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Butternut Squash with Coconut, Lemongrass, Shrimp and Basil (and a Bunch of Other Stuff)

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Here’s a recent meal that we had that was kind of based on a recipe I saw in Bon Appétit, but I changed a lot of it, so it ended up pretty different. It started with a butternut squash on the counter that I really had to use and a recent trip to Pok Pok shack for Khao Soi Kai (the noodly-chickeny-coconut soup) and its accompanying hot chili paste, plus extra tasty embellishments (cilantro, lime, pickled things, crunchy things). What to do with the leftover chili paste? Hmmmmmm…

Then I see a recipe for squash, coconut milk, lime, curry paste, jalapeno and noodles. The wheels start to turn. turn. turn. turn. I go to the store and pick up a few more things, defrost the shrimp I have in the freezer and here I am with:

Butternut Squash with Coconut, Lemongrass, Shrimp & Basil, etc…
2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium white onion, chopped
1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1/2- to 3/4-inch pieces
2 cups chicken broth
1/4 – 1/2 tsp Thai chili paste (or 1 minced, seeded jalapeño chili, or some other kind of hot chili paste, or etc..)
1 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled
1 piece of lemongrass, cut in . . . → Read More: Butternut Squash with Coconut, Lemongrass, Shrimp and Basil (and a Bunch of Other Stuff)

Valentine BPW: A Fun Art Project (and a Recipe)

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Edited to add, yay! It got there to Andrew at Spittoon Extra. It’s really cool to think that my art project from the basement last weekend is now in England!

I recently registered for What’s for Lunch Honey’s Blogger Postcards Around the World event. So fun. Buy or make a postcard for your secret postcard buddy, mail it off and receive another postcard from your own food blogging sender. I’ve received my recipient (not telling yet!), made my postcard this weekend, and it’s all ready to go in the mail Monday. Going to the post office and everything.

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The one thing is as it’s a whole lot of acrylic paint and ink jet ink, I’ve decided to put the postcard in a vellum envelope, lest the receiver open their mailbox to a gloopy, wet mess if the postcard gets rained or snowed on en route.

I think I’m still honoring the spirit of the postcard as you can see the postcard clearly through the envelope, this way, it should just get there all intact. And cost a bit more in postage but no big deal.

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The green smudgy thing is sort of the . . . → Read More: Valentine BPW: A Fun Art Project (and a Recipe)

Super Foods Friday#4: Sweet and Sour Pumpkin

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Yep, it’s another Friday so it’s time for another Super Food. This recipe is for a side dish, so I figured it was okay to only incorporate one super food in this one. Pumpkin. I love the pumpkin. I made this, however, with an acorn squash. Either will work and either are good for you.

This turned out very well and looked beautiful on the plate. It’d make a great side for almost anything — we had it with some rosemary pork tenderloin. Recipe is based on one from Mario Batali, aka: Comic Book Guy.

Sweet and Sour Pumpkin: Zucca Gialla in Agrodolce
1 pound sugar pumpkin or acorn squash
1/2 small white onion, sliced
4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
pinch of red pepper flakes
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 tbsp honey
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 bunch fresh chopped basil
1 tbsp fresh chopped mint

Leave the rinds on and remove seeds from the squash. Cut the flesh lengthwise into wedges, each about the length of your hand from fingertip to wrist. In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the pumpkin wedges and onion. Season with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes — just a few.

. . . → Read More: Super Foods Friday#4: Sweet and Sour Pumpkin

SHF27: Chai Chocolate Pots de Creme with Dagoba Chocolate

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Actually, a better name would have been, “Sugar High I’m an Idiot Day.” I thought it was due on the 26th, (Friday) but entries were due yesterday.

*sigh*

I need to read directions better. Regardless, food bloggers everywhere (with good reading comprehension skills) have posted their recipes and they have been rounded up here. Please give it a read and feel the chocolate love!

What I chose to make was a recipe from the current Eating Well Magazine — Chai Chocolate Pots de Creme, using Dagoba organic chocolate from Ashland, Oregon. The type I used was Milagros 68% – Peru – Single Origin — two bars, $8.00 total at a store by my house. Well worth it, in my opinion. And actually, it was jwa’s $8 as he paid for the chocolate and a bag of rigatoni at Pasta Works last weekend.

A quick note on chocolates — if it doesn’t specifically say 68% cacao or some higher percentage like that right on the package, it’s most likely under 65%, so you’d use more chocolate and less sugar as noted below in the recipe.

Chai Chocolate Pots de Creme
It says this makes eight pots de creme but I say . . . → Read More: SHF27: Chai Chocolate Pots de Creme with Dagoba Chocolate

The Great Fried Calamari Experiment

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It was a success! It was also our appetizer during Life Aquatic Fest ’07. We snacked on it while watching some Jacques Cousteau. I never really thought I liked calamari, then I had some a few years ago at the Monterey Bay Aquarium — at the restaurant, that is, I didn’t just grab some squid out of the tank or anything. Crunchy coating, tender inside — it was so good. Who knew? Well, lots of people, I suppose.

Now whenever I see calamari on the menu while we are out, I have to get some. The best so far: mbay, Pacific Way Cafe — cumin-dusted!, Jake’s and Iorio.

This is the first time I attempted it at home. Since it was an experiment, I just grabbed a bag of frozen rings at Trader Joe’s. Next time, since this attempt worked so well, I will go all out and find some with little tentacles. Regardless, these results using the defrosted, frozen rings were crunchy, tender and nicely seasoned.

Instead of the romanesco sauce WS paired these up with, I opted to try a curried tomato dipping sauce. Excellent.

This calamari recipe is one I came across on the Williams-Sonoma Web . . . → Read More: The Great Fried Calamari Experiment