Friday, October 14, 2011

Thai Butternut Squash Soup

This recipe was an attempt to convince myself that squash is good.  I've never met a squash that I liked, but until last year, I had never met a sweet potato I liked either. 

I decided after discovering a love for spicy sweet potato fries, that the problem with most traditional American sweet potato and squash recipes is that we add sugar in some form and make them sweet.  (Think marshmallow on sweet potatoes, brown sugar and butter on squash.)  Sweet, as far as I'm concerned, does not belong on my dinner plate! 

I love curries so this recipe was a natural choice for me in my quest to like squash.  I adapted it just slightly to fit my taste preferences, omitting the sugar, increasing the curry paste, and adding some heat with cayenne.

So did I like it?  Yes!  Will I make it again?  Yes!  But probably with one more change.  I don't mind the flavor of the tofu, it really doesn't have much, but I wasn't a fan of the texture of the cubes.  I'd either puree it into the soup next time or break it into smaller crumbles. 

Thai Butternut Squash Soup
Adapted slightly from Moosewood Restaurant Simple Suppers: Fresh Ideas For The Weeknight Table

1 cup coconut milk
1 tsp Thai red curry paste
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups vegetable broth
24 ounces cooked butternut squash
2 TBSP lime juice
2 cups fresh baby spinach
Cayenne pepper to taste

12 ounces firm tofu
1 TBSP soy sauce
1 tsp Thai red curry paste
1 tsp coconut oil

In a soup pot, whisk together the coconut milk, 1 tsp curry paste, salt, and broth.  Add squash, cover and bring to a simmer.  Puree with stick blender if needed. 
Meanwhile, prepare the tofu.  Cut tofu into small cubes and put in a bowl.  Toss with soy sauce and 1 tsp curry paste.  Heat coconut oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat.  When the oil is hot, add the tofu and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. 
Add tofu, lime juice, and spinach to the simmering soup.  Stir and cook just until the spinach wilts.  Add more salt and cayenne pepper to taste. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Eggplant Plop

This delicious, healthy dip recipe comes from my mother's side of the family.  No one know why this is called "plop".  It was a favorite of my grandpa.  He didn't know why it was called "plop", either.  It just was.  When I saw these gorgeous eggplants a the farmer's market, I just had to make some plop!
I couldn't pass up these beautiful eggplants!
Our families preferred dipping food for plop is tortilla chips (we have a local milling company that makes wonderful organic blue corn chips), but it would also be good on crackers or pita bread.

I apologize for the lack of measurements, this recipe is based on proportions and taste.  This is how it has been passed down in our family.

Eggplant Plop

Eggplant, roasted and chopped
Peppers, roasted and chopped (use any variety you prefer depending on how hot you like your plop)
Chopped onion
Garlic, minced fresh or garlic powder, to taste
Salt & Pepper, to taste

Measure chopped eggplant.  Add half that much chopped pepper and about 1/4 that amount chopped onion.  Season to taste with garlic, salt, and pepper.  Add oil and vinegar (in proportions of about 1 TBSP oil to 2 TBSP vinegar) until the mixture is fairly "loose" and the flavor is as desired.  May be frozen

Now to make it a little easier for anyone who would like more of a recipe, this is what I used.
2 medium eggplants
2 green peppers
4 poblano peppers
1 jalapeno
1 medium white onion
2 cloves garlic
1 TBSP oil
2 TBSP white vinegar
salt & pepper to taste

I roasted the eggplants, peppers, and onion on the grill after spraying them with just a little bit of olive oil.  I was going to roast the garlic also, but put it on the grill by itself later and forgot about it.  So I just used fresh garlic.  I didn't measure the eggplant, peppers, or onion, I just guessed.  This made about 2 pints worth of plop, one of which I froze for later.  

I love the smell of peppers roasting!
Putting the peppers into a paper bag just after roasting helps to loosen the skins.
Roasted veggies- don't worry, I peeled off the charred parts.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Homemade Mozzarella

This year I finally got around to reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver.  It's been on my to-read list for several years, but while I was a new business owner, I just didn't have much time to read anything non-work related.  My new job as a  stay-at-home-mom affords me much more time for reading for pleasure.

One of the recipes given in the book was for 30-Minute Mozzarella from Ricki Carroll.  Of course, I wasn't satisfied with just one cheese recipe, and purchased Ricki Carroll's book Home Cheese-Making: Recipes For 75 Delicious Cheeses.

I was a little nervous about this whole process.  I'd made paneer before, but that was super-easy (just add lemon juice, drain, and press).  This was going to require a little more attention to detail.  

Mise en place.  Well, most of it, anyway.
I used my instant-read meat thermometer to monitor the temperature.
Curds and whey.

The mozzarella is delicious!  It was difficult not to eat the whole batch right then and there!  I suppose a pound of cheese might exceed the recommended daily intake for one person... 

I am not going to repost this recipe since I didn't alter it from the version that is posted here.  It did take me closer to 45 minutes than 30, but that may be the fault of my being a cheesemaking newbie. 

My first post on my new food blog and I didn't adapt the recipe one iota, ha!  Between that and the awesome (not!) photographs, I'm off to a good start in the world of food blogging!

Food bloggers: do you adapt or create every recipe you post? 

What kind of camera do you use to get those awesome photos?

Most importantly, what kind of cheese should I make next?

Monday, August 22, 2011

Why I Am Starting a Second Blog

Some of you may have found your way here through my other blog "Another Drop In The Bucket".  I originally intended that blog to be all-encompassing of my life.  It has taken on a focus as my running/triathlon/training blog and when I want to blog about my garden or what I've been busy doing in the kitchen (also passions of mine), it just doesn't seem to fit.  This has led me to start this blog, "Erin's Edible Adventures".  I intend to use this blog to journal and highlight my garden and kitchen exploits.  I hope you enjoy reading about my (sometimes mis-)adventures!