Monday, January 27, 2014

Butternut Squash Soup with Miso and Coconut

(recipe from

Olive oil
4 1/2 cups water
4 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. white miso
1 large yellow onion, diced
1-inch knob of ginger, peeled and grated
2 1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper, or slightly more to taste
One 3-lb. butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk
1 tsp. salt, plus more to taste

First, make your miso stock.  Put 4 cups of water into a saucepan and heat to a simmer.  Whisk the remaining 1/2 cup of water together with the miso, and pour that into the saucepan.  Bring to a simmer, but don't let it boil.

Pour a few Tbsp. of olive oil into the bottom of a large, heavy pot.  When it's hot, add the onion and sweat it until it's translucent.  Stir in the ginger, cumin, and cayenne, and toast spices for 30 seconds to 1 minute.  Deglaze with a ladle-full of your miso stock.

Add the cubed butternut squash and the salt, mixing everything to combine, and then pour in the rest of the miso stock.  Simmer until the squash is completely tender, about 20 minutes.

Turn off the heat, and puree the soup in a food processor or blender, being careful of the hot liquid.  At this point, you can strain for a super-smooth soup, or you can leave it how it is - up to you!

Return the pureed soup back to the pot, and stir in the coconut milk.  Taste, adjust for seasoning and spice.  Serve warm.

(I found it easiest to heat all of the water, then take out a half cup and dissolve the miso in the warm water.  This soup is spicy with the amount of cayenne called for, so you may want to start with less and work up by taste.  A spicy, creamy, flavorful soup!  I had some of the chutney left over from the previously-posted cod recipe, and found it was a delicious addition when stirred into this soup.)

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Steamed Cod with Coconut Chutney

(recipe clipped from a newspaper, not sure which one)

6 garlic cloves, peeled
1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
3 small fresh chilies, stemmed and seeded or 1 tsp. red chili flakes or to taste
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
1 cup shredded dried coconut
3 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
1 Tbsp. oil
1 1/2 to 2 lbs. cod fillet

Prepare a steamer with at least 2 inches of water.

Put the garlic, ginger and chilies in a food processor and grind to a paste.  Add the cilantro, mint and coconut.  Press Pulse a few times until mixture is chopped but not pureed.  Stir in the lime juice, oil and salt.  Taste and adjust seasoning.

Season fish with salt; put it on a plate or in a shallow bowl on steamer rack.  Top with herb paste.  Cover and steam until fish is done, about 15 minutes, or until a thin-bladed knife meets little or no resistance.  Serve at once.

(A nice take on cod preparation.  The chutney seems weird and unnecessary, but really adds a unique flavor.  The steaming keeps the fish nice and moist.)