Posts Tagged butternut squash

Harissa-Stewed Butternut Squash

When I first moved to Portland from Los Angeles, I was told that I must eat at Toro Bravo. I was warned that the restaurant doesn’t take reservations. I was told to expect a long (2+ hour!) wait. But, everyone declared that the wait was worth it.

The people of Portland have long adored Toro Bravo, but I just couldn’t find it in me to wait for two hours for dinner. I’m far too impatient (and I knew I would get far too hangry).

That said, it took me 4 years to finally visit Toro Bravo. I planned to arrive early on a weeknight, in hopes to evade the crowds. Much to my surprise and delight, I was seated right away. Over the course of the evening, I tried a number of different dishes and they were all ridiculously good. However, there was one dish that stood out above the rest: the Harissa-stewed butternut squash. It was incredible — smoky, spicy, rich, warm, and comforting. I devoured the squash and considered ordering another. (And, yes, I’ll admit that I should have tried Toro Bravo years ago. Why did I wait so long?!)

I’ll admit that I crave this dish often. It’s completely addicting. I’ve braved the lines at Toro Bravo a couple of times since that night, specifically for the squash. You can image my elation, then, when I discovered that the new Toro Bravo cookbook included a recipe for the dish!

Let me tell you, the ability to make this dish at home is a real game changer. I might never leave my house again, except to go to the store for more squash and harissa.

harissa squash

TORO BRAVO’S HARISSA-STEWED BUTTERNUT SQUASH
Adapted from “Toro Bravo: Stories. Recipes. No Bull.” and Portland Monthly Magazine.

Notes on the recipe: The original recipe calls for Rose Petal Harissa, but says that you can sub regular harissa. I used regular harissa, but the kind I have is particularly spicy, so I cut it with a bit of tomato paste (which also added color and flavor to the dish).

INGREDIENTS:
1 butternut squash (2–3 lb)
4 tbsp butter
Salt and pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 tbsp harissa
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
Several dollops soft goat cheese

METHOD:

1. Using a sharp knife, halve the squash. Trim off the skin, scoop out the seeds, and dice into 1/2″ cubes.
2. Heat two large skillets over medium-high heat. Place two tablespoons of butter in each pan. Once the butter has melted and is beginning to brown, place half of the squash in one pan and half in the other. Season squash with salt and pepper.
3. Allow squash to cook untouched for the 3 minutes, or until brown on one side. Toss and allow the squash to cook a few more minutes, until nicely browned.
4. Pour squash into one pan, remove from heat, and set aside. Add a bit of olive oil to the empty skillet and cook onion and garlic over medium-high heat. Stir often and cook for 2-3 minutes.
5. Add the squash into the pan with the onions and garlic, and stir to combine. Add in the harissa, cream, tomato paste, and paprika. Allow to cook, uncovered, until squash is fork tender and beginning to fall apart (30+ minutes). Taste, and adjust seasonings if needed.
6. Pour the mixture into shallow baking dishes and sprinkle dollops of goat cheese over the top. Broil for 3-4 minutes, until nicely browned. Serve immediately.

Thai Coconut Butternut Squash Soup: Here’s to a Happy and Healthy 2013!

I’m not gonna lie, this year was a doozy.

There were a lot of ups and downs, but I got through it. It wasn’t easy, but it was good.

I am happy, I am healthy, and I can honestly say that I am welcoming the new year with a spirit of excitement and anticipation. I know there are a lot of good things ahead.

I don’t really do New Year’s resolutions, they just aren’t my thing. However, I view the new year as an opportunity to reflect and to refocus. It’s a time to be thankful, and a time to move forward.

And, as silly as it might sound, it’s a time to get back to eating healthy, to eating the food that makes me feel good. (While I love all the treats and goodies that come with the holidays, they make me feel downright miserable!) It’s time to eat more fruits and vegetables. And it’s time to eat less grains, sugar, and processed foods.

I am ready for the new year, and whatever changes it may bring.

I’m ready to start things off on the right foot.

All that to say, here’s to a happy and healthy 2013.

{The following is a list of recipes that I’ve been inspired by recently.}


Butternut Squash with Farro and Honey Harissa Dressing
from Happy Yolks
Garlicky Kale with Bacon and a Poached Egg from Pearl & Pine
Scallops with Carrot Cream and Marjoram from Food Republic
Braised Coconut Spinach with Chickpeas and Lemon (over a Sweet Potato) from The Kitchn
Raw Kale, Cabbage, and Carrot Salad with Maple Vinaigrette from Gourmande in the Kitchen
Vegan Pho from Green Tea Broth from The Cozy Herbivore
Wintery Spring Rolls from 101 Cookbooks

{And here are a few of my own recipes that are healthy and seasonal.}

Pumpkin and Kale Salad with Tahini Dressing
Quinoa Stuffed Poblano Peppers with Roasted Red Pepper Cream
Potato and Kale Soup with Tomatoes and Rosemary
Roasted Carrot Tacos with Carrot Green Chimichurri
Roasted Broccoli with Honey, Sriracha, and Soy Sauce
Chickpea Pancakes with Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad

{And here is a brand new recipe for a spicy butternut squash soup!}

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Thai Coconut Butternut Squash Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1″ cubes
  • 6-7 cups vegetable (or chicken) stock
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled & minced
  • 1 small yellow or white onion, peeled & diced
  • 1 stalk of lemongrass (or 1 tablespoon frozen lemongrass, which can be found in most Asian grocery stores)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh squeezed lime juice, plus 2 large strips of lime zest
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce (omit if vegetarian)
  • 1 tablespoon Thai red curry paste
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • Coconut or olive oil
  • Optional garnishes:
  • Cilantro
  • Sriracha hot sauce

Instructions

  1. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat oil (coconut or olive oil) over medium heat. Add in the minced onion and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add in the garlic and cook for 2 minutes more. Add in the curry paste, coriander and cumin, and stir to coat.
  2. Next, add in the squash cubes, stock, coconut milk, lemongrass, fish sauce, and lime juice and zest. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Allow the soup to simmer for 30 minutes (or more), until the squash is cooked through and tender. Remove lime zest strips and lemon grass stalk.
  3. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until it reaches a smooth consistency. Taste, and adjust seasonings as necessary. (If you feel the soup is too thick, feel free to add in more stock or a bit of water to thin it out.)
  4. Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with Sriracha and fresh cilantro.

http://rosemarried.com/2012/12/30/thai-coconut-butternut-squash-soup-heres-to-a-happy-and-healthy-2013/

Butternut Squash Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Hi everyone! I’m re-posting this recipe for two reasons:

1. This is one of two recipes I am choosing to feature on the “Ultimate Oregon Thanksgiving” blogger extravaganza on KPAM’s “Simple Kitchen with Missy Maki” on Sunday morning. Since I am talking about this wonderful recipe on the radio (!), I thought it would be nice to have a fresh post.

2. This recipe is so good that it needed to be posted again. If you’d like to make something a little different than the classic pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving this year, I highly suggest this recipe. It’s lovely.

So, then, here is the original text and recipe. Happy (almost) Thanksgiving!

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Happy Swap-iversary!

I can’t believe it has been a whole year since our first recipe swap.

One year ago, Christianna from Burwell General Store asked me if I’d be interested in “swapping recipes”. She’d picked up an old cookbook – “All Day Singin and Dinner on the Ground” – at a swap meet and wanted to know if I’d be interested in re-creating some of the old recipes. I’m a sucker for all things vintage and kitschy, so naturally I loved the idea.

For the very first swap, it was just the two of us. Christianna suggested that we start with a recipe for Autumn Persimmon Pudding. Christianna made a Persimmon Creme Brulee with Blackberries, while I went with a Persimmon Panna Cotta with Spiced Hazelnuts.

Fast forward one year: the recipe swap group has grown to include 30+ foodies, writers, cooks and bloggers from all over the world. Every month we re-invent a new recipe from the cook book, and my fellow swappers never cease to amaze me with their creativity. There are some really amazing people in this group, ranging from the tried and true members (Boulder Locavore, Chef Dennis, Sabrina at the Tomato Tart) to some new(er) members (Barb from Creative Culinary, The Dusty Baker, Pola from Italian Midwest, and SO many more!)…

So then, to celebrate a whole year of swapping recipes Christianna thought it would be fitting if we all made cake. She selected a simple (and lovely) recipe from the vintage cookbook called Maple Syrup Cake.

The moment I saw the recipe for Maple Syrup Cake, I knew what I was going to make. I’m not kidding. I saw the recipe and I thought, “I want to make a butternut squash cake with maple frosting.” I’ve never made – let alone eaten – a butternut squash cake. I’m not entirely sure what possessed me to do such a thing, but let’s blame it on the changing of the seasons. It got cold outside and now I want to eat squash all the time, even in cake. It happens.

As I’ve said previously, I’m not much of a baker. I don’t even own proper cake pans. But my sister Danielle — the baker in the family — happens to own cake pans and so I invited myself over for a day of sisterly cake-baking. It was a great excuse to excuse to spend an afternoon with my sister and my crazy little niece, Ramona. We listened to the Michael Buble Christmas Album (her choice, not mine!) and baked a squash cake. It felt like everything November should be: spending time with family, baking, and listening to cheesy holiday music.

Thanks to my sister and her mad cake skills, the cake turned out remarkably well. It was moist, without being overly dense. It was spicy, sweet, and honestly tasted like carrot cake (without the carrots or the nuts). The frosting was sweet, but not cloying. I may have eaten a piece (or two) for breakfast one day.

So, then, here’s to a year of swapping recipes with an amazing group of foodies from around the world! I’m grateful to be part of such a great group of people, and look forward to the next year of swapping. Please do stop by Burwell General Store’s Recipe Swap page to learn more about recipe swap (and to see what everyone else created for this month’s swap!).

BUTTERNUT SQUASH LAYER CAKE WITH MAPLE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
Adapted from Sand Creek Farm

Cake ingredients:
1/2 cup salted butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 cup dark brown (or muscovado) sugar
2 eggs
1 cup cooked, pureed butternut squash (you can roast, boil, or steam the squash)
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
3 cups cake flour*
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup whole milk

*If you don’t have cake flour, see Joy the Baker’s instructions on how to make your own, using all purpose flour and corn starch!

Maple Cream Cheese Frosting:
3 (8 oz) packages cream cheese**, room temperature
1/2 cup salted butter, softened
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 cups powdered sugar
1.5 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 cup maple syrup

**The original recipe calls for 3 packages of cream cheese, but I had a LOT of frosting left over. I think you could get by with 2 packages. Depends on how much frosting you like on your cake!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 9″ round cake pans and set aside. (You may want to line with parchment as I found the cakes stuck a bit to the pans.)

Using a stand mixer (or mixing bowl & spoon), cream together butter, white sugar and brown sugar. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each is added. Mix in squash, maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.

In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking powder and baking soda. Add in half of the flour mixture to the squash mixture, and stir. Add half of the milk. Add the rest of the flour mixture and stir, and then add the rest of the milk. Mix until combined.

Pour batter into the prepared 9″ round cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes (or until a cake tester comes out clean). Let cool for 15 minutes before removing from pans. After the cakes have been removed from the pan, allow to cool on a wire rack.

While the cakes cool, make the frosting. In a large bowl, cream together cream cheese and butter. Mix in vanilla extract, maple syrup, cinnamon and powdered sugar until combined.

Once the cake layers are cool, place one layer on a cake stand (or serving plate) and spread a layer of frosting over the top. Place the second layer directly on top. Spread a thin ‘crumb coat’ of frosting over the entire outer surface of the two layers. Once the crumb coat has been applied, frost more generously with whatever frosting design you desire. (Note: I added a ring of hazelnuts to the top of the cake as I thought it looked pretty and figured it would be delicious. It was.)

Curried Butternut Squash Soup

I love winter squash, I really do. But at this point in the year, I start to grow a little tired of squash. All you locavores out there know exactly what I mean. The bountiful harvests of summer are long gone, and we are left with squash, squash, and more squash. I may be exaggerating ever-so-slightly, but you get the idea.

So, it is precisely at this time of year – when I feel myself despairing at the thought of eating one more squash – that I come back to my favorite squash recipe: a simple curried butternut squash soup. All it takes is one bite of this soup and I forget my wintertime woes. It doesn’t matter how many other ways I attempt to prepare winter squash, I always come back to this recipe. There is just something so special about it. The curry powder and cayenne add a subtle (and delightful) spice, while the maple syrup brings the perfect amount of sweetness and balance to the soup. The secret to this particular soup is roasting the squash first, as the roasting really coaxes the most flavor out of the squash.

So, I’ll keep this short and leave you with this little tidbit: There is a brightness to this soup that I can’t quite explain. It makes me happy. And even though my heart is set on summer, this soup makes the winter seem not quite so dark.

CURRIED BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP

1 small onion, diced
1/2 cup fennel bulb, diced (about 1/2 a bulb)
1 medium butternut squash, peeled & cubed
4-5 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1/4 cup cream (*can easily be omitted to make recipe vegan or dairy-free)
2 tsps (or more) of your favorite curry powder
2 Tablespoons Maple syrup
1 bay leaf
2-3 sprigs fresh thyme
Dash of cayenne pepper
Salt & pepper to taste

Method:

1. Roast the squash: Heat oven to 400 degrees. Toss cubed squash with a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper and spread into an even layer on a baking sheet. Roast until tender (about 20 minutes).

2. Heat olive oil in a large soup pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add in onions & fennel and cook until tender, 5 or 6 minutes. Stir in curry powder and cayenne and cook for one minute more. Add in roasted squash cubes and stir, cooking for 2-3 minutes. Add in stock, bay leaf, and thyme sprigs.

3. Bring mixture to a boil, and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 20-30 minutes. After this time, remove the bay leaf & thyme springs and blend thoroughly (with an immersion blender, food processor, etc).

4. Once blended, gently stir in cream and maple syrup. Season with salt & pepper, to taste. Add a dash more curry powder, if you so desire. Let simmer on the stove on Low for a couple of minutes. Garnish with fresh ground black pepper, or a dollop of creme fraiche.