Monday, September 29, 2014

Winter Squash Soup with Curry and Coconut Milk

(recipe from Orangette)

2 to 3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 medium or large yellow onion, chopped
3 or 4 large garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp. curry powder
1 winter squash (about 2 lbs.), peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 (14 oz.) can unsweetened coconut milk
2 cups vegetable broth
1 Tbsp. maple syrup
1 Tbsp. Asian fish sauce (I left this out, replaced it with 1 Tbsp. tamari)
1 tsp. Sriracha or other Asian chile sauce
Juicy wedges of lime, for serving

Warm the oil in a Dutch oven (or other approximately 5-quart pot) over medium heat.  Add the onions, and cook, stirring, until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic, and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes.  Stir in the curry powder, and cook for 1 minute more.  Add the squash, coconut milk, broth, maple syrup, fish sauce, and Sriracha, and stir well.  Raise the heat to bring to a boil; then reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the squash is soft, about 30 to 40 minutes.

Using an immersion blender (or a regular blender), puree the soup until smooth and velvety.  Taste for salt and sweetness, and adjust if necessary.  Ladle the soup into big bowls, add a generous squeeze of lime to each, and serve hot.

(A creamy, delicate soup with nice flavor.  I used butternut squash, but Molly suggests kabocha as having a nicer flavor.  After looking at the fish sauce in the store, and seeing that the ingredients were just anchovies, salt, and sugar, I opted against it and just used some soy sauce.  I think the other ingredients give it plenty of zip and depth of flavor.  The lime is a nice touch at the end.)

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Tomatillo Avocado Salsa

(recipe from ReadyMade magazine)

5 medium tomatillos, husked, rinsed, and chopped
4 jalapeno or serrano chiles, coarsely chopped, with seeds
1 large garlic clove, peeled
2 Tbsp. chopped white onion
1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
1 tsp. fine salt
1 ripe avocado, halved and pitted

Put the tomatillos into a blender, then add the remaining ingredients except for the avocado.  Blend until smooth, stopping to prod with a wooden spoon if the mixture doesn't liquidize.  Add the avocado and blend again.  Season to taste with salt and blend again.

(This is the first time I've ever worked with tomatillos!  A neat salsa-quacamole hybrid.  I seeded all but one of my peppers, as I didn't want too much spice.  I also added a second avocado, which made it more quacamole-like.  Tangy and good!)

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Fish Tacos with Green Apple Guacamole

(recipe from Real Simple magazine)

1 lb. cod fillets, 4 oz. each
1 tsp. grated fresh ginger
2 tsp. fresh lime juice
1 bunch arugula, chopped
Soft corn tortillas

1 diced, peeled Granny Smith apple
1/2 diced small white onion (I used red onion)
1 minced jalapeno pepper
1 diced avocado
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp. kosher salt

To make the guacamole, combine all ingredients in a small bowl and toss well.

In a medium skillet, bring an inch of water or broth (can add some lemon juice, too) to a simmer over low heat.  Place the cod fillets in the pan and poach, covered, until opaque, about 4 minutes total, flipping once carefully.  Remove the cod from the pan.

In a small bowl, flake the cod fillets.  Add ginger and lime juice and toss.

Tortillas can be warmed in the oven (wrapped together in foil and heated in a 400F over for 5 minutes) or in a dry skillet over low heat (individually or a few at a time).

To assemble, spoon some of the fish onto a tortilla, then top with some arugula and green apple guacamole.

(Simple preparation, but the green apple guacamole is an interesting addition.  Note that the fish mixture does not store well - I stored mine in the fridge overnight, and by the next day, the lime juice had turned it into a mushy ceviche mess.)

Lemony Broccoli Chop

(pretty sure recipe was via the Energy Times magazine, from Brassicas by Laura B. Russell)

3 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
One 14-oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 lb. broccoli finely chopped (about 5 cups)
1 tsp. kosher salt
2 Tbsp. water
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
Grated zest of 2 lemons
1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh tarragon

Put oil and garlic in a large, deep frying pan over medium heat.  When the garlic starts to sizzle, add chickpeas and stir to coat with the oil.  Add broccoli and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 2 minutes, until broccoli turns bright green.  Stir in the water, turn down the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook for 5 minutes.

Lift the lid and give the broccoli a stir.  If the pan seems dry, add another tablespoon of water.  Re-cover the pan and continue to steam 2-3 minutes more, until broccoli is tender.  Stir in pepper, zest, juice and tarragon, then taste and add additional salt, pepper and lemon juice if needed.  Serve hot or at room temperature.

(Simple and tasty.  I forgot about the zest, and it was still plenty lemony.)