Posts Tagged squash

Roasted Delicata Squash Rings with Mast-o-Khiar Yogurt Dip

My husband and I are part of a small and informal supper club/dinner group. We jokingly refer to these gatherings as “The Beet Goes On”, mostly due to the fact that beets always manage to appear on the menu. (Apparently, we’re all big beet fans.)

Truth be told, it doesn’t seem right to call this group a supper club. Really, it’s just five friends who like to cook food and drink wine. It’s as simple as that. We all take turns hosting, cooking, and menu-planning and we always have a great time. We feast, we talk, and we indulge in a few nice bottles of wine. It’s damn near perfect.

A few weeks ago, The Beet Goes On crew gathered at my house. I knew I wanted to make something special for the group, and I had been pouring over recipes, blogs, and cookbooks for weeks. Eventually, I settled on a Middle-Eastern (Israeli/Persian/Moroccan/etc) theme for the dinner. We dined on Shakshuka, Harissa roasted carrots & beets, feta and olives, lemony cous cous salad, flat bread, and delicata squash rings with mast-o-khiar yogurt dip. Let me tell you, it was a feast fit for kings. (Lest you think I’m giving myself all of the credit, my dinner guests made some of the sides. This was a group effort!). However, of all of the dishes we ate that night, the squash and yogurt combo was my favorite. The squash was sweet and spicy, and the yogurt dip was tangy, creamy, and refreshing. They just worked so well together.

Mast-o-Khiar is a Persian dip, which is relatively similar to a traditional Tzatziki. It is traditionally made with yogurt, cucumber, and mint. I got the idea from 101 Cookbooks, who garnishes her mast-o-khiar with rose petals, dried cranberries, and toasted almonds. I took mine in a slightly different direction, and used toasted almonds, pomegranate seeds, and a touch of flat leaf parsley. I thought it worked rather well.

Mast-o-Khiar Yogurt Dip | Rosemarried

ROASTED DELICATA SQUASH WITH MAST-O-KHIAR YOGURT DIP
Inspired by and adapted from 101 Cookbooks

For the roasted squash:
1-2 small delicata squash
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt & pepper
1.5 teaspoons cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

For the dip:
2 cups Greek yogurt
2 cloves of garlic
3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded, and finely diced
High quality extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup toasted almonds
1/3 cup pomegranate seeds
A few sprigs of flat-leaf parsley

To make the dip:

Peel the garlic cloves and place on a cutting board. Sprinkle the garlic cloves with salt, then mash or chop into a paste. Combine the garlic paste with the yogurt, dill, and mint. Refrigerate until you’re ready to serve. When ready to serve, stir in the diced cucumber and season with salt & pepper, to taste. Spoon into a serving dish and drizzle with olive oil and garnish with toasted almonds, pomegranate seeds, and chopped parsley.

To roast the squash:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Wash the squash and leave the skin on. Note: You could slice the squash into rings and de-seed each individual ring, but I prefer to de-seed the squash in one fell swoop. Here’s how you do it: Slice a 1/4″ or 1/2″ round off the top and bottom of the squash (discard these pieces). This should expose the soft center, and allow you to remove the seeds. Take a butter knife and insert it into the center of one of the exposed ends of the squash. Move the knife in a circular motion, and carve through the center of the squash from top to bottom, loosening seeds as you go. Make sure the knife penetrates through to the other end of the squash, and the seeds should fall right out. Once the squash is de-seeded, slice the squash into 1/4″ rings. Toss these rings with olive oil, salt, pepper, and spices. Lay squash rings in rows on a line baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes, or until fork tender and golden brown. Allow to cool slightly before eating.

Pumpkin Pancakes with Cream Cheese Butter

We are officially in the throes of pumpkin season. For as much as I gripe about pumpkin spiced lattes and other seasonal pumpkin atrocities, I really do love pumpkin. It’s a fantastic and versatile winter squash. Pumpkin is phenomenal in a myriad of baked goods – cakes, cookies, pies, etc – but pumpkin also tastes great in soups and stews, salads, curries, and other savory applications. (Let it be known that I will never, ever, ever like pumpkin in a latte. It’s not happening, people.)

Of all the pumpkin preparations, however, the pumpkin pancake is my favorite. Pumpkin pancakes are the epitome of comfort food. They’re good eats, plain and simple.

I’ve been making a version of this recipe for years, but haven’t posted it on the blog until now. (I’ve been holding out on y’all!) These pancakes are fluffy and moist and they actually taste like pumpkin. They’re so damn good. I wish I could take credit for the cream cheese butter, but I borrowed the idea from Utopia Cafe in Portland, OR. I think the cream cheese butter is a brilliant and decadent addition to the pancakes. You must try it for yourself.

Lastly, this post is dedicated to my sister, Danielle. She’s the only person I know who loves pancakes more than I do, and has a strange obsession with the pumpkin pancakes at IHOP. I simply can’t eat pumpkin pancakes without thinking of her.

Pumpkin Pancakes

Pumpkin Pancakes with Cream Cheese Butter

Serving Size: 8 small pancakes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 3/4 cups milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons cream cheese (room temperature)
  • 2 tablespoons butter (room temperature)

Instructions

  1. To make the cream cheese butter, mix together equal parts cream cheese and butter. This can be done using a spatula or an electric mixer. Blend until well combined. (Note: I do not sweeten or season the cream cheese butter, as I pour syrup over the cream cheese butter and pancakes.)
  2. In a large bowl, combine the wet ingredients (milk, pumpkin, egg, and oil). In another bowl, mix together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and spices. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Stir until combined, do not over mix.
  3. Heat a lightly greased griddle or skillet over medium-high heat. (Note: you know the pan is ready when water droplets dance across the surface of the pan.) Pour batter into small circles on the pan and allow each pancake to cook for 1-2 minutes per side, or until golden brown on each side. Serve pancakes warm, with cream cheese butter and maple syrup.

Notes

Adapted from Inspired Taste.

http://rosemarried.com/2013/11/04/pumpkin-pancakes-cream-cheese-butter/

On Thankfulness & Chili with Vegetables.

It’s November, and most of the world is quickly falling into a holiday frenzy. The chaos has begun and I want no part of it. I want peace, and rest, and quiet. I want to stay home and read books. I want to cook warm, cozy dinners and spend time with people I love. I want to be thankful.

The holiday season is a mixed bag of emotions for me. There is so much I love about this time of year (food, family, traditions, celebration, etc), but it is easy to get lost in the madness of it all – to get stressed out about finances, juggling family, menu planning, gift giving, and all that stuff.

And I’m guilty of it, just as much as anyone else. I’m a perfectionist who thrives on stress and it is so easy to let myself get carried away. So, I’m trying something new this year. I’m finding one new thing to be thankful for every day. Whenever I feel stressed or overwhelmed, I take a minute to remind myself of all the good in my life.

I am happy, I am healthy, I am alive.

I’m married to my best friend and he loves me. A lot.

I have the best family (and a whole bunch of wonderful friends).

I have the best cat and bunny on the planet.

I am blessed.

And today, I’m thankful for chili. (It may sound trite, but it’s true!)

More specifially, I’m thankful for leftover chili. I made a giant pot of this chili earlier in the week, and I’ve had a bowl of it for lunch every day this week. I love having leftovers for lunch! I’m not sure why a post about chili prompted me to be thankful, but somehow I think it’s fitting. There’s nothing glamourous or exciting about a pot of chili. Quite the contrary, chili is the humblest of foods. But, sometimes the simplest foods are the best. Chili is comforting, nostalgic, and perfect for cold November evenings. It might not be pretty, but it sure is delicious.

Growing up, my mom made a classic chili with ground beef, tomato paste, onions, and kidney beans. I think her secret ingredient was tomato soup, but whatever it was, it worked. I love my mom’s chili. However, this is not my mother’s chili. This is more of a cross between a standard chili and a hearty vegetable stew. It has all the makings of a classic chili (ground beef, beans, tomato), but it also has Delicata squash, poblano and red peppers, carrots, celery, and fennel. This chili is rich, hearty, and filling.

I must thank Nadine from the Dundee Dirtbox Farm and CSA for giving me the idea to put all these fantastic vegetables into chili. It had never occured to me that Delicata squash (with their skins left on, no less!) would be delicious in chili. But, Nadine made this chili for a potluck birthday party for my dear friend Mari, and I loved it. I took mental notes about what all she had included in the chili, so that I could re-create it at home. And then I promptly re-created Nadine’s chili at home a few days later (I couldn’t wait, it was that good!).

Really, there’s not much else I can say about this recipe. At the end of the day, this is merely a loose set of guidelines for making a great pot of chili. It isn’t rocket science, it’s just chili. But it’s really good chili. Feel free to get creative with the recipe and add (or subtract) whatever you desire. Heck, use this chili as an excuse to clean out your fridge! It’s that kind of recipe. And it is exactly what I needed this week. In the midst of the hustle and bustle of life, I needed a humble bowl of chili.

And for that, I’m thankful.

Chili with Fall Vegetables

Note: This ingredient list is based on the vegetables I had on hand, but feel free to include whatever you want! I also threw in a handful of cherry tomatoes that I’d frozen, but I didn’t include this on the ingredient list as I wasn’t sure how many people would have bags of frozen cherry tomatoes! Also, you’ll notice this recipe does not use stock or liquid of any sort. The juices from the canned tomatoes & vegetables were enough for my chili, but if you feel yours is too thick you could add a bit of water or stock.

2 lbs lean ground beef
3 cups (canned) whole tomatoes in sauce (or fire-roasted tomatoes)
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 small delicata squash (or 1 medium/large squash)
1 poblano pepper
1 red pepper
2-3 small carrots
2-3 stalks of celery
1 small fennel bulb (or 1/2 of a large bulb)
1 bay leaf
2 cans kidney beans, drained
1.5 Tablespoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 Tablesoon tomato paste
Salt & pepper, to taste

*Optional: This chili is good with a dash of cumin powder, if you happen to have some onhand.

Halve the squash and remove seeds with a spoon. Roughly chop into 1″ squares. Note: If you’re cooking the chili for a long time (1.5 hours or more), you can leave the skin on the Delicata squash (if using any other kind of squash, you must peel it). But, the Delicata skins are thin (and tasty) and can be left on if you’re cooking the chili for a while.

In a large pot or dutch oven, heat a small amount of olive oil. Add in diced onion, and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add in ground beef and cook with onions until the beef is cooked all the way through (and browned). While the meat is cooking, stir in chili powder, cayenne, and salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, chop all vegetables. Remove seeds from the Poblano and Red Pepper.

Once the meat is browned, add in all canned tomatoes and juices. Cook for 5 minutes over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Add in the rest of the vegetables (squash, celery, carrot, fennel, etc) and stir coat with tomato juices. Add in bay leaf and tomato paste.

Cook over low heat until the vegetables are tender, at least an hour. Add in the kidney beans 30 minutes prior to serving (I add them later, as I don’t want them to break down and become mush). Taste, and adjust seasonings as necessary before serving.

Garnish with grated cheddar cheese and avocado.

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!

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

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.)