Tag Archives: butternut squash

Too darned good again, I never learn my lesson

1 Jun

IMG_2468I initially made the basis for today’s edibles when I had just delved into the sordid underbelly of food blogs. Hence the shabbier than shabby pictures, and lack of recipes in many of my early posts.
My friend Maurice lived for those cakes, which originally were made with potato. He is an awesome friend. Also my acting partner in crime as we get together and help each other prep for auditions and such. Then we don’t feel so alone like the tortured artists we are. Ennui, etc…Being as such, I will make (almost) anything for him. And I let him finish the original batch of these cakes. I should have made more, as he kept asking for the “things with kelp”. He is now more than well schooled in kale, fortunately or not.
I didn’t get a chance to share my butternut squash version of these with him because again, they were TOO DARNED delicious and I devoured them all.
Butternut Kale Cakes adapted from this recipe in the January 2011 Bon Appetit
For Cakes:
1 cup cooked, mashed butternut squash
2 tsp. butter
1/2 tsp. kosher salt, divided
freshly ground black pepper to taste
olive oil spray
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/4 tsp. minced garlic (I used jarred)
8 lacinato kale leaves, cleaned, stemmed, and chopped
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh sage
1 tsp. dried powdered thyme
dash nutmeg
For Rouille:
1/2 cup reduced fat mayonnaise
Heaping dashes of cayenne and paprika OR Sriracha
1/4 tsp. minced garlic
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
Mash up the squash with the buttah, 1/4 tsp. salt, and some pepper. Heat olive oil spray over medium then sauté the onion until softened. Add kale, garlic, 1/4 tsp. salt, and sage and sauté until the kale is wilted and all liquid has evaporated. Stir into the squash with the thyme, nutmeg, and more pepper if you like. Allow to rest for about 20 minutes and heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake 20 minutes on one side then gently flip and cook 20-30 minutes more. These are delicate. If you like broil for maybe one minute to get a bit crispy on the outside. Meanwhile, thoroughly mix up rouille ingredients. That was difficult. Hot or cold, these are grand.

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Wisdom of the crust. With cocktails!

23 Jan

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Steve was freaking out a bit-pie crust making is intimidating. So we took a minute to take a breath, lay hands on the bowl, and get in touch with the dough.

Before we get into me teaching my friends the wisdom of the pie dough:

It’s a heady time here.

Pilot season. Awards season. So it’s audition a-gogo and watching screeners like crazy time.

And I feel so alive.

No, really. It sounds cheesy, I know, but in all sincerity, this is the life I live for.

And now we return to our regularly scheduled snark.

My friend Alice and I had our third pie teaching party recently. The first gathering was tiny, and I only taught filling because I had performance anxiety about teaching crust technique.

Second time around I didn’t show y’all, but it was five of us gathering for an apple-blackberry-ginger pie. I got brave and taught crust, and one of my pupils made her own pie a week or so later! Color me proud.

For this party Alice requested that I make a savory pie, and we decided to make drinks too.

I seized the opportunity to devise a new champagne cocktail pretty much taken though slightly adapted from Serious Eats. Original recipe here but you should use mine then comment and tell me what you did with it. Yes you should, do it! My friend Suilma took an awesome shot of it:

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Ginger-Grapefruit Deeeelight
1/2 oz. Liqueur de Gingembre (My dear fwife gave me this. It doesn’t have a brand name but is French. And ginger-y. I surmise another type of ginger liqueur would be smashing.)
1 oz. freshly squeezed red grapefruit juice
champagne
strips of grapefruit peel with none of the white pith on them.

Hint: Get your strips of peel before chopping open the grapefruit to squeeze it. Add the ginger liqueur to your glass and swirl to coat the sides. Add the grapefruit juice. Pour in yer bubbly. Take the peel, run it around the rim then twist. You should see and feel a burst of the oils coming misting out. People think garnishes are not so important but this one is. It really adds to the flavor, I kid ye not. Drop the peel in and sip your bubbles like a lady. Or sip like a man. Just do not chug.

And now for the main course!

I fretted as to what sort of savory pie to whip up, given somewhat limited time. The pies I wanted to make from Savory Pies, my new toy, took too long to prep if we wanted to eat before midnight. Our lil’ soiree was commencing around 8 and we wanted some pie by, say, 10.

I ended up listening to the CSA, my organic delivery I indulge in once every few weeks. I got some butternut squash from them that week.

Then I listened to my long-neglected lovah Mark Bittman who whispered “make my spicy winter squash galette”.

I said “yes, master”.

But being the free-thinking woman I am, when he asked me to use his pie crust recipe I said “please, bitch, I don’t think so”, and used my go-to shortening crust. It is fast and still delicious. This pie, excuse me-galette, actually may have benefitted from a crust that had butter (Different crusts for different fillings people! Drives me nuts when people claim that one crust is superior to another because the right crust depends on the situation. Sorry for this long parenthetical. I’m passionate.), but we did not have time for the requisite chillin’ a butter crust demands. And half the purpose of this party was to teach Steve some crust technique. He requested a few step by step photos:

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This is the proper texture before adding water.

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Rolling crust from the middle out.

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This is the tart in our properly pre-heated oven.

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Feeding time!

Savory Galette adapted from my one lovah, Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian to please my other lovah aka myself
One basic pie crust
2 Tbsp. Olive oil
1 medium red onion, chopped
2 Tbsp. minced garlic
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/2 cup water
Two butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes
Heat oven to 350 F. Put the oil in a skillet and heat to medium high. Add onion and stir occasionally until softened. Add garlic for another minute. Add salt, pepper, chili powder and tomato paste. Stir then quickly add water and squash. Bring to a boil, stir, then cover and take off heat.
Let it sit while you roll out that crust. Roll out to at least 12 inches. Put in pie dish. Stir filling, adjust seasoning if need be. Add filling to crust and fold excess crust over it.
Bake until crust is brown and filling is bubbly, about 50 minutes. Check on it periodically and if your crust is browned to perfection, cover it with a ring of foil so it does not burn.

Curiouser and curiouser

18 Feb

This recipe made me hella curious as to whether it would be any good:

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I really love reading Eden.
She doesn’t always post recipes but she almost always makes me laugh.
Like actually LOL.
I was going to wait until I’d tried a few more variations in this recipe to post it. But I decided to post it today because although I don’t know her personally, I’ve been keeping up with reading her blog and she’s dealing with an illness in her family and could probably use all the good thoughts she can get sent in her direction.
I’m a big believer in the power of positive thought, so check out her blog and send some love to Eden.

Now to those curious beans.

Cranberry Chili Fries? Say what? I love beans, ketchup is good, and cranberries are cool but I was not sure sure if these kids could get along.

Eden made this with pinto beans put it over sweet potato fries. I only had garbanzos, and I hate sweet potatoes(unless they are this kind which are totally different). I had butternut squash though so I cut it into logs, roasted at about Fahrenheit 425 for about a half hour, flipping once. Oh, yeah. Spray your roasting pan first. Add salt if you are so inclined. And these re “fries” so I say do it).
Top with the chili you created using this recipe and eat it up. Be happy. Do a little dance. Make a little love. Or at least tell someone you love them. Tell yourself you love you.

Wow, maybe I should have published this on Valentine’s day, but hopefully all that love stuff happened then too…