Posts tagged ‘Squash’

June 4, 2012

Two Light and Easy Nights | Summer Miso Soup

This past weekend the most recent Top Chef winner Paul Qui was in town at Market District to do a demo and answer questions.  Honestly, I don’t think there has been a nicer, more unassuming winner of that crazy show.   He’s just such a humble, talented guy.  His dishes were lovely light versions of chicken rice (his with lots and lots of a lemony ponzu) and a summer miso soup.  Things, he says, are his comfort foods.  I can completely see why.

His cooking got me thinking about dishes I had made in the past but could bring together for the perfect, almost no effort summer dinner.  Granted, you’ll have Asian food a couple of days in a row, but I don’t think that ever hurt anyone.  Plus, this is the time of year that you can gather just about everything locally, aside from the kombu, katsuobushi and a couple of pantry items.

But perhaps the thing that makes me happiest about this kind of dinner is that since everybody gets to choose what to include in their bowls, it’s lots of fun for Cherub.  She amazed even me tonight by her choice of tofu, zucchini, carrots, green onion, bean sprouts and snap peas.  But she passed on the fresh sweet corn.  (What kid does that?)  And she even had seconds.

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December 7, 2011

Diary of a Dinner | Anglian Soup

Tonight’s dinner wasn’t really planned, per se.

And lately I’ve been trying to formulate a way to express just how meals come together at our house.  Because I think it’s kind of important.  Cooking is a part of almost all that I do.  But not in an intrusive, takes-up-all-my-time kind of thing.  It’s easy.  I keep saying that because I think everyone can look at how they use their time and fill in a spare five or ten minutes with a few small tasks that really elevate meals into something special.  Even if a portion of it is takeaway from a grocery store.

Yesterday I picked up some crab cakes from Fresh Market (December is buy one get one free salmon fillets and crab cakes on Tuesdays).  And I knew that I had a good piece of butternut squash in the fridge.  A whole roasted pie pumpkin from over the weekend was in there, too. 

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November 30, 2011

Pie Season | Parsnip and Butternut Tart

Pie.  Tart.  Deliciousness in a dish.

The recipe for this Any Season Fruit (or Vegetable) Tart (page 19) is from Gilt Taste.  It’s a surprising base that can skew sweet or savory.  But on first blush, you could only assume it would be sweet as the base is butter and sugar creamed together.  It has to be cake, right?  But no, with a full teaspoon of salt in it, as well as some savory and thyme (thrown in by me), this autumnal pastry was devoured by everyone, including Cherub.

I used a combination of parsnips and butternut squash, parboiling them for just five minutes in heavily salted water before draining them and adding them to the tart.  I also sprinkled in some dried thyme and savory.  To add a little extra oomph to the final dish, I shook up a quick chili and sriracha cream in a half pint ball jar until thick.  A tablespoon per slice adds a nice kick of heat.

Playlist included Video Games, by Lana Del Rey.

October 25, 2010

Party Snack: Posh Squash

Sunday I (well, mostly Cherub) gathered some locally-grown pumpkins and squashes at a nearby u-pick farm.  Since nearly everyone has a gourd or two lying around this time of year, I thought I’d give you some ideas about how you might use them.  One minute they’re seasonal decorations on your front porch and the next you’re serving them to party guests.  Result!

Today, I used one of those squashes, the demure Carnival, for a posh little party snack.  Tonight’s do was hosted by my friend Elpis, and as I’m sure you’re aware, party season is upon us.  These nibbles are easy and sure to please, so add this recipe to your arsenal.

The basics are roasted squash, pancetta, parmesan and buttery toast.  You can go two ways with this one: quick and dirty or overacheiver.  I opted for the overacheiver version for your viewing pleasure, and to encourage you to do the same. 

Roasted Carnival Squash Nibbles with Pancetta and Parmesan

1 Carnival squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into large-ish cubes

Olive oil, salt, pepper

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