Showing posts with label Squash. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Squash. Show all posts

Friday, October 11, 2013

Roasted Delicata Squash with Chinese Flavours

I think this is the appropriate moment to thank Katie and Luisa for introducing me to Fuchsia Dunlop. I love to think of myself as someone who is into reading food writing but honestly, I don't really know all the great food writers everyone else seems to know. Expect for M. F. K. Fisher, whom I just adore, I have not read any of the classics and I also don't know the more recent writers.
So I have never ever heard of Fuchsia Dunlop before reading Katie's post a while ago (which made me turn to amazon and order her most recent book Every Grain of Rice)
Dunlop really is a wonderful writer, and as Luisa pointed out in her post about one of Dunlops recipes, she can make stinky fermented tofu and slippery sea urchins sound so intriguing you want to run out to buy everything you need to make these dishes.
And ever since receiving the book, I can't seem to stop myself from trying her recipes or just infusing just about anything with Chinese flavours. And that eventhough I haven't done much Chinese cooking so far, but her book shows such a different kind of Chinese cuisine than what I am used to from Chinese restaurants here.

Today I made her mapo dofou recipe, which you can find at the guardian and this delicata squash to go with it. I have actually never bought Delicata squash before, but now that I tried it, I don't think I'll ever turn back. I love its delicate sweetness and the fact that you don't have to peel it. Yay. Just cut it into slices, remove the seeds, brush a little olive oil on the slices and throw them in the oven.

Once roasted, I just topped it of with a sprinkle of Szechuan pepper a drizzle of Chinkiang vinegar and chili oil and some finely sliced scallions. And then I ate almost all of the squash myself, leaving only a few slices to Michael who got home from university later.

Roasted Delicata Squash with Chinese Flavours

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Slice a delicata squash into rounds and remove the seeds. Brush the sices with a mixture of 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 tsp sesame oil. Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes, until the squash is browned in places and tender. Remove from the oven and sprinkle 1/2 tsp roasted, ground szechuan pepper on top, then drizzle on 1 tbsp of Chinkiang vinegar and 2 tsp szechuanese chili oil. Finely slice the green part of a scallion and scatter over the squah.

For the chili oil, you can buy chinese chili oil, but it is hotter than szechuanese chili oil (so you might want to use less) or follow Fuchsia Dunlop's recipe here.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Butternut Squash Lasagna Roll Ups

When I was little I loved to go visit my grandmother. The whole family travelled by train to Basel, a journey that takes little more than an hour, but felt soo long back then. The best visits were when my grandmother picked us up at the train station. Me and my siblings wanted each to see her first, to run and leap into her arms first. We then would take the tram to her place, were she had already lovingly prepared the same thing every single time. Buttery roasted potatoes. A huge leg of lamb, roasted in the oven. And some snap peas she grew in her garden in spring and always cooked for me when I visited because she knew I loved them. These snap peas, they made me felt loved.
Back then I learnt unconsciously what I know now. We can show our love with food. Be it the cupcakes you make vegan or gluten-free to celebrate with a friend who would have had to go without or the batch of cookies you make to bring to a friend when you are invited for dinner. The dinner you make that is anything but spectacular, but shared.

I made these lasagna roll ups this week for lunch, for me and my boyfriend. They require a little time to make, maybe not the best fit for a weekday lunch. But still, they are easy to make, unfussy with a simple, classical pairing of squash, sage and hazelnuts. They are soft and sweet and crunchy and herby all in one bite. And they just look really lovely, something you'd serve someone you love. Go cook for someone you love this week. Make it something special. Or just share a simple meal together.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Zucchini Risotto

Every spring I wish I had the opportunity to tend to a garden. I look at seed catalogues, online and offline, together with my mother. I might even order something even though I Craaazy, I tell you. Then I visit my parents, frequently, just to get my hands dirty. I talk to the tomato seedlings, to get them to grow nice and quickly. I try to sneek in one or two plants I personally would like to grow, this year's butternut squash is performing nicely, there are already dozens of little squashs visible and growing. 

One advantage of not having a garden myself is a) I don't have to be home and water almost daily, and b) I am not flooded by zucchini. 
I do love zucchini, though, and I have been preparing quite a few things using a zucchini or two. This risotto is a double zucchini risotto (double chocolate sounds better, but we'll leave it at zucchini this time). One zucchini is grated into the risotto, to make for a bit a lighter risotto. The other zucchini is diced, panfried and scattered over the creamy risotto.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Golden Wonton

I've talked about my love for Heidi Swanson's recipes and cookbooks before. It's really difficult to put in words what I love about it, though. The way she uses healthy ingredients really speaks to me. I don't think I could compromise when it comes to flavor, but she makes using the natural, "good for you" ingredients so much fun. I also welcome the change her flavor combinations give to my usual way of cooking. I normally have a rather European way of cooking, pasta, olive oil, herbs and such and I don't experiment that much when it comes to Asian ingredients. Now I get excited when thinking about black sesame, soba or ginger. (After saying all this, I feel a bit like a stalker.)

Well, I also mentioned (Just briefly, really. Believe me.) my love for her recipes to my boyfriend, how I adore her first book and how I really should get her not-so-new-anymore book, Super Natural Every Day. Being the wonderful boyfriend that he is, he ordered the book for me as a present. (He mentioned having a present for me, and I actually thought it would be an energy-efficient light bulb. That sounds weird now - Maybe we are weird?) But, (there has to be a but) I had actually ordered the book already, and it arrived just a day before his present arrived. Which leaves me now with two versions of Heidi Swanson's Super Natural Every Day. I admire her work, and I love the book, but I have no clue what to do with two copies of the book. Frame one and hang it on the wall? Keep one in the bathroom to read? Keep one under the pillow, so that inspiration can come to me in my dreams?

I decided to give one copy away here. I have never done a giveaway before, and it feels a bit strange. I just thought that you, too, might love this book. (I actually pay for the book and shipping myself, just to be clear)  
Leave me a comment and tell me who your inspiration is, in cooking, blogging, or anything else. Follow me on Twitter (@MrsGarlicHead) for another chance to enter, and leave me a second comment to tell me.
The winner will be announced in a week, on December 8th.

To not leave without a recipe, this wontons were inspired by Heidi's Golden Potstickers. I changed the filling completely, but without her recipe it would have never occured to me to make wonton, I'm not really familiar with them.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Spicy Squash Salad with Wild Rice and Parsley

I barely have time to cook. Or rather I barely had time to cook. Having three presentations at college in a row (one per week) is just not such a great idea. Taking up another little job, writing for a homepage, at the same time might not be the clever idea I thought it was.
Many things got neglected in the meantime, I had almost no time to enjoy fall until now and I had to work all weekend long. Tomorrow, after my presentation about the 'Greening of Protestant Thought', this should be over. There will still be things to read, translations to make and classes to visit, but I'll have my weekends back.

One thing I did try to keep up doing is preparing lunch to take to college or to work. I made "salads", mostly. My definition of salad is somewhat loose, though. I usually don't add a real dressing, so a salad is more a cold meal that was planned to be eaten cold (in contrast to left-overs).
For today I prepared this squash salad. I saw the recipe on The Moveable Feasts, it is from Bon Appetit originally.
I did not have smoked paprika on hand and could not find it in the supermarket I went to, so I had to do without. I also decided early on that I wanted to add lots of parsley. (This is probably because I saw a recipe in one of Jamie Oliver's books, that used tarragon as main salad ingredient. Really interesting idea!)
And I swapped out the lentils for a wild rice mix (this is just regular rice and wild rice mixed, I think it was something like a 8:2 ratio)
It is a lovely little fall salad, way better than anything I could get to eat here for lunch...

Do you prepare lunch to take to work or to college? And what do you prepare if you do?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Crunchy Baked Acorn Squash with Mozzarella

A year or two ago I saw this recipe for baked squash with mozzarella in a cookbook. We looked at it in a bookstore and just loved the idea. My boyfriend took a picture of it, secretly and a bit ashamed because we had no intention to buy the book. I can't remember what the book looked like or what the name of the recipe was, but we took the inspiration from there and baked squash, topped with rosemary and mozzarella for quite a few times last winter, and I think also the one before. And it was absolutely delicious, the squash turns from hard to soft, it develops a balanced sweetness (not like pure sugar sweet) and the mozzarella melts, turns from white to golden brown and somehow changes its flavor.

Well enough, but this year I saw in the Ottolenghi cookbook Plenty, a recipe for crunchy squash with lemon. I don't remember the title of this recipe either, and I only remember the lemon bit about it. He cover the whole squash slices in a crunchy mixture that included lemon. Without looking up his recipe I decided to include the crunchy topping into the baked squash with mozzarella dish I already made. This is how this recipe was born, after thinking about it for quite some time, it came together really quickly.