Posts tagged ‘Butternut squash’

November 10, 2010

Curry for a Lady

I love curries.  Love, love, love.   I love them even more now that I’m a bit more familiar with the cooking techniques and spices that are considered basic.  Anjum Anand had an Indian Food Made Easy series on BBC that was really a great intro to the genre.  You can find it on the Cooking Channel now, which to be honest isn’t really my cup of tea, save for series like hers. 

Tonight, I did a take on her Bengali Butternut Squash recipe, only with the last winter squash we picked up at Rennick’s a few weekends ago.  It was a turban squash that I probably, in hindsight, should have roasted.  Fortunately, Hades was the one that wielded the knife and not me.  And score! no trip to the hospital.  I really recommend this be done with a more manageable squash like a butternut or acorn.  Really.  Your local emergency room will thank you.

A Chelsea Girl’s Curry

2 T vegetable oil

1 bay leaf

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October 28, 2010

Butternut Squash “Pasta” and Stuffed Squab

There’s been something appealing about trying difficult recipes lately.  Some days – well let’s be honest, a lot of days – all I want to cook is something familiar and easy (i.e., Japanese noodles and salmon).  And tonight’s recipe seemed, at first, to fit into the difficult category.  Although, as it turned out, it wasn’t hard, just slightly exotic.  And exotic can seem hard at first blush. 

The squab were beautiful and from the food heroes at d’Artagnan, so I had extra incentive to do my very best cooking to pay proper homage.  I had been kicking around the idea of making “pasta” from a butternut squash (remember it’s Week of Gourd) so I figured it’d be a good time to give that a shot, too.  This wasn’t pasta at all, just thin ribbons of butternut squash cooked for 30 seconds in boiling water, then finished in a saute pan with butter, a little grated nutmeg and some parmesan.  The result was a remarkably fast dinner (it did require some afternoon prep time) that wasn’t too low on the sophistication scale. 

Chestnut-Stuffed Squab with Butternut Squash “Pasta”

2  squab, each about a pound, necks and wings removed

Zest of 1 orange

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October 6, 2010

Simple Supper

Because we had a lovely filling lunch at Skillet, I couldn’t exactly bring myself to make a full on dinner.  Which was fine by everyone.

So for a quick, satisfying meal, I made the old fall standby, butternut squash soup.  It doesn’t have to be filled to the brim with cream, it can be rich and silky with just the squash and some good stock.  Garnish with bacon or don’t; it’s flexible for vegetarians and meat eaters alike.

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Sage Whipped Cream

1 medium to large butternut squash

3 oz bacon ends, chopped 

4 green onions (or a small chopped onion)

2 cloves of garlic

1 T bacon fat, butter or olive oil

3 to 5 cups of good quality (i.e., homemade) chicken or vegetable stock; if you don’t have it, please don’t use boxed stock, just use water

4 or 5 fresh sage leaves, julienned

1/4 c heavy cream

Olive oil, salt, pepper

Begin by peeling your butternut squash.  PK tip: peel it twice.  If you do it once, it will still be somewhat pale and starchy looking.  You want to peel to the nice orange part.  Cut the ends off, cut it in half, remove the seeds and cut into 1 to 2 inch cubes.  Space cubes evenly on a roasting pan with a drizzle of olive oil and some salt and pepper, mix with clean hands to coat evenly.  Slide into a 400˚ oven for about 30 minutes.

While the squash is roasting, in a large sauce pot render some bacon (if using).  When crispy, remove to a paper towel and save about a tablespoon of the fat to soften the onion and garlic over low heat.  When the squash is soft (a fork pierces it easily) either add to the pot with the softened onion and garlic along with 3 cups (to start) of stock and use an immersion blender to puree.  If you don’t have one, combine all in a food processor or a blender.  Return the puree to a sauce pan to heat through, adding more stock to thin to the consistency you like.

For a garnish, whip the cream until it’s stiff (but not butter!) and add in the sage and a pinch of salt.  Another – even quicker – method is to use a small food processor or an immersion blender with a whisk attachment.  Super fast whipped cream.  I like that.

To serve, ladle the soup into warmed bowls, garnish with a generous sprinkling of bacon and a nice spoonful or a quenelle (if you can do that – I still kind of stink at making them) of whipped cream.  Serve immediately as the whipped cream begins to melt quickly.

The only ingredients that weren’t local were the olive oil, salt and pepper.  For complete sourcing, see the Farms and Producers page.

Playlist included Carry Me Ohio, by Sun Kil Moon.  Sounds like falling leaves.

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