Friday, November 13, 2009

Friday Tuna Melts

Went grocery shopping this morning and got bread still warm from the oven... Rosemary Olive Oil.

Make up some simple tuna salad - tuna, mayo, mustard, minced onions, pickle relish, salt and pepper (no celery because I don't have any) and a bit of tart apple (why apple? see previous shortage).

How much of each you say... go by taste. Start with a little and add until it seems right.

Spread over the Rosemary bread, drape a slice of cheddar cheese over it and TOAST!

I recommend a dry white wine or a fruity red. Really - wine with Tuna salad elevates the whole endeavor. And it is Friday. So eat greek olives while you are preparing this and sipping wine. Or don't use apples and relish and put in olives instead. Hmmmmm.

Have a yummy weekend.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Pumpkin and Soup

To those winter squash connoisseurs I Immediately concede "hard, orange-fleshed, winter squash" and let's be done with it.

So... last fall the Sweet and Spicy Butter Nut squash soup was a TRIUMPH... (defer, defend, abjure)

See the recipe below, try it, and then do what I did. Boot the cayenne in favor of double the smoked paprika. Boot cardamom and replace with cinnamon. Best of luck!

And as a plus... serve with cheese, shallot (onion) and bacon quesadillas... and dark beer... or fruity white wine, or apple cider...

Sweet and Spicy Butternut Squash Soup

This is a very flexible soup. Have a bigger squash? Not enough stock, like things sweeter or spicer? Remember, you can adjust this to YOUR taste. This is a place to start.

P.S. Since this is all vegetables except for possibly chicken stock and milk, it is safe to taste at ANY time (as long as you blow on the spoon).

2 lbs squash
4 C stock (chicken or veggie)
3 tbs minced garlic
3 tbs fresh minced ginger
1/2 large onion chopped fine (or leeks sliced thin)
2 tsp salt (if using homemade stock - if going low-salt, just none, or only at the table)
1/8 t cayenne
1/4 t cardamom
1/2 t cinnamon
2 Tbs honey
2 C milk/plain soy milk/rice milk/more stock

Heat your soup pot with oil over med-high heat (about 3 – 4 min). Once hot, add the onions and a little salt. Adjust the heat and keep stirring until the onions begin to brown and get aromatic. Add the garlic and ginger, stir until fragrant. Add the rest of the dry spices. Stir well.

Add in squash, honey and half the stock. Stir until things are evenly distributed. TIME TO BLEND!

If you have a stick blender, break it out and get it going. Use the rest of the stock to get everything blended smooth. (Well, I like smooth, you can leave it chunky).

TASTE! Time to adjust the taste to your liking! (Salt, cayenne, and honey)

Or blend in batches in a regular blender.

When you serve – finish with a good stir of a milk (see above), a little more stock, and/or a drizzle of a good fruity oil.