Tag Archives: winter

Purple Sun Potato and Gold Turnip Gratin

8 Apr

Purple and gold!  An involuntary homage to the Lakers, I suppose.

Gratuitous gratinery.

Gratuitous gratinery.

So I made this gratin.  It has paper-thin slices of purple sun potatoes and gold turnips, some milk, some parmesan cheese, and loads of herbs de Provence.

The potatoes are super-pretty.

Purple Sun Potatoes, favorites of Louis XIV.  Not really.

Purple Sun Potatoes, favorites of Louis XIV. Not really.

So, I was gonna just do a potato gratin, but I thought it sounded kinda lonely.  So I searched my fridge  and…

Behold!!  The sacred turnip!!

Behold!! The sacred turnip!!

I got to slicing on my mandoline, which provided transparent slices of these burly roots.

OXO mandoline in action.

OXO mandoline in action.

So thin you could use them on a slide projector. Not really.

So thin you could use them on a slide projector. Not really.

Next I buttered my Le Creuset baking dish and layered it with a maze of potato and trnip slices.  In between each layer, I put salt & pepper, herbs de Provence, and parmesan.  Extra cheese on the top, and then added enough milk to just reach the top layer.

Gratin me up, Scotty

Gratin me up, Scotty

And then baked it for about 50 minutes at 400 degrees F.  And then it was dinner!

Gratin, chicken sausage sauteed with onions, and a salad. In my country, we call this "dinner".

Gratin, chicken sausage sauteed with onions, and a salad. In my country, we call this "dinner".

Carrot Ginger Cashew Soup

7 Mar

This soup is rad because it has built-in protein from the cashews.  It’s a trick I learned from the Soup Nazi in NYC.  For reals!  Man-friend and I were there about eight years ago, and a) the soup was AMAZING, and b) I noticed that it had cashews in it and that cashews in soup are rad.

Start with about 5 cups of carrots, peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch chunks.  And always be on the lookout for streaker carrots.

Avert thine eyes!

Avert thine eyes!

Chop about 4 inches of ginger.  Leave the skin on cuz that’s where all the tasty lives.  Also chop one onion, and 3 cloves of garlick.  Toss those all together in your very fabulous Le Creuset soup pot.

Should I maybe just change my name to Ginger?  Sure as hell beats Carrot.

Should I maybe just change my name to Ginger? Sure as hell beats Carrot.

Add Le Stock, about 2 cups.  Boil until everything’s mushy.

Mr. Sulu, set coordinates for....SOUP.

Mr. Sulu, set coordinates for....SOUP.

Once everything is mushy, add the SECRET INGREDIENT.

Which is possibly not so secret since I revealed it in the title of this post.  It’s cashews.

Wonder if I can one of those awesome spy poison rings that's big enough to accommodate cashews.  I would go around sprinkling cashews on EVERYTHING.  Mwahahahaha....

Wonder if I can one of those awesome spy poison rings that's big enough to accommodate cashews. I would go around sprinkling cashews on EVERYTHING. Mwahahahaha....

Let the cashews cook for about 15 minutes.  Then add yer salt & pepper.  Aaaand finally, get out Ye Olde Immersion Blender, maybe add some veg stock if things are a little too thick.  Sometimes the cashews just suck up a ton of liquid.

Bzzzzzzzzz

Bzzzzzzzzz

Ta-da!  It’s soup!

"Soup" is so pedestrian.  Let's call is "puree of carrots, legumes, and fragrant roots".  That'll be $34.

"Soup" is so pedestrian. Let's call is "puree of carrots, legumes, and fragrant roots". That'll be $34.

Shepherd’s Pie with Every Great Vegetable Ever

7 Mar

What to do with half of a leftover butternut squash and a surplus of sweet potatoes from last week’s produce box?  Definitely Sausage Shepherd’s Pie with Sweet Potatoes and Squash from Epicurious.  The most delicious thing about this particular shepherd’s pie is that I discovered that maple syrup and curry were meant to be together.

 

Makes me wanna herd some sheep!...but then again...lots of things make me want to herd sheep.  Sheep are hilarious.

Makes me wanna herd some sheep!...but then again...lots of things make me want to herd sheep. Sheep are hilarious.

I did, however, make a few amendments:

-Added Swiss chard.  No peas, no corn.

-swapped cream for half and half

-Swapped coriander for cumin.

Here’s the basic concept: Boil sweet potatoes, butternut squash, and regular potato all together.  Drain.  Add back to pot, add butter and maple syrup, commence Pagan Squash-mashing ritual.  Meanwhile, saute the filling: sausage, onions, garlick, Swiss chard and curry + cumin. Throw the filling in a delightful cobalt blue Le Creuset baking dish, add a beaten egg plus half and half, and top it off with a colorful hat of squash.

Here’s my trio of delightful winter starches, post boil.

Steamy

Steamy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pagan Squash-Mashing, with maple syrup and butter.  Def wanna stick my face in that.  Like, when it’s cooled a bit.

Moments later...

Moments later...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The filling is underway in the pan.  This is the part that makes the house smell amazing.  Especially the curry.  In our last apartment, Man-friend and I lived on a block with a very delicious Indian restaurant, and lots of Indian neighbors who apparently spent their days cooking torturously delicious things.  The block perpetually smelled like curry, and every time Man-friend and I passed someone’s kitchen window, we made a note to that we needed more Indian friends.  Which is obviously the main driver behind both of us going to business school.
But I digress!

Meanwhile, back in the pan....

Meanwhile, back in the pan....

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s the shepherd’s pie before going on the oven.

Shepher's Pie Tetris

Shepher's Pie Tetris

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s pretty easy, and SUCH a great meal.

Sweet Potato Curry Fries

28 Feb

The idea was to roast some sweet potato wedges with some super-fragrant spices and a little olive oil and end up with healthy sweet potato fries.  Well, the idea was lovely, but the execution was, uh….see for yourself.

Man-friend (ok obviously he's my husband but I refuse to call him DH or whatever because we DO NOT use doilies in this house) is mixing the sweet potato wedges with spices.

Man-friend (ok obviously he's my husband but I refuse to call him DH or whatever because we DO NOT use doilies in this house) is mixing the sweet potato wedges with spices.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The spices included curry, cumin, just enough cinnamon to go undetected by Man-friend (who hates cinnamon), salt and pepper.  Oh plus a little cayenne pepper. Like, literally a dusting.  Did the same person who refuses to use the term “DH” just use the word “dusting”?  Indeedily-doodily.

We distributed them more or less evenly on a Silpat on a baking sheet, and baked at 450 degrees  for about 15 minutes.  Then took them out to turn them over/move them around, then another 15 minutes.

But they were mushy.

Hmm. Delish.

Hmm. Delish.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We put them back in the oven, thinking we could dry them out and make them crispy?  No such luck.

Yeeeeah.  Not our finest moment.

Yeeeeah. Not our finest moment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At least they tasted good.

Butternut Squash Bacon Soup

27 Feb

This soup has four-ish ingredients:
-1 sweet onion

-2 strips of bacon

-6 cups of butternut squash, diced

-1.5 cups of Proprietary CSA Veg Scrap Stock

-(salt & pepper, olive oil)

 

Start by sauteeing the onion and bacon in a little bit of olive oil and making your whole house smell delicious:

Does this come in a potpourri?

Does this come in a potpourri?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peel and dice about half of a butternut squash. (And hold on to those seeds or else I will hate on you.)

Butternut squash confetti...probably don't want that showering down upon you at the rollerdisco

Butternut squash confetti...probably don't want that showering down upon you at the rollerdisco

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Throw the squash into the pot, add 1.5 cups of Le Stock.  Simmer for 45 minutes until the squash is squishy.  Then grab a potato mashing instrument or a fork, and commence mashing.

Squash mashing should be a pagan ritual.

Squash mashing should be a pagan ritual.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The final result is smokey and sweet, and light thanks to the lack of cream weighing it down.  Oh and I waited until it was done to add salt and pepper.  It had a lot of flavor going on, so it didn’t need much.

Oh Jeebus.

Oh Jeebus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This soup was “how soon can I stuff that in my face again?” good.

Scarlet Turnips and Watermelon Radishes: The Harissa Treatment

21 Feb

My friend Maya’s family is of Tunisian origin, and dinners at their house include a glorious parade of vegetables slathered in harissa and served with couscous.  She recommended I try the harissa treatment on my scarlet turnips and watermelon radishes this week, and the result was freaking delicious.

First I had to find harissa, which is a chili-tomato paste that comes in tiny, adorable cans.  I posted a question to Chowhound about where to find this stuff around these parts, and the Chowhounders located every harissa retailer in New England.  Amazing.

That radish has Whiskers of Doom

That radish has Whiskers of Doom. But look how tiny the can of harissa is! Kawaiiii!

The plan was to cut up raw turnips and radishes, slather with harissa, lemon, and olive oil, and eat it with couscous.  I doctored the couscous by cooking it in my Proprietary CSA Veg Scraps Stock and adding a little minced red onion, and some marinated olives on the side.

Watermelon radish and scarlet turnip - EXPOSED!!

Watermelon radish and scarlet turnip - EXPOSED!!

So here’s what they look like inside.  Pretty!!  The watermelon radish has pale green skin and a ring of fuchsia on the inside.  It has that pleasant sinus-clearing effect, but is pretty mild as far as radishes go.

The turnip is purple on the outside and white with purple flecks on the inside.  I was surprised by how sweet it tasted. Nobody told me turnips were kinda sweet!

Oh and I put those whiskery roots in my Future Proprietary CSA Veg Scraps Stock container in the freezer.

Turnip chunks

Turnip chunks

I used just one large turnip, and cut it into approx inch-long chunks.  The watermelon radishes were too pretty to cut into chunks, so I sliced them instead.  Then I combined them, which was maybe not the best aesthetic choice.

Looks like a psychedelic kiwi, tastes like a radish.

Looks like a psychedelic kiwi, tastes like a radish.

After the slicing, chunking, and couscous cooking, I tossed the radishes and turnips with about 2 tablespoons of harissa, juice of 1/2 lemon, and a table spoon of olive oil. You can dial up or down the harissa according to your spiciness preferences.

Radishes, turnips, harissa, couscous

Finished product. Could have been prettier, but not tastier.

Ta-da! Here, you’re looking at couscous, radishes & turnips in harissa with lemon, some olives, and some leftover roasted chicken.  Dinner was rad.  Can’t wait to make the radishes and turnips again, but next time I’ll make them separately.