Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Mad Spatch's first birthday celebration: acorn squash stuffed with yellow split peas and oyster mushrooms!

I forgot to mention this in my last post but I've now officially been recipe blogging for a year! I've made a wishy-washy new years resolution to post something at least once a week, but we'll see how that goes now won't we?
On tap for this week is something STUFFED! And not only is it stuffed, it serves as a bowl, a bowl you can eat! I love things like bread bowls where you can enjoy the contents without being sad when you get to the bottom, because then you can just eat the bowl, and I think it's generally accepted that if you're not full by then you must have some sort of problem. With my stuffed acorn squash you can eat everything but the skin! (note: please don't try to eat the plate). This dish can take over an hour to prepare, so I like to make the split pea filling the day before to save some time.

1 acorn squash, halved lengthwise with seeds removed
1 1/2 cups dried yellow split peas
2 cups oyster mushrooms cut into bite-size pieces
1 Tbsp. curry powder
2 Tbsp butter
1/4 cup white wine (optional)
salt to taste

Preheat oven to 350. Cover split peas with water (at least 2 inches above peas). Bring to a boil and simmer for at least an hour, then add curry powder and salt. Continue to cook until peas are soft.
Meanwhile, place squash halves cut side down on a baking sheet. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until they can be pierced easily with a knife. Meanwhile again, melt butter in a frying pan and add mushrooms. Sautee until they start to wilt, then add the wine and cook until just a small amount of "juice" remains in the pan. Stir mushrooms into cooked split peas. Stuff the mixture into cooked squash halves and serve with a side of your favorite greens.

note: I'm sure it would be delicious if you timed it right and stuffed the squashes midway through the baking process, but it's good just like this as well.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Carrot Ginger Soup

A recipe from my mom! The best thing about this creamy, delicious soup is its deliciousness. The second best thing about it is a secret: sssshhhhh! The problem with most cream soups is that they call for cream, and cream=tunz of fatz. I hate writing stuff like this because I don't want my blog to turn from curious girl screwing around in the kitchen to crazy calorie-counting monster woman, but this really is an amazing thing so I'm going to go ahead and flaunt it: my mom's secret is to use cauliflower instead of heavy cream. Sounds weird but I give you my word and my photo of said soup, and we all know how many words a picture is worth. Go ahead and call me a liar.

3 cups broth
2 pounds carrots, chopped up small
1 head cauliflower cut into florets
2 sticks celery, chopped
1 onion, diced
2-3 cloves chopped garlic, depending on how garlicky you like things to be
2 Tbsp. fresh grated ginger
1 Tbsp. curry powder
1 Tbsp. Olive oil
freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste
nutmeg, olive oil or creme fraiche to go on top

In a large pot, combine broth, carrots, and cauliflower. Bring to a boil, then turn down and simmer for about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the oil and sautee the onions and celery until translucent, add garlic during last minute of cooking. Add to the pot along with the grated ginger. Remove pot from heat and puree with a handheld blender. If you don't have one, wait for the soup to cool a bit and use a regular blender. Stir in the curry power, add the salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a float of olive oil or creme fraiche and a dash of nutmeg.