Posts tagged ‘Sage’

October 31, 2014

Caramelized Pumpkin Soup

Caramelized Pumpkin Soup 4

I’m not usually one for molecular gastronomy – it requires too much precision and expensive equipment for me – but ever since I first tried it I’ve been a huge fan of the caramelized carrot soup put together by the mad scientists over at Modernist Cuisine.

Despite a minimal list of ingredients and uncomplicated instructions, the soup has a depth of flavor that is unparalleled by any conventional recipe. Rather than try to explain their culinary techno-magic myself, here’s the secret straight from the source:

It’s the pressure-cooking that really allows the flavors of this soup to flourish. The flavors are a combination of caramelization and the Maillard reaction (what people commonly call “browning”), which produces a rich, caramelized, nutty flavor. Pressure cookers are particularly suited for promoting the Maillard reaction because elevated temperatures encourage foods to develop their characteristic flavors…

As it so happens, this neat little science trick works on more than just carrots. Using a pressure cooker to caramelize the pumpkin as it cooks causes it to develop wonderful richness and complexity that ordinary pumpkin soups just cannot match. Even better, it’s done with just a hint of butter and no milk or cream.

Served with delightfully spiced and ever-so-sweet cider-poached pears and crunchy pumpkin seeds, this soup is the perfect decadent autumn treat!

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October 10, 2014

Butternut Squash Pizza

Butternut Squash Pizza 1

Oh hey, Autumn.

This is my favorite time of the year in Seattle. Summer is great and all – with the sun and the beach and the barbecuing – but there is truly nothing that beats a crisp fall day. There is a bite in the air, golden leaves line the sidewalks, and cozying up with a book and a fresh cup of coffee is the perfect Sunday morning activity.

Of course there’s all the wonderful winter beers, but that’s a whole other story.

Nothing could be more seasonal than this Butternut Squash Pizza. The nuttiness of the parmesan and pistachio meets the sweetness of the squash and caramelized onions to form a soul-warming union of comforting flavors. Those lovely notes are reinforced with mellow mozzarella and earthy sage to boot. On top of it all, this dish just looks autumnal with its orange and green colors and sinister caramelized onion curls.

Serve this up next to a fresh-cut jack-o’-lantern after a day of traipsing around a corn field and you will be the epitome of Fall – not to mention the envy of all your friends.

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January 24, 2013

Butternut Squash Ravioli with Pear and Prosciutto

Butternut Ravioli

At first glance this may not seem like there’s anything extraordinary about this dish.

Butternut squash ravioli? I can get that at Safeway.

Prosciutto and sage? Practically as close as peanut butter and jelly.

But then you taste it.

All the ingredients together truly become extraordinary. They’re an irresistibly compelling spectrum from sweet to savory: starting with sugary pear, then moving to butternut squash, crossing the savory threshold with sage, then moving to nutty Parmesan and ending with salty, crisped prosciutto.

You could certainly make this recipe with store-bought butternut squash ravioli, but unless you’re in a real rush for time I wouldn’t recommend it. Beyond the satisfaction of making your own pasta, there is a clear difference in taste.

This is a wonderful winter entree that isn’t too rich, thick or unhealthy. With a nice white wine or pale ale, this dish will see you through even the coldest of nights.

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November 24, 2012

Butternut Squash and Pomegranate Croquettes

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, plain and simple. Nothing against all the other holidays, but Thanksgiving has the perfect combination of football, food, and family that just can’t be beat.

And did I mention the food?

I love everything that’s on the Thanksgiving table, from the turkey to the mashed potatoes to the green beans to the cranberries. But every year I can’t help but long for a surprise in the mix. Some dish that comes along and turns the whole dinner on it’s head (in a good way!)

That’s what inspired these croquettes, which combine some classic Thanksgiving flavors with some not-so-traditional ingredients. The inspiration also came from one of my favorite food bloggers, Nick Evans over at Macheesmo, who recently crafted a Kabocha squash risotto topped with pomegranate and sage. It’s a damn good risotto, but I wanted to make something that emphasized the traditional Thanksgiving flavors of squash and sage.

These croquettes definitely hit the mark. The squash, along with the sweet potato that provides enough hold for frying, shine through in every bite of croquette, perfectly seasoned with sage, onion and a hint of parmesan. The pomegranate is a great twist, each a burst of tart, sweet juice.

When I made this I let it chill for 15 minutes the in freezer to really solidify it in preparation for frying it. Although it retained its shape well, the first one I fried was still cool in the center when I pulled it from the pan. Leaving it for only ten minutes in a refrigerator will mean the croquettes aren’t as firm –  making them a bit more finicky – but the end result is definitely worth it.

I think it’s going to be a new Thanksgiving tradition in the Rosemary Renaissance kitchen!

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