A good gourd goes a long way. So does a package of wonton skins. Both ingredients have been known to travel afar, to unlikely juxtapositions and international cuisines. So when you’ve got a lot of them, it’s tempting to try em a number of ways. But how do you know—before you’ve tried it—whether two seemingly disparate ingredients will go together in one dish?
File this under Stupidly Simple Seasonal Salads with A ‘Lil Bit of Something Cray-Cray and Not-So. And that’s a pretty good general formula for making a tasty, cheap, healthy and hopefully delightful meal. The cray-cray-not-so in question here are the raspberries, since they’re A) Not in season in my part of the world and B) Not usually found in savory bean or grain salads even if they were. But for some reason I woke up one morning recently thinking about raspberry … Read More
It is strange seeing winter squashes beside watermelon at the farmers market. Eggplant and enormous turnips. Sweet corn and cabbage. Winter and summer mixed with colorful abandon—that’s what early fall is for. I couldn’t resist plunging for the pumpkins and winter gourds while picking up some tomatoes, too. We won’t have the latter in-season in the Northeast for much longer, but it’s a warm welcome to squash season, having the best of both worlds.
I had to get one of my wisdom teeth pulled the week of Thanksgiving. For two days before that, my mouth was in indescribable pain. Eating was fraught with complications, unless it was during a window of about one hour when my painkiller was cranking at its best. After the surgery, it wasn’t all roses, either. But in the process of catering to my particular eating restrictions, I came up with the best-ever method of making a creamy, pureed squash soup. The “silver” … Read More
It occurs to me that this might as well be named Butternut Squash Curry with Eggs. But I was inspired by the notion of making egg curry, a staple peasant dish of India that can incorporate as many spice blends and vegetable additions as to envelop winter squash from a foreign terrain. It is a decidedly vegetarian main course in a distinctively vegetarian (and vegan)-friendly cuisine, and I first learned about egg curry from reading short stories by Jhumpa Lahiri, … Read More
It’s the end of October, and squashes, gourds, and pumpkins are everywhere — on people’s doorsteps, dining tables, and planted like portly pebbles on city park displays. But it doesn’t take witchcraft to turn winter squash into a hearty meal. It doesn’t even take a long time to cook! Here, some butternut squash slices are steamed first, then quickly stir-fried. And for a little scare, in keeping with the season, I’ve given them a Sichuan kung pao lick of spice.
There’s nothing like a good game of culinary caper. Here, the winter squash known for its strand-like striations once cooked has stolen the role of thin glass noodles in a Sichuan-style spicy dressing. The squash is orange, rather than glisteningly clear, but since it’s drenched in chili-laced oil and fermented bean paste, you might still mistake it for the former ingredient if you weren’t paying much attention. And then — yuk yuk yuk — bite into the salad, to find … Read More
I decorate my home with food, not flowers — a bowl of peaches or tomatoes to grab from in the summer, jaunty new herbs like mint in the spring, and a fetching squash of some type to plunk on the coffee table in fall and winter. A great pile of apples often paints the scene, from mid-September to about May. If you’re like me, you’ve probably found yourself equipped with a good squash and clutch of apples from a recent … Read More
Winter squashes can seem intimidating to cook. They have thick, hardened skins often scuffed with dirt, and their dense flesh can make for quite a dangerous job of cutting it if you’re not careful with a big knife. Their seed pockets are stringy and stick to your fingers. They take a long time to soften — or do they? Not when using these red kuri squashes, in thin slices for instance.
Last Halloween, Dave introduced me to a dish that involves baking stuff inside a hollowed-out pumpkin. He explained that he’d taken it from a Ruth Reichl recipe in Gourmet. This past Halloween, I hosted, and I copied Dave’s (or Ruth’s) dish to a T. (Only mine was in a white heirloom “ghost” pumpkin, and I served a side of beet-and-tomato “blood” soup.) It’s sort of like French onion soup, inside a pumpkin: you stuff stale bread cubes and pour chicken … Read More