Tag Archive | butternut squash

Super Pretty Fall Pasta

It’s fall my favorite time of year. And it means the return of red wine and butternut squash. So, naturally, I had to make a fall, butternut squash recipe this week to celebrate it’s return. This is largely a “variation on a theme” kinda thing – linguine with kale and roasted butternut squash.

2 servings linguine
3 kale leaves, ripped into pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 onion, chopped
1 cup or so chopped butternut squash
olive oil
Parmesan cheese (optional)
Salt
Pepper

Heat the oven to 400. Toss the butternut squash chunks with some olive oil, salt and pepper and roast in the oven until soft – probably 25-30 minutes. While those are roasting, saute the onion and garlic, and then add the kale. Be careful not to use too much oil. Once the squash is done, mix with the kale and veggies. Add the pasta and toss all together. Serve with Parmesan cheese if you like.

fall-pasta

Pretty Fall Pasta

So, not only was this pretty, but it was also really tasty. And it’s vegan if you don’t add the cheese. Lots of veggies, super filling, and perfect for dinner in the fall with a glass of red wine. So omg, so it’s been over a month since I last posted. Between work, finishing up some writing projects, and family craziness I’ve been neglecting cooking. But things have calmed down now and I’ll have a travel post coming in in the next couple weeks too! Song of the Week: Welcome to the Black Parade by My Chemical Romance. So it’s the 10 year anniversary of this album, and omg, I forgot how good it is and how much I like it. You should listen to the whole album, but if you don’t, at least listen to this song.

Corsican Square Squash Tarts

To be honest, I wanted to do this recipe, again adapted from the French Market Cookbook (I love that thing), because of the shape. I’ve done circles, half-moons, triangles and little cups when making various tarts and tartlets, but I had never done one in a square form. I thought it looked cool, and I had some leftover squash from my pasta experiment a couple weeks ago so it seemed like a good idea to roll with it.

Tartlet dough
1 cup flour
pinch of salt
1/3 cup butter
several tablespoons cold water

Measure flour and salt into a bowl. Using a pastry cutter or a fork, cut in the butter until there are no significant sized lumps. If compressed, the dough should almost be able to stick together. Add water, a little at a time, until the dough comes together. The dough should be soft and pliable, but cohesive and not sticky. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.

Filling
1/2 medium butternut squash, diced
1/3 large onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary
salt
olive oil
pepper

Saute the onion and garlic in a little olive oil until soft. Toss in a bowl with the squash, rosemary, and salt and pepper to taste. Roll out the dough into a large square and divide it into about 4 squares. Stick an equal amount of the filling in each square. Take a square and fold two of the corners to the center, pressing them together. Then do the other two corners. There should be a little space for steam but otherwise all pressed together. Bake for 30-40 minutes at 400.

tartlet with tomatoes stuffed with mozzarella

tartlet with tomatoes stuffed with mozzarella

This was pretty good, but I’ve made a bunch of different butternut squash tarts and this was not my favorite. I liked the fresh rosemary, but it tasted like it was missing something honestly. I melted some raclette (a fairly intense french cheese) and that help but I was still sort of like, yeah, it’s good, but it’s not great. Sadly not a “holy shit try this!!!!”  recipe.  I like the French Market Cookbook, but I find the recipes to be a bit hit or miss personally. Song of the week: Lean On/Lean On Me mashup by Sam Tsui. I said last week that I was equally obsessed with Sam Tsui and Postmodern Jukebox. Well, since last week I did PM Jukebox, this week I’m rolling with Sam Tsui. He’s ridiculously talented though (and makes me feel kinda lackluster since we are effectively the same age, le sigh) so enjoy!

The Return of Butternut Squash

It really is fall now – chilly nights, leaves turning colors, and overheated apartment buildings (ok, that one’s just me at the moment). The return of fall also means the return of butternut squash! I never ate it much growing up, but I have been fully converted to their awesomeness. So I based this week’s recipe on this 5-ingrediant pasta dish, which I found via Buzzfeed.

Pasta with Squash and Pine Nuts
1/2 a medium butternut squash, chopped
Olive oil
Salt pepper
1-2 ounces goat cheese
3 large cloves garlic
1 cup pasta
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted

Chop the butternut squash into smallish chunks and toss with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Cut the tops of the garlic cloves off and stick on a baking sheet with the squash. Roast at 400 until tender. While the squash is roasting, boil the pasta until done (I used macaroni because that was what I had, but the suggestion from the recipe I based this off of was penne). Drain the pasta. Once the squash and garlic are done roasting, mince the garlic. Toss the pasta with the garlic, a little oil, and the goat cheese, add the squash and pine nuts. Serve warm.

pasta with squashThis was really tasty! A bit heavier and more filling than I expected, but extremely tasty. I was surprised that it didn’t take too long to put together either. So you should totally make some sort of version of this! Naturally, since its fall, I have moved on to red wines with dinner. This one was a cab-heavy South African blend. I know I’m pretty skeptical about South African wines, but I’ve had a couple red blends I’ve liked. Song of the Week: Take On Me by A-ha. So this weekend I read Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, which btw, is super entertaining – I totally recommend it. Since part of the point of the book is an obsession with 1980s culture, I listened to an 1980s pop soundtrack while reading it. I was debating a lot about which song should be up for this week, but Take On Me is just so 80s, so it won.

Day of the Dead: Roasted Squash with Green Mole

Unlike Cinqo de Mayo, Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is actually a legit Mexican holiday. Like pre-Conquista legit. Yet for some reason I’ve never really celebrated it. Maybe just because it comes right on Halloween (and Celts trump Mexicans in our Euro-centric culture). But this year I decided this would be an awesome choice for new-recipe day. After some internet research, and the sad acknowledgement that I am not skilled enough to make skull-shaped cakes, I decided to make Roasted squash with mole verde. However, I didn’t have pepitas, or more than one kind of chili and had already gone to the store, so what I made is a fairly bastardized version of mole verde. Oh well. My ancestors are Russian, so I doubt they will care.

Roasted Squash
1/2 a medium butternut squash, chopped into reasonable chunks
1-2 tsp cumin
1-2 tsp cinnamon
olive oil

Chop the butternut squash and toss with the oil and spices until thoroughly coated. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or so, until the squash is tender (as in can be easily pierced with a fork). Once its done, remove from the pan, and let cool. While that is going on, make the mole verde.

Mole Verde (sorta)
1/3 onion, minced
3-4 cloves garlic,minced
1/2 a poblano pepper, roasted and chopped
1/3-1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup vegetable broth

mole verde

Mix the onion, garlic, pepper, and cilantro in a bowl. Remember to chop everything extremely fine. In theory, you should stick it all in a food processor, but chopping is fine, provided you make everything very small. Heat some olive oil in a frying pan, and add the onion-cilantro mixture. Saute for about 5 minutes, then add the vegetable broth. Cook for another 5 minutes or so, and then add the roasted squash. Cook until the squash are heated through, then serve.

Broken up tortilla, but still delicious

On a broken-up tortilla, but still delicious

This dish is awesome. Not particularly spicy, but seriously flavorful. I’ve been making not-spicy Mexican food as of late, which is tasty, but a little peculiar. You can serve this solo, with rice, or with tortillas. I served it with home-made (yes, that’s right) tortillas which almost worked. They were a little too crumbly and fell apart, but I am still pretty freaking proud of myself. I was out of white wine (and forgot to buy tequila) so I served it with a lighter-style beer. I didn’t realize until after I’d finished making it that this meal was totally vegan. My policy is that I don’t make “vegan food” but I do make food that happens to be vegan. Song of the week: Smooth by Santana featuring Rob Thomas. Cause Santana is a guitar god (just ask Rolling Stone) and I totally love this song. And listened to it a lot while cooking. Also, fun fact, Santana is a San Franciscan.

San Francisco Fusion: Mexican Crepes

When the SF Giants won the National League Championship last Thursday (baseball, for those of you who aren’t sports fans), I knew I had to make a San Francisco-related dish. Unfortunately, the perfect dish, garlic fries, were not something I could really make in my kitchen – it wouldn’t be even close to the same. So I decided to make a recipe from Greens – as it is the definitive San Francisco vegetarian restaurant. Since I needed to make sure there was some Cali/fusion/Mexican flavor in there, I went with Masa Harina crepes filled with veggies. I actually have two fillings for the crepes, one complicated and one simple, depending on how much effort you feel like putting in. And remember, this is authentic San Francisco food, not Mexican food.

Masa Harina Crepes
2 eggs
1 1/4 cup milk
1/3 cup masa harina (should be find-able at a Whole Foods, for high quality go to a Mexican market)
1/3 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1 tablespoon butter, melted

Just like a normal crepe, beat the eggs, then whisk the ingredients into the eggs one by one. Pour about 1/4-1/3 cup of batter on a small frying pan, swirling so that the batter covers the bottom of the pan. Cook, flip, finish cooking and repeat. You should get about 8 crepes from this recipe.

masa harina crepes

Simple filling
1 large tomato, chopped
grated cheddar cheese
salsa

Place the aforementioned ingredients into the crepe. Roll up and eat like a soft taco.

simple filling

Complicated Filling
1-2 cups of butternut squash, chopped into smallish chunks
1/2 a poblano pepper, roasted and chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 onion, chopped
1-2 tsp cumin
2-3 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
grated cheese, either cheddar or cotija

Roast the butternut squash until tender and stick in a bowl. Saute the onions and garlic in some olive oil. Add to the bowl with the sqaush, add the pepper, cumin, and cilantro and toss. Adjust the spices to your taste. Remember, you can always add more spices in, but you can’t take them out once they’ve been added. Place the filling on 1/2 of the crepe. Add grated cheese and fold over, so the crepe is a half-moon. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese is melty and the crepe is slightly crispy. Serve warm.

complicated filling

The verdict: Yummy! The crepes were definitely a little different, but that just made it fun. The simple filling was good, and the complicated filling was really good. It could have been spicier – it was definitely more on the savory side of things, so you could easily use more cilantro and chili peppers if you want. I liked it the way it was though … ok, so maybe a little more of a kick next time would be ideal. I used to hate cilantro with the fiery passion when I was younger though, and this was the first time I’ve given it a chance in a while. Naturally, you should serve this with a NorCal wine. White is better with Mexican spices then red – it cuts without overpowering or over-complicating things so you should go for a white wine (I consulted with my dad, he agreed). I went with the Chateau St. Jean Fume Blanc. Song of the week: Save Me San Francisco by Train. Self-explanatory.