Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Blessed Be the Cheese Makers

Guess what I did?
I took a cheese making class. Meet My Camembert.
(I'm too busy to blog right now, but you just HAD to see my baby)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Curried Acorn Squash and Apple Soup

This simple and tasty autumn warmer was the perfect choice for last night. Not only was it a way to use up the acorn squash who's skins were damaged and therefore wouldn't survive storage, but SP and I have also been suffering the most miserable chest cold. Hot and spicy things is all that we want, and those hot toddy's are starting to lose their edge! Time to break out the curry! I based this recipe on one of Barbara Kafka's (if you don't know her go find out - we love her especially for her high temp roasting). I tweaked it my way - had to make it creamy, and of course had to overload it with curry. That's the essence of cooking - season to taste!

1/4 cup oil
4 tablespoons mustard seed
3 tablespoons (or more) curry
2 to 3 Acorn Squash
4 apples - don't peel, but quarter, core and cube
1 onion - diced
2 cloves garlic - crushed and minced
1 tablespoon ground fresh ginger - grated
4 cups broth
fresh cider
light cream
lime juice to taste
salt to taste

1. Preheat oven 400.
2. Wash acorn squash. Cut in half lengthwise and then core seeds out.
3. Place outside up on lightly greased baking tray, and cook in oven.
4. While squash cooks, cut other vegetables.

5. Cook squash until guts are soft enough to scrape out (outside is generally soft enough to poke through). Let cool briefly on stove top so that they are cool enough to handle.

6. In a stock pot over medium to medium high heat, heat the oil.
7. Add the mustard seeds to the oil when hot, and stir until popping.
8. Add the curry and stir some more.
9. Add onions and garlic and cook until softened.
10. Add the ginger and stir.
11. Add the squash guts, apples, and stock and bring to a boil.
12. Boil for 10 to 20 minutes until the apples are softened.

13. Process in small batches in the blender. To each batch, add a good glug of cider and several dashes of cream. This lightens and creams the soup. See the consistency and color difference in the picture below.

14. Return to pot over low heat. Season with lime juice and salt. Adjust as you desire.
15. Serve with crusty bread and even an extra dollop of sour cream in the middle to cut any over-spicing you might have done!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Fresh Basil Pesto

We put the garden to bed this weekend.
There was a giant purple crate full of pesto to process.
Sadly, none of the canning books we own had a recipe in it because of the cheese and pine nuts that are in it. It's not recommended to freeze pesto because of the fats and the changes in consistency. We however are not afraid of making pesto cubes in the freezer. We plow through pesto in our house. So I looked in the Joy of Cooking and found a recipe with the hearty idea of add vegetables to cook with the pasta. I'll have to try that sometime, but last night we needed to pound our the pesto fast. We settled on preparing Jamie Oliver's recipe from The Naked Chef.

I'm not even going to post a recipe in this post, because truly, what ever pesto you choose to make (we used our food processor and do like using lemon juice) you will undoubtedly tweak and add to it before serving. So, go harvest and pick your basil and find a pesto recipe today! Enjoy for longer than they tell you you can!

Action shot!
(notice dehydrator in the back ground - had fresh dried herbs on the garlic bread with dinner)
Spread and press pesto into ice cube trays.
Cover and set in freezer.

Once frozen through, crack the cubes out of the tray, air tight seal them in a new bag and place back in the freezer.