29 October 2012

Baked ricotta and squash

This is mashed and roasted kabocha squash with ricotta, roasted red peppers, and roasted spaghetti squash, baked. It was pretty satisfying.

Take a couple of cups of roasted kabocha and blend with a few anchovies, garlic and ricotta cheese; fold in spaghetti squash and roasted red peppers, bake for about an hour. This is great with a side of spinach.

22 October 2012


Leftover roasted beets and potatoes with eggs, bacon and a pickled jalapeno.

21 October 2012

steak tartare with beets

Tonight I made a classic steak tartare — except that I used flat iron steaks and served the tartare with roasted beets. I roasted whole red and yellow beets on a bed of thyme with olive oil for an hour at 300º (F) and then at 375º (F) for 40 minutes. Late October beets and slow roasting led to a rich, sweet flavor that was incredible with tartare — far superior to fries, if you ask me. The tartare was chopped — not ground — and mixed with Dijon mustard, anchovies, capers, red onion, parsley, very good olive oil (some olive oil from Impruneta that is quite fruity), Tabasco, Worcestershire sauce, and an egg yolk. One guest did not eat meat and this mix (minus the egg yolk) was great with sashimi-grade tuna. Garnish the tartare with parsely and the beets with olive oil; season to taste with salt, pepper, Tabasco and chopped cornichons.

07 October 2012

butternut squash soup

 This is one of the best butternut soups that I have ever made — one each butternut squash, red onion, yellow onion, in chunks. Toss with chicken fat (this worked really well, but unless you have rendered chicken fat lately, use olive oil or another fat) in a dutch oven with salt, whole cloves of garlic, two bay leaves and four or five good-sized dried cayenne peppers, and roast until everything is taking on color. Add six cups of good chicken stock (this was a rich 8-hour stock) and put back in the oven until the vegatables are soft and ready to be puréed (an hour or two). I have found that the best way to purée is to pass the soup once through the medium or coarse plate of a food mill and to then mill the soup again on a finer setting (this creates a smoother consistency than a blender, and doesn't separate when chilled). The roasting-and-braising creates a beautiful, rich color with a wonderful texture. Garnish with cilantro or whatever strikes your fancy: