Monday, December 21, 2009

Spicy Kobacha Pumpkin Soup with Spaghetti Squash

Recipe Courtesy of Stella Ortega

This recipe was given to me by my mom who made it one time for everyone at work.  It was given rave reviews.

Olive oil ,   4 Tbsp butter,    2 medium onions, chopped ,      3 tsp minced garlic,  1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes,     2-3 tsp curry powder,      1/2 tsp coriander,    1 tsp thyme,      2 bay leaves,        2 tsp parsley,               1 tsp sage,    1/2 tsp cinnamon,    1/2 tsp nutmeg,    1/2 tsp allspice,    1/2 cup brown sugar,     2 cups milk,          1/2 cup heavy cream,   juice from 1 lemon,  pinch cayenne pepper,   salt and pepper to taste,   5 cups chicken or vegetable broth,  1 large Kabacha pumpkin (green round pumpkin),    1 spaghetti squash

Cut pumpkin and spaghetti squash in half, sprinkle with salt and pepper and olive oil.  cover with foil.  Cook in oven at 400 degrees for about 1 hour until soft.  Squash and pumpkin are done when you can push in softly.
After pumpkin is done, cool and scoop out, and set aside.  When spaghetti squash is done, cool and scape with a fork from top to bottom, so that the squash comes out stringy. Set aside.

Heat oil and butter in a sauce pan, add onions and garlic and cook until soft.  Add curry, coriander, thyme, parsley, sage, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice for 1 minute.  Add pumpkin and broth and stir well.  Add bay leaf, cayenne pepper and crushed red pepper flakes.

Transfer soup, in batches to the blender or food processor.  Fill half way with soup and pulse a few times and then blend.  Return soup to saucepan.

With soup on low, add brown sugar and mix slowly, add milk while stirring to soup.  Add heavy cream and lemon.  If soup is too spicy, add more cream.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Remove bay leaf.  Add spaghetti squash and simmer for 15-20 minutes.

Creme Anglaise

  1. Recipe Courtesy of foodandwine.com
  2. Although this custard sauce only takes 10 minutes to make, it can easily overcook and curdle. It makes a wonderful dessert with served over berries and angelfood cake.

  3. 2 cups half-and-half or whole milk
  4. 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  5. 1/2 cup sugar
  6. 4 large egg yolks, at room temperature

  • Set a large fine strainer over a medium bowl and set the bowl in a shallow pan of cold water.

  • In a large saucepan, combine the half-and-half and vanilla bean and cook over moderately low heat just until small bubbles appear around the rim, about 5 minutes.

  • In another medium bowl, whisk the sugar and egg yolks just until combined. Whisk in half of the hot half-and-half in a thin stream. Pour the mixture into the saucepan and cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the sauce has thickened slightly, 4 to 5 minutes. Immediately strain the sauce into the bowl in the cold water bath to stop the cooking. Scrape the vanilla seeds into the sauce. Serve right away or refrigerate until chilled.

  • Wednesday, December 9, 2009

    Buffalo Chicken Wraps

    Recipe courtesy of All Recipes 2009

    I LOVE Buffalo Chicken.  This is such an easy recipe and it can easily be adapted to a salad. Omit the hot sauce on some of the chicken and it is also great for the kids.  

    • 3 tablespoon vegetable oil
    • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
    • 1/4 cup hot sauce
    • 4 (10 inch) flour tortillas
    • 2 cups shredded lettuce
    • 1 celery stalk, diced
    • 1/2 cup blue cheese dressing

    1. Heat the vegetable oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Place the chicken in the pan; cook and stir until the chicken is no longer pink in the center and the juices run clear, about 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. Pour the hot sauce over the cooked chicken and toss to coat.
    2. Lay out the flour tortillas and divide the chicken evenly among the tortillas. Top the chicken with lettuce, celery, and blue cheese dressing. Fold in the sides of the tortilla and roll the wrap burrito-style.

    Marshmallow Snowflakes

    Recipe courtesy of Martha Stewart 2008

    I made these last year for teachers gifts and they absolutely loved them.  They also make a great hostess of extra something gift during the winter season.

    • 2 envelopes (each 1 scant tablespoon) unflavored gelatin
    • 1 1/2 cups sugar
    • 2/3 cup light corn syrup
    • 1/8 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • Vegetable-oil cooking spray


    1. Coat a 12-by-17-inch rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray; line with parchment paper. Spray parchment; set aside. Pour 1/3 cup cold water into the bowl of an electric mixer. Sprinkle with gelatin; let mixture soften, about 5 minutes.
    2. Place sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 1/3 cup water in a medium saucepan. Cover; bring to a boil. Remove lid; cook, swirling pan occasionally, until syrup reaches 238 degrees (soft-ball stage) on a candy thermometer, about 5 minutes.
    3. With mixer on low speed, whisk gelatin mixture, and slowly pour the syrup in a steady stream down the side of the bowl (to avoid splattering). Gradually raise speed to high; beat until mixture is thick, white, and has almost tripled in volume, about 12 minutes. Add vanilla, and beat 30 seconds to combine.
    4. Pour mixture onto prepared baking sheet; smooth with an offset spatula. Let stand at room temperature, uncovered, until firm, at least 3 hours or overnight.
    5. Coat a 1- or 2-inch snowflake-shaped cookie cutter with cooking spray to prevent it from sticking. Cut out as many individual marshmallows as possible; coat cutter with more spray as needed. Use marshmallows immediately or store in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week.

    Saturday, December 5, 2009

    Ahi Bruschetta

    Recipe Courtesy of Home Cooking the Costco Way

    I tried this recipe for a holiday party we hosted and it was a big hit.  Very easy to prepare too!

    8 oz fresh ahi tuna (with good red color)
    2 Tbsp minced green onions
    3 Tbsp mayonnaise
    1 Tbsp seasoning: equal parts black,
    white, red pepper and garlic powder
    1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
    1 Tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
    1 Tbsp Chinese mustard

    Baguette sliced into 1/2 in slices, lightly toasted
    Pickled ginger and dill for garnish

    Mince tuna with a sharp knife into 1/4 by 1/4 inch cubes (or as uniform in size as possible).

    Place tuna in a bowl and add green onions,mayonnaise,seasoning, sesame oil, sesame seeds and mustard.  Stir to blend.

    Mold the tuna into a small cup and garnish with dill sprigs.  Serve with toasted baguette slices and pickled ginger on the side.

    Makes 8-10 servings

    Egg, Bacon and Arugula Open-Faced Sandwiches

    Recipe courtesy of Home Cooking the Costco Way

    I always have a hard time deciding what to make guests for breakfast. 
     This recipe is easy and oh so good.

    12 oz bacon
    4 slices La Brea Bakery Whole grain loaf
    7 large eggs
    1/4 heavy cream
    salt and pepper
    2 Tbsp unsalted butter
    1 large tomato, sliced
    12 arugula leaves, stems discarded

    Cook bacon in a nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp.  Transfer to paper towels to drain.  Keep warm, covered.  Pour off fat from the skillet and wipe clean with paper towels.

    Lightly toast the bread.

    Whisk together eggs and cream, season to taste with salt and pepper.  Heat butter in the skillet over med-low heat.  Add the eggs and cook, stirring slowly, until just cooked through.

    Place tomato slices on the toasted bread, followed by arugula and bacon.  Top with the scrambled and a few grindings of pepper.

    Makes 4 servings

    Friday, December 4, 2009

    Cuban Braised Beef and Peppers


    Recipe courtesy of Real Simple December 2009

    1 28 oz can diced tomatoes, drained
    2 red bell peppers, sliced 1/2 in thick
    1 onion, cut into 8 wedges
    2 tsp dried oregano
    1 tsp ground cumin
    Salt and pepper
    1 1/2 lbs flank steak, cut crosswise into thirds
    1 cup long greain white rice
    1 avocado, sliced
    fresh cilantro leaves

    In a 5 to 6 qt slow cooker, combine the tomatoes, peppers, onion, oregano, cumin 1 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper.  Nestle steak among the vegetables.  Cook, covered, until the meat is tender and pulls apart easily, on high for 4 to 5 hours or on low 7 to 8 hours.

    Twenty five minutes before serving, cook the rice according to package directions.

    Using two forks, shred the beef and mix it into the cooking liquid.  Serve with the rice and top with the avocado and cilantro.


    Related Posts with Thumbnails