesn’t necessarily jump out at you as the PRETTIEST dish around, but boy oh boy does it make up for its looks in flavor. There’s a reason Mom’s Peanut Butter Chicken has been a favorite family recipe of ours for longer than I can remember!


Let me just paint a little picture of the cooking situation in my family for you: My dad is the one who never relies on a recipe, simply using them for “inspiration” and successfully pulling dishes together relying on his taste memory and previous cooking knowledge. When I was younger, whenever there was a dish at a restaurant that we absolutely loved, my dad would be able to taste it and recreate it back at home without even asking the waiter or chef what all was in the recipe.

My mom, on the other hand, is more of a by-the-book gal. This may be partly due to the fact that she’s the primary baker in the family, and we all know that bakers must adhere to much stricter measurements and instructions to come out with the perfect treat. Mom’s always skimming magazines and cookbooks and dog-earing different recipes she wants to try. Some of these recipes end up being massive fails, but others take us by surprise and end up appearing in regular rotation on the dinner table.

I can’t remember exactly where my mom found this recipe, but it’s since become her own, hence why I’m dubbing it Mom’s Peanut Butter Chicken. It’s an incredibly homey meal, the ultimate comfort food, which is why I feel the need to share it now before our weather gets too warm for us to want to make anything that requires time both on the stove AND in the oven!

Mom's Peanut Butter Chicken | CaliGirlCooking.com

I’m sure I’ve mentioned it before, but I am a HUGE peanut butta lova.  Yep yep! I’m pretty much addicted to it it and have been for as long as I can remember, which is why there should be no question as to why I love this hearty, tummy-warming dinner so much.  Seriously, take any dish and add peanut butter to it and you’ve pretty much sold me.

I also love that Mom’s Peanut Butter Chicken is loaded with spinach and tomatoes, yet all of those veggies are covered up in the most delicious peanut butter flavor. Served over a bed of brown rice, this is a healthy, protein-packed meal that I’m pretty sure even the pickiest of eaters will love (yes, if they can get past the looks 😉

Mom's Peanut Butter Chicken | CaliGirlCooking.com

This dish is also incredibly easy to make, and even the most novice of chefs will have no problem whipping it up on any night of the week. The key to bringing it all together is a trusty Dutch oven, and if you’re looking for an affordable option, I highly recommend my go-to Lodge 6-quart cast-iron one, which you can grab on Amazon for less than $60. Seriously, you’ll never regret this purchase.

The Dutch oven and your stove/oven are ALL you’ll need to bring Mom’s Peanut Butter Chicken recipe together in just about an hour and a half. We start with a quick sear of the chicken, and then throw all of the veggies and sauce ingredients into the same Dutch oven before literally setting it and forgetting it. That’s right, after you get all of the ingredients combined, you just pop this big pot of deliciousness in the oven and let it cook away for about an hour.

Mom's Peanut Butter Chicken | CaliGirlCooking.com

I do want to note that this recipe makes a HUGE amount of food. It’s great if you’re serving a large group (growing up, we were a family of five) or if you want to have days and days of leftovers 😛

While Mom’s Peanut Butter Chicken is cooking, steam up some brown rice because you’re definitely want some extra carbs to soak up all of that delicious peanut butter-y sauce. Now how’s that for a complete meal?

Mom's Peanut Butter Chicken | CaliGirlCooking.com

This post contains affiliate links. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for continuing to support the brands that make CaliGirl Cooking possible!

Mom's Peanut Butter Chicken | CaliGirlCooking.com
Print
Mom's Peanut Butter Chicken
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
1 hrs
Total Time
1 hrs 15 mins
 

Chicken is topped with a creamy, vegetable-filled peanut sauce to make a healthy, protein-packed comfort food meal for any night of the week.

Course: Main Course
Servings: 6 servings
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 one-pound can Italian tomatoes, drained with liquid reserved
  • Reserved tomato liquid, chicken broth or tomato juice
  • 1 pound frozen spinach
  • 1 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt plus additional for seasoning chicken
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper plus additional for seasoning chicken
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin (optional)
  • 1/2 cup ground peanuts, for topping
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

  2. Heat butter and olive oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper and add them, in batches, to the pan, browning on both sides. Remove from pan and set aside to add back in later. 

  3. Add the onion to the warm pan and cook until translucent. Add tomatoes and spinach, stirring to combine. Add the chicken back to the pan.

  4. Place reserved tomato liquid in a measuring cup and add chicken broth or tomato juice until combination measures 1 ½ cups. Add liquids to a medium mixing bowl with peanut butter and whisk until mixture is smooth. Add ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, and cumin (if using) and whisk to combine. Pour sauce over chicken mixture in Dutch oven.

  5. Place Dutch oven in 350 degree oven and cook for one hour, or until chicken is tender. When serving, garnish with ground peanuts.

Mom's Peanut Butter Chicken | CaliGirlCooking.com

Loaded Skillet Cornbread with Sausage and Cheddar Cheese

I promised to balance out all that healthy stuff I brought you on Monday, didn’t I?

Loaded Skillet Cornbread with Sausage and Cheddar Cheese | CaliGirlCooking.com

Well, let me tell you, this Loaded Skillet Cornbread with Sausage and Cheddar Cheese truly delivers. We are, after all, in the season of comfort food (and Super Bowl Sunday!) so there’s no time like the present to indulge just a little bit. Plus, we’ve got to bake allllll of the things before the weather once again gets too warm for us to even think about turning on the oven.


As I was dreaming up this recipe, I originally thought I’d just make my loaded cornbread in a classic glass baking dish and serve it up in thick, hearty squares. But then, as I was putting away dishes and reorganizing all of my pots and pans, my eyes fell upon my extremely neglected cast iron skillet and I knew this would be the perfect opportunity to give it some lovin’.

Loaded Skillet Cornbread with Sausage and Cheddar Cheese | CaliGirlCooking.com

The last time I used my trusty Lodge cast iron skillet for a recipe on this site was way back in April of last year, when I brought you this incredibly delicious (and still a reader favorite) Greek Skillet. It turned out so well, and has continued to serve me well in times of easy, healthy dinner needs, that I’m not sure what has taken me so long to break the skillet out again and put it to good use. Now that I’ve done it, I’m eager to start trying even more cast iron skillet recipes in the very near future…Do you have any suggestions of recipes I should try??

Not only is this Loaded Skillet Cornbread with Sausage and Cheddar Cheese incredibly decadent and drool-worthy, it’s also soooo easy to make. Yes, the batter is made from scratch, but I kid you not when I say it comes together in less than 15 minutes flat. With only 20 minutes of baking time, the cornbread would be a welcome addition to an easy weeknight dinner. I’m thinking it would be the perfect accompaniment to a bowl of Warming Minestrone Soup or a big Winter Kale Salad.

Loaded Skillet Cornbread with Sausage and Cheddar Cheese | CaliGirlCooking.com

Oh, and did I mention we grease the pan with bacon fat? I know, I know, it sounds indulgent, but I’m really just jumping on the “no waste” cooking trend that’s predicted to be a huge trend in the world of food in 2017. I don’t know about you, but the hubs and I have a huge Mason jar full of bacon grease leftover from our weekend breakfasts, and prefer to put it to tasty use as opposed to having to discard of it in an old tomato sauce can. That being said, if it sounds just a bit TOO indulgent for you, you could always use butter (just know that you’ll be missing out on some delicious bacon-y flavor in this already indulgent dish!)

The only prep that you’ll need to do in preparation for this deliciousness is to cook up some Italian sausage, grate some cheddar cheese and slice some green onions. Once that’s all done, the batter will come together in no time flat, while your cast iron skillet is busy warming up (and getting seasoned with bacon grease) in the preheating oven.

Loaded Skillet Cornbread with Sausage and Cheddar Cheese | CaliGirlCooking.com

If you’re looking for an easy dish that will “wow” your guests for Super Bowl Sunday, this Loaded Skillet Cornbread with Sausage and Cheddar Cheese is your answer. It might as well be deemed a “meal” with all of that protein from the sausage and cheese, and there’s even some “green stuff” hanging out in there. I might also add that it’s incredibly tasty with a little drizzle of honey over top, or if you REALLY want to be indulgent, slather on some creamy, high-quality butter.

Loaded Skillet Cornbread with Sausage and Cheddar Cheese | CaliGirlCooking.com

So now you have a healthy dish and this indulgent dish for your football-noshing pleasure this weekend. How about on Friday I bring you a cocktail??

Happy humpday friends!

Loaded Skillet Cornbread with Sausage and Cheddar Cheese | CaliGirlCooking.com
Print
Loaded Skillet Cornbread with Sausage and Cheddar Cheese
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
40 mins
 

Cornbread gets a delicious makeover when it's loaded with sausage, green onions and shredded cheddar cheese and cooked in a seasoned cast iron skillet.

Course: Side Dish
Servings: 8 servings
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons bacon fat
  • 6-7 ounces sweet Italian sausage, casings removed (about 2 links)
  • 1 1/2 cups cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 large green onion, minced
  • 1 1/4 cups grated cheddar cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Place bacon grease in a 12-inch cast iron skillet and place in oven as it is preheating. 

  2. In a small nonstick skillet, brown the sausage, then set aside. 

  3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, salt and baking soda. 

  4. Add the buttermilk, eggs and butter to the same mixing bowl and whisk until combined. 

  5. Stir in the cooked sausage, green onions and cheddar cheese. 

  6. Using potholder, remove the cast iron skillet from the oven. Pour in the batter and then return to the oven for 20 minutes. Remove when a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool slightly before serving.

Recipe Notes

This recipe should also work fine if you only have a 9-inch cast iron skillet. The bread will turn out a little thicker, so you will probably need to increase the baking time 5-10 minutes.

This post contains affiliate links. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for continuing to support the brands that make CaliGirl Cooking possible!

Loaded Skillet Cornbread with Sausage and Cheddar Cheese | CaliGirlCooking.com

21 Recipes to Get Hygge With

Hi friends! I’m soooo excited to share today’s post with you because it’s inspired by the new lifestyle trend that’s been getting a ton of buzz in the news lately – HYGGE! (pronounced HOO-gah.)

21 Recipes to Get Hygge With | CaliGirlCooking.com

In case you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t heard of it yet, hygge is a Danish concept that, in a word, translates to “coziness.” It encourages people to take some time every day to do all things warm and snuggly – whether it be cuddling up under a warm blanket with a book and cup of coffee in hand, or sitting in front of the fireplace with your loved ones watching a TV show.


Of course, any time spent “hyggelig” (the verb form, pronounced HOO-ga-lee) merits some delicious comfort food to go with it, and that’s what I’m bringing you today! I’ve put together a fantastic roundup of the ultimate hygge recipes, guaranteed to make any time spent hyggelig a smashing success.

So let’s get to it!

1. PULL-APART BEER BREAD WITH COMTE AND wHOLE gRAIN mUSTARD
Pull-Apart Beer Bread with Comte and Whole Grain Mustard | 21 Recipes to Get Hygge With on CaliGirl Cooking
Get the recipe here. // CaliGirl Cooking
2. Healthy Mushroom Risotto
Healthy Mushroom Risotto | 21 Recipes to Get Hygge With on CaliGirlCooking.com
Get the recipe here. // Lively Table
3. Slow Cooker Moroccan Lamb
Slow Cooker Moroccan Lamb | 22 Recipes to Get Hygge With on CaliGirlCooking.com
Get the recipe here. // The Purple Ladle
4. Vanilla Coconut Matcha Latte
Vanilla Coconut Matcha Latte | 21 Recipes to Get Hygge With on CaliGirlCooking.com
Get the recipe here. // Bourbon and Honey
5. Slow Cooker Chicken Curry with Coconut Milk
Slow Cooker Chicken Curry with Coconut Milk | 21 Recipes to Get Hygge With on CaliGirlCooking.com
Get the recipe here. // Gluten-Free with LB
6. Danish Smorrebrod with Remoulade
Danish Smorrebrod with Remoulade | 21 Recipes to Get Hygge With on CaliGirlCooking.com
Get the recipe here. // Caroline’s Cooking
7. Skillet Cornbread with Manuka Honey and Cinnamon Butter
Skillet Cornbread with Manuka Honey and Cinnamon Butter | 21 Recipes to Get Hygge With on CaliGirlCooking.com
Get the recipe here. // Veggie Desserts
8. 5-Ingredient Broccoli Cheese Soup
5-Ingredient Broccoli Cheese Soup | 21 Recipes to Get Hygge With on CaliGirlCooking.com
Get the recipe here. // Wholesome Yum
9. Caribou
Caribou | 21 Recipes to Get Hygge With on CaliGirlCooking.com
Get the recipe here. // CaliGirl Cooking
10. Chicken and Cauliflower Skillet
Chicken and Cauliflower Skillet | 21 Recipes to Get Hygge With on CaliGirlCooking.com
Get the recipe here. // Grits and Pinecones
11. Easy One-Pot Mac ‘n Cheese with Hidden Veggies
Easy One-Pot Mac 'n Cheese with Hidden Veggies | 21 Recipes to Get Hygge With on CaliGirlCooking.com
Get the recipe here. // Raia’s Recipes
12. Black Pepper Rose Puff Loaf
Black Pepper Rose Puff Loaf | 21 Recipes to Get Hygge With on CaliGirlCooking.com
Get the recipe here. // Elegant Meraki
13. Mushroom and Cauliflower Vegan Shepherd’s Pie
Mushroom and Cauliflower Vegan Shepherd's Pie | 22 Recipes to Get Hygge With on CaliGirlCooking.com
Get the recipe here. // Delicious Everyday
14. Kentucky Coffee
Kentucky Coffee | 21 Recipes to Get Hygge With on CaliGirlCooking.com
Get the recipe here. // CaliGirl Cooking
15. Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Lentils, Kale and Sun Dried Tomatoes
Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Lentils, Kale and Sun Dried Tomatoes | 21 Recipes to Get Hygge With on CaliGirlCooking.com
Get the recipe here. // Lauren Caris Cooks
16. Vegan Florentine Biscuits
Vegan Florentine Biscuits | 21 Recipes to Get Hygge With on CaliGirlCooking.com
Get the recipe here. // Anna Banana
17. Easy Swiss Chard Lentil Soup
Easy Swiss Chard and Lentil Soup | 21 Recipes to Get Hygge With on CaliGirlCooking.com
Get the recipe here. // My Wife Can Cook
18. Sweet with Heat Yam Casserole
Sweet with Heat Yam Casserole | 21 Recipes to Get Hygge With on CaliGirlCooking.com
Get the recipe here. // CaliGirl Cooking
19. Coconut Braised Chickpeas and Spinach
Coconut Braised Chickpeas and Spinach | 21 Recipes to Get Hygge With on CaliGirlCooking.com
Get the recipe here. // Bunsen Burner Bakery
20. Savory Pretzel Bread Pudding with Cheddar, Apples and Sausage
Savory Pretzel Bread Pudding with Cheddar, Apples and Sausage | 21 Recipes to Get Hygge With on CaliGirlCooking.com
Get the recipe here. // CaliGirl Cooking
21. Apple Crumble with a Twist
Apple Crumble with a Twist | 21 Recipes to Get Hygge With on CaliGirlCooking.com
Get the recipe here. // The Dessert Spoon

Spiced Spaghetti Squash Pancakes with Seared Scallops and Apple Brandy Sauce

The warm and cozy fall dinner ideas just keep on comin’.

Spiced Spaghetti Squash Pancakes with Seared Scallops and Apple Brandy Sauce | CaliGirlCooking.com

And these Spiced Spaghetti Squash Pancakes with Seared Scallops and Apple Brandy Sauce (say that ten times fast) are right there at the top of my list of favorites. They’re intricate and comforting at the same time, with the perfect balance of fall flavors. They’re also fairly healthy and completely attainable on a weeknight.


That’s right, with just a little preparation, these beautiful plates full of delicious scallops, hearty spaghetti squash and a creamy, sweet yet spicy apple brandy sauce can be on your dinner table tonight.

Spiced Spaghetti Squash Pancakes with Seared Scallops and Apple Brandy Sauce | CaliGirlCooking.com

I seem to have a penchant for serving scallops and other seafood with decadent sauces and fresh root vegetables of some kind. It shows in my ever-so-popular Scallop Sundae and my family fave, Fish with Bananas, but these here Spiced Spaghetti Squash Pancakes with Seared Scallops and Apple Brandy Sauce are one-of-a-kind. While the other two are adaptable to any time of year, this dish just screams “fall,” so you better just go right on ahead and make it, like, this week.

Now, I know it’s Monday and, if you’re recovering from a fun-filled weekend like I am, you might need just a little extra hand holding to REALLY believe that this is a meal you can make on any old night of the week. So let me walk you through it!

The first thing we want to do for these Spiced Spaghetti Squash Pancakes with Seared Scallops and Apple Brandy Sauce is roast up some spaghetti squash to make into pancakes. We’re talking latke-style pancakes, not Saturday morning breakfast pancakes. They really are made quite similarly to latkes. Once we shred up the cooked spaghetti squash, we simply mix it up with some eggs, some flour and loads of spices. Oh, and some Parmesan cheese! You don’t want to forget the cheese. I didn’t include it in my first go at these pancakes and when I included it in the second batch it added just a whole new level of flavor.

Spiced Spaghetti Squash Pancakes with Seared Scallops and Apple Brandy Sauce | CaliGirlCooking.com

Once we have our batter all mixed and ready to go, we want to griddle up these pancakes ASAP. The longer the batter sits, the more the egg separates from the rest of the mixture, resulting in a slightly less cohesive pancake. Still edible, just not as pretty. A simple griddle will do for the grilling, and depending on the size, you can cook a few pancakes at a time.

When making your batches of spaghetti squash pancakes, I’d highly recommend placing them on an oven rack or something where the heat can circulate. I just stacked mine on a plate as I cooked them and over time they got just a tad soggy, so the rack would help prevent this.

Once our spiced spaghetti squash pancakes are done, it’s time to move to the apple brandy sauce. We’re saving the scallops for last because, well, freshly seared scallops. There’s nothing much better than their smooth-as-silk tenderness hot off the pan.

For our sauce, we’re going to saute some cubed apples in just a little bit of butter and, of course, cinnamon (no fall meal would be complete without it.) Once we’ve got them going, we pour in our apple brandy AND regular brandy (I used both because I had it, but you could easily omit one or the other if you have no idea what you’ll do with two types of brandy sitting in your liquor cabinet.) We also add a touch of brown sugar to really add that rich caramelization and a dash of cayenne to lend just the right amount of savory to this otherwise sweet sauce. Finally, finish off the sauce with a little more butter to get it to all really come together, and pour it into a small saucepan over low heat to keep it going while you cook the scallops.

For something that could easily be a very complicated recipe, I tried to keep these Spiced Spaghetti Squash Pancakes with Seared Scallops and Apple Brandy Sauce as simple as possible for you. This means we’re searing our scallops in the same saute pan that we started the sauce in. There will be just enough tasty tidbits left in the pan to give the scallops a light, cinnamon-apple flavor, but you’ll want to add a touch more olive oil and butter to get that really good sear.

Once you add the scallops to the hot pan, they’re ready in a flash. We’re talking 6-8 minutes MAX. I  usually prefer to err on the side of undercooking, as I find scallops often continue to cook a little bit after you remove them from the heat. Plus, there’s nothing worse than overcooking these little nuggets of the sea L We want them cooked just perfectly. No rubbery, chewy scallops here!

Now that all of the cooking’s out of the way, it’s time to dish up our plates. We start with a base of spiced spaghetti squash pancakes, and place our scallops delicately on top. We then ladle on alllll the apple brandy sauce. (Trust me, you don’t want to skimp on this, the sauce is sooooo good and you’ll definitely want enough to spread it allll over those pancakes.)

Spiced Spaghetti Squash Pancakes with Seared Scallops and Apple Brandy Sauce | CaliGirlCooking.com

And that’s it! See, it wasn’t that bad, was it? Even if you think Spiced Spaghetti Squash Pancakes with Seared Scallops and Apple Brandy Sauce are wayyyy too complicated for a weeknight, you can bet that if you give the little bit of extra effort this recipe requires, your significant other will just about die with happiness when this is on the menu for your next date night in. So get it on the schedule, open up a bottle of oaky Chardonnay, and give in to the beautiful thing that is Spaghetti Squash Pancakes with Seared Scallops and Apple Brandy Sauce. You won’t be sorry!

Spiced Spaghetti Squash Pancakes with Seared Scallops and Apple Brandy Sauce

15 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: Makes 3-4 servings

The perfect fall comfort-food meal - seared scallops served atop spaghetti squash pancakes, topped with a luscious apple brandy sauce.

Ingredients

    For the Spiced Spaghetti Squash Pancakes:
  • ½ of a large spaghetti squash
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large shallots, minced
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon butter
    For the Apple Brandy Sauce:
  • 3 tablespoons butter, divided (I highly recommend Kerrygold)
  • 1 cup chopped Fuji apple (about ½ of a large apple)
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • ¼ cup apple brandy
  • 2 tablespoons brandy
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
    For the Seared Scallops:
  • 9-12 jumbo sea scallops
  • Salt & pepper

Instructions

  1. First, make the spaghetti squash pancakes. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Take the half of the spaghetti squash and drizzle olive oil over the inside. Roast in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes, until squash is tender enough to pierce with a fork.
  2. Once cooked spaghetti squash is cool enough to handle, scrape out two cups of the innards. In a medium mixing bowl, combine spaghetti squash, shallots, Parmesan, eggs, flour, salt and pepper.
  3. Heat a griddle over medium-high heat. Melt one tablespoon of butter on griddle and then scoop 1/3 cup of the batter onto the griddle at a time to form the pancakes. Cook pancakes for 2-3 minutes, until the edges begin to set and the bottom turns golden, then flip to cook the other side for an additional 1-2 minutes. Remove the pancakes to a rack in a warm place.
  4. Next, make the Apple Brandy Sauce. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a medium saute pan. Once butter is melted, add apple, cinnamon, and dark brown sugar. Toss to coat and saute for about 4 minutes. Add brandies to pan and stir to combine. Remove pan from heat and stir in additional 2 tablespoons of butter. Transfer to a small saucepan and place over low heat until ready to use.
  5. Using the same saute pan you made the apple brandy sauce in, sear the scallops. Place pan over medium-high heat. Rinse scallops under cold running water and pat dry. Season with salt and pepper, then add to pan. Let sear on first side for about 3 minutes (until you get a nice golden crust on the bottom side of the scallop), then flip over and sear the other side for 2-3 minutes. It’s okay to remove the scallops when they are still slightly tender, as they will continue to cook a bit once they are removed from the heat.
  6. Now, it’s time to plate up the dish. Stack two of the Spiced Spaghetti Squash Pancakes on each dinner plate. Top with three scallops and then generously spoon the apple brandy sauce over top. Serve immediately.

Notes

Wine Pairing Note: Serve this dish with a rich, oaky Chardonnay. It’s full body will match perfectly with the spices, seafood, and squash, yet it won’t be so heavy that it will drown the flavors out.

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Spiced Spaghetti Squash Pancakes with Seared Scallops and Apple Brandy Sauce | CaliGirlCooking.com

Dinner is served…