Saturday, January 31, 2009

Butternut Squash Soup with Green Chili Chutney

Liked the spin on this soup and that it didn't include cream...
Butternut Squash Soup with Green Chili Coriander Chutney
Gourmet November 1990

Ingredients for the chutney
1/4 cup sliced blanched almonds
1/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut
2 jalapeño chilies, (wear rubber gloves)
2 cups loosely packed coriander/cilantro

For the soup
2 cups chopped onion
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
a 3- to 3 1/2-pound butternut squash, peeled, halved, the seeds and strings discarded, and the flesh cut into 1/2-inch pieces
6 cups chicken broth
two 4-inch strips of orange zest
1 1/2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice
8 coriander sprigs for garnish
salt and pepper to taste
Make the chutney:
In a blender or food processor blend the almonds, the coconut, the jalapeño, a pinch of salt, and 1/3 cup water until the mixture is ground fine. Add the coriander and blend the mixture until it is ground fine. (This recipe makes what is known as a dry chutney, which has a slightly grainy texture.) The chutney may be made 8 hours in advance and kept covered and chilled. Makes about 1 cup.
Make the soup:
In a kettle cook the onion in the butter and the oil over moderately low heat, stirring, until it is softened, add the squash and 1/2 cup water, and cook the mixture, covered, over moderately low heat for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the squash is tender. Add the broth, the zest, and the juice and simmer the mixture, uncovered, for 15 minutes. In a blender or food processor purée the mixture in batches and strain it through a sieve into a large bowl. The soup may be made 1 day in advance and kept covered and chilled.
Ladle the soup into 8 bowls and garnish each serving with about a tablespoon of the chutney, to be stirred into the soup, and a coriander sprig.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Great Pasta for a Cold Winter's Night

Mushroom Ragout
Compliments of our friend, Martha...

4 slices bacon cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
2 small onions finely chopped
1 10 ounce package cremini mushrooms, trimmed and "torn"~ no need to cut the mushrooms just tear them up with your hands
10 ounces or so of other assorted mushrooms (oyster, shitake etc.), trimmed and "torn"
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/2 cup broth or water
2 teaspoons thyme
1/4 cup chopped parsley...if you have some
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
3/4 lb spaghetti or fettucini
parmesan cheese, shaved for garnish (optional)
In a large 5-quart saucepan with a tight-fitting lid (that will be used later), cook bacon over medium heat, uncovered, stirring until crispy, about 5 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper towel to drain. Set aside.
Add onion to saucepan; stir until golden, about 1 minute. Add mushrooms; cover. Cook until juices have evaporated, about 20 minutes.
Stir in tomato paste, thyme, and 2 cups water until combined; cover. Cook until sauce has thickened, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in parsley and vinegar. Add bacon, reserving some for garnish, if desired.
Meanwhile, cook pasta until al dente, according to package instructions.
Do not rinse pasta -- return immediately to sauce and toss together. Garnish with reserved bacon and LOTS of shaved Parmesan, if desired. Salt and pepper to taste.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Jen's Roasted Broccoli

I happened to try this at Awesome Jen's today... YUM and so SIMPLE!
1 head of broccoli, washed and cut into florets
2 teaspoons of olive oil
1 tsp. seasoning Jane's Crazy Mixed Up Salt
Sea salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees farenheit. Use a large bowl to toss broccoli florets with olive oil. Lay florets in a single layer on a baking sheet. Evenly distribute seasoning salt, sea salt and pepper. Bake until tender and a little crispy, usually around 15 minutes.

New Year's Eve - Part 2 - Easy and Very Good Coq Au Vin

A Casey/Top Chef Recipe
Only thing I would have changed was I would have added about 10 chicken thighs for 6 people.
6 chicken thighs, skinless
Salt and pepper
Grapeseed oil for searing ...olive oil works just fine
1/2 lb bacon, diced small
1 small white onion
1 bunch ramps...80/20 and also impossible to find
1T tomato paste
1 tomato, cut into chunks
1 bay leaf
3 cups red wine
3 sprigs thyme
2 cups chicken stock
2 bunches, asparagus spears
4 russet potatoes
1 cup cream
1 stick butter, salted
1T mascarpone
Chopped dill
1t grapeseed oil
7 cipollinis, blanched and peeled...80/20 ..impossible to find

Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper. In a hot saute pan, heat grapeseed oil over medium-high heat. Sear chicken on both sides. Set aside.
Remove all but one tablespoon of oil from the pan. Add bacon and render the fat. When bacon is almost cooked, add onion and ramps. After 2 minutes, add tomato paste, tomato chunks and bay leaf for seasoning. Turn heat down to low-medium and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Deglaze pan with red wine. Cook wine for 10 minutes. Return chicken to pan, add thyme sprigs and chicken stock. Cover with foil and place in preheated oven of 350 degrees. Cook for 1 hour. Remove foil and continue cooking after stirring chicken uncovered for 15 minutes.
In the meantime, slice asparagus. Peel and cut potatoes into chunks. In a pot of cold, salted water, place potatoes on medium-high heat. When potatoes boil, cook until just tender. When ready, completely strain off water and return potatoes to pot. Steam off the water over low heat. Be careful not to scorch potatoes on the bottom. Run potatoes through a ricer and mix with cream and butter (reserve 1 tablespoon) a little at a time until creamy. Whip in the pan with a wooden spoon. Season and add in mascarpone; garnish with dill. Set aside.
In a sauté pan, melt one tablespoon of butter with grapeseed oil. Add cipollinis and saute with salt and pepper. When browned and cooked through, add to tomato-chicken stock sauce.