Showing posts with label squash. Show all posts
Showing posts with label squash. Show all posts

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Jacques Pépin's Seafood Chowder with Salmon & Shrimp for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays

I wanted a simple chowder this week as I was craving fish and seafood. I found one in Jacques Pépin's Seafood Chowder from More Fast Food My Way. I like the mushroom and zucchini and also was interested in the mashed potato flakes as a thickener. 


I made a few changes--subbing in coconut milk for the half-and-half and adding frozen corn for the sweetness, and leaving my shrimp whole. I also added some smoked paprika at the end. 

Seafood Chowder
Slightly Adapted from More Fast Food My Way by Jacques Pépin 
(Serves 4)

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 cups trimmed, split, washed & sliced leeks
1 Tbsp coarsely chopped garlic
2 1/2 cups bottled clam juice
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup coarsely chopped white mushrooms
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups diced (about 1/2-inch) zucchini
1 cup instant mashed potato flakes
3/4 cup (1-inch) pieces peeled uncooked shrimp
1 cup (1-inch) pieces boneless fish fillet
2/3 cup half-and-half (I used coconut milk)  

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over high heat. When hot, add the leek and garlic and saute for about 1 minute . Add the clam juice, water. mushroom, and salt, bring to a boil, and boil for about 2 minutes. Stir in the zucchini and sprinkle the potato flakes on top, mixing them in with a whisk to prevent lumping. Bring to a boil and boil for about 1 minute. (The soup can be prepared several hours ahead to this point.)

At serving time, bring the soup back to a boil, add the shrimp, fish, and half-and-half and bring back just to a boil. The fish and shrimp will be cooked through. Divide among four bowls and garnish with crab meat or chives, and smoked paprika if desired. Serve immediately. 


Notes/Results: A good solid chowder, with a thick and creamy broth and lots of texture from the ingredients. I did add some smoked paprika to the mix and also squeezed a little lemon on my bowl to give it more of a pop of flavor. I would keep the sweet corn and next time I might add a bit of thyme to the mix, or dill would be another good option. It's hearty without being heavy and pairs well with bread to mop up the broth--I used leftover marbled rye. For the speed and ease, I would make it again.


Linking up with I Heart Cooking Clubs where it is Potluck week--any recipe from any of our featured IHCC chefs.

The lovely Debra is hanging out with me in the Souper Sundays kitchen this week, let's take a look.


Debra of Eliot's Eats shared these Chef Grant's Best Burgers with Sauce Gribiche and Green Apple. She says, "These are great burgers for a weeknight meal. We enjoyed the combination of the creamy sauce gribiche with the slight crunch of the fried apple and the bacon-burger. (And, I am so stealing the onion and caraway mix for future recipes.)

 
Thanks to Debra for joining in!

About Souper Sundays:

Souper Sundays (going since 2008) now has a format of a picture link each week where anyone interested can post their soups, salads, or sandwiches at any time during the week and I post a recap of the entries the following week.

(If you aren't familiar with Souper Sundays, you can read about of the origins of it here.
 
If you would like to join in Souper (Soup, Salad, and Sammie) Sundays, I would love to have you! Here's how...

 
To join in this week's Souper Sunday's linkup with your soup, salad or sandwich:
  • Link up your soup (stew, chili, soupy curries, etc. are fine), salad, or sandwich dish, (preferably one from the current week or month--but we'll take older posts too) on the picture link below and leave a comment on this post so I am sure not to miss you. Also please see below for what to do on your blog post that you link up to Souper Sundays in order to be included in the weekly round-up.
and 

On your entry post (on your blog):
  • Mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and link back to this post. (Not to be a pain but it's polite and only fair to link back to events you link up at--so if you link a post up here without linking back to it on your post, it will be removed.)
  • You are welcome to add the Souper Sundays logo to your post and/or blog (completely optional).
You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

Have a happy, healthy week!
 

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Ruth Reichl's "Perfect Fall Soup" (Orange Squash & Veggies) for Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammie) Sundays + 5 Favorite Orange Squash Recipes

We had some rainy days and slightly cooler weather going into this weekend which definitely makes me think about fall. Ruth Reichl's Perfect Fall Soup with its golden color and slightly sweet flavors also brings fall to mind. 


I made a couple of changes--mainly changing the butternut squash for kabocha squash which is plentiful here and I also really love the bright color and slightly sweeter flavor. I also pumped up the savory side with a bit of non-chicken soup base and a dash of Aleppo pepper. Ruth tops her soup with apple, olive oil and balsamic. I kept the crisp apple but added some salty feta and chopped chives. My changes are in red below.


Ruth says, "This is, to me, the perfect soup for this time of year.  It’s about the easiest soup I know, one that transforms a handful of simple ingredients into something, soft thick, almost creamy.  It’s deliciously soothing.  The color is gorgeous, it’s inexpensive – and also vegan."

Perfect Fall Soup (Squash Soup)
Slightly Adapted from RuthReichl.com
(Serves 4)

1 onion, coarsely chopped
1 stalk celery, coarsely chopped
2 carrots, coarsely chopped
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 lb peeled butternut squash, cut into 3/4-inch dice (I used kabocha squash) 
1/2 lb Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 3/4-inch chunks
2 tsp sea salt, or to taste
2 1/2 cups boiling water (I added 1 Tbsp vegan non-chicken soup base)
(I added a pinch of Aleppo pepper) 
Garnishes: diced Granny Smith or other crisp apple, olive oil, balsamic vinegar. (See below)
 
Put onion, carrots, celery and olive oil into a large casserole and cook for about ten minutes, until they become soft.
 

Add squash, potatoes, and salt. Stir in boiling water, bring to a simmer, and allow to cook for about half an hour, until the squash and potatoes are very soft.
 

Puree, in batches, in a blender.  Be cautious; hot soup can be dangerous.
 

Taste for seasoning. Serve topped with a drizzle of olive oil and/or balsamic, and the diced apple. (I used chopped Granny Smith apple, crumbled feta and chives.)
 

Notes/Results: I have a tendency to think of squash soup as baby food, but this one has lots of good flavor and the toppings add another dimension to the smooth puree. I really liked it and happily chowed down on a bowl and an extra ladelful for lunch.  Leave off the feta for a vegan soup and change up the toppings and extras as you see fit. Now, if I could could make it about 10 degrees cooler, my fall dreams would be complete. I'd make this one again.

 
Linking up to I Heart Cooking Clubs where this week is our Monthly Featured Dish/Ingredient Challenge: Orange Squash. We can pick any recipe featuring orange sqush or pumpkins from any of our IHCC Chefs.


Speaking of IHCC Orange Squash dishes, here are five of my favorites from a few of our past featured IHCC chefs:

 Tessa Kiros's Penne con la Zucca, or Penne with Pumpkin:

 
Donna Hay's Pumpkin (Kabocha) and Chickpea Curry: 

  
Ottolenghi's Parmesan & Herb Crusted Kabocha with Yogurt: 

 
Ina's Butternut Squash Risotto: (From my early blogging days--excuse the photo!)

 
Donna Hay's Sesame and Soy Butternut Bites:


Now, lets take a look into the Souper Sundays kitchen:


My friend Kim of Stirring the Pot shared Ruth Reichl's Parmesan Walnut Salad in Endive Leaves and said, "The nuttiness of Parmesan is wonderfully paired alongside walnuts. Then the Parmesan and the walnuts are coated with a light touch of mayo, lemon juice, and olive oil, as well as finely diced celery and parsley. You've got a bit of everything as far as texture and flavor go. It's chewy and crunchy and bright and flavorful. The slight bitterness of the endive leaves makes it the perfect vehicle for the nutty sweetness of the Parmesan and walnuts."


Shaheen of Allotment2Kitchen brought Black Chickpeas Salad with Coriander and said, "The feta here is optional, I used it as that is what I had in the fridge, but you could substitute it with halloumi cheese or if your going for a vegan or dairy free option, perhaps smoked tofu. I think you need a soft texture with the nutty black chickpeas and the fragrant herb brings it all together. ... What I like about this salad too, it that it is quite seasonal in colours - going all autumnal, but also a perfect salad to knock up for a Halloween feast if you are planning a vegan or vegetarian Black Food Menu."


Judee of Gluten Free A - Z Blog shared Roasted Chestnut Mushroom Soup and said, "Looking for something a little different for the holidays? Chestnuts are in season, and they make a rich tasting holiday soup! It's definitely something unique that will delight your family and friends. I plan to make it for Thanksgiving! ... Chestnuts taste creamy and a little on the sweet side - kind of like a mild sweet potato. Most people have probably never tasted a chestnut."

 
Mahalo to all who joined in this week!
 
About Souper Sundays:

Souper Sundays (going since 2008) now has a format of a picture link each week where anyone interested can post their soups, salads, or sandwiches at any time during the week and I post a recap of the entries the following week.

(If you aren't familiar with Souper Sundays, you can read about of the origins of it here.
 

If you would like to join in Souper (Soup, Salad, and Sammie) Sundays, I would love to have you! Here's how...

To join in this week's Souper Sunday's linkup with your soup, salad or sandwich:


  • Link up your soup (stew, chili, soupy curries, etc. are fine), salad, or sandwich dish, (preferably one from the current week or month--but we'll take older posts too) on the picture link below and leave a comment on this post so I am sure not to miss you. Also please see below for what to do on your blog post that you link up her in order to be included in the weekly round-up.
and 

On your entry post (on your blog):
  • Mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and link back to this post. (Not to be a pain but it's polite and only fair to link back to events you link up at--so if you link a post up here without linking back to it on your post, it will be removed.)
  • You are welcome to add the Souper Sundays logo to your post and/or blog (optional).



Have a happy, healthy week!
 

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Chickpea, Summer Squash & Pepper Stew with Pesto: Easy Nigel Slater Comfort for Souper (Soup, Salad, & Sammie) Sundays

Fall started this weekend, though you wouldn't know that from the weather. It is very warm and humid here and will be for the week but, lucky for me I work in a very air-conditioned office, making this vegan Chickpea, Summer Squash & Pepper Stew perfect for lunch. The veggie choice too--the summer squash and red pepper, plus the pesto (make or use a vegan version if you want to) on top, make this a good transition dish for the two seasons.


I slightly adapted a Nigel Slater recipe, doubling the chickpeas and making it somewhat more brothy to make it last for a few lunches. His simple recipe sketch from The Guardian is below with my changes in red.


Chickpea, Summer Squash & Pepper Stew with Pesto
Slightly Adapted from Nigel Slater via TheGuardian.com
(Serves 4

The Recipe:
Peel one red and one yellow onion and slice them as finely as you can. Warm a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a large, deep frying pan, then add the chopped onions. Cut one large Romano pepper (I used a red bell pepper + one pinch Aleppo pepper) into bite-sized pieces, removing any seeds and the core as you do it, then add the chunks to the onion and leave it to soften over a moderate heat.

Slice one large green and one large yellow courgette into slices not much thicker than a pound coin, then add the courgette to the onion and pepper in the pan and cook for 15 minutes or so, until soft. 

Rinse the contents of a 400g can of chickpeas (I used two 15oz cans), then stir into the vegetables and season carefully with salt and pepper. (Since I wanted to eat it as a soup/stew, I added 2 cups of light vegetable stock.) When all is warm and bubbling, serve in deep bowls, a trickle of oil over the surface of each, and eat with chewy sourdough bread.

The Trick:
If your courgettes produce too thin a juice, then turn up the heat and let the liquid reduce by half. It won’t thicken, but the flavours will concentrate. Good though this is, I rather like it piled on to toasted foccacia or ciabatta.


The Twist:
It is the sweet pan juices that make this dish worth making. Intensify them with a little garlic, basil leaves, a trickle of balsamic vinegar, a few capers or thyme leaves, or perhaps you would prefer a spoonful of basil pesto. You can also use this as a rough and ready pasta sauce, and fold in a few handfuls of cooked penne.


Notes/Results: This is a case of when a good soup--nice simple flavors and textures, goes to great with the addition of a topping or stir-in. The pesto (you can use store-bought or homemade) really adds that special touch and makes the veggies and beans sing. If you are eating bread, a piece would not be remiss here, but it is also fine without. I would happily make it again.


Linking this stew up to I Heart Cooking Clubs for Potluck Week. Our chance to make any recipe from our current or past IHCC chefs.


Lets take a look into the Souper Sundays kitchen:


Judee of Gluten Free A-Z Blog shared her Instant Pot or Not Cholent (Bean Stew) and said, "If you like beans, you will LOVE this amazing vegan cholent/chulent recipe that is made with a mixture of pinto beans, red kidney beans, and navy beans. The Instant Pot transforms an ancient recipe into modern times. ... Chulent or cholent is a old traditional Sabbath day meal that has been made for centuries by observant Jews. (Cholent recipes can be traced back to 1180 in Vienna). ... The word cholent is thought to be derived from the Medieval French word "chaud" meaning hot and "lent" meaning slow. Thus a slow cooking hot meal."


Shaheen of Allotment2Kitchen shared this pasta salad and said "This Black Tapenade Cherry Tomato Pasta Salad is perhaps one of the laziest pasta salad recipes I have ever made - other than cooking the pasta, the rest was a breeze. ... I had made the black olive tapenade a few days back to go with the homemade sourdough bread. So was looking for other ways to use it up. So I ended up cooking some penne pasta. I threw in a good handful of red and golden yellow cherry tomatoes and lunch for work was made."


Mahalo to Judee and Shaheen for joining in this week!
 
About Souper Sundays:

Souper Sundays (going since 2008) now has a format of a picture link each week where anyone interested can post their soups, salads, or sandwiches at any time during the week and I post a recap of the entries the following week.

(If you aren't familiar with Souper Sundays, you can read about of the origins of it here.
 

If you would like to join in Souper (Soup, Salad, and Sammie) Sundays, I would love to have you! Here's how...

To join in this week's Souper Sunday's linkup with your soup, salad or sandwich:

  • Link up your soup (stew, chili, soupy curries, etc. are fine), salad, or sandwich dish, (preferably one from the current week or month--but we'll take older posts too) on the picture link below and leave a comment on this post so I am sure not to miss you. Also please see below for what to do on your blog post that you link up her in order to be included in the weekly round-up.
and 

On your entry post (on your blog):
  • Mention Souper (Soup, Salad & Sammies) Sundays at Kahakai Kitchen and link back to this post. (Not to be a pain but it's polite and only fair to link back to events you link up at--so if you link a post up here without linking back to it on your post, it will be removed.)
  • You are welcome to add the Souper Sundays logo to your post and/or blog (optional).



Have a happy, healthy week!
 

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

The Book Tour Stops Here: A Review of "The Last Thing I Told You" by Emily Arsenault, Served with a Recipe for Zucchini Spaghetti with Pesto & Thyme Mushrooms

It's Wednesday and Hump Day and I'm happy to be today's stop on the TLC Book Tour for The Last Thing I Told You, a new mystery novel by Emily Arsenault. Accompanying my review is my take on a spaghetti dinner, Zucchini Spaghetti with Pesto & Thyme Mushrooms.



Publisher's Blurb:

From the acclaimed author of The Evening Spider and The Broken Teaglass comes this psychological thriller about the murder of a psychologist in a quiet New England town and his former patient whose unreliable thread will keep readers guessing until the shocking end.
 
I hear myself whispering. Not again. Not again.
 
Why did I ever come back here? Surely because of you. Because I thought of something I’d always meant to tell you. Because you were the only one I ever really wanted to tell it to…
 
Therapist Dr. Mark Fabian is dead—bludgeoned in his office.
 
But that doesn’t stop former patient Nadine Raines from talking to him—in her head. Why did she come back to her hometown after so many years away? Everyone here thinks she’s crazy. And she has to admit—they might have good reason to think so. She committed a shockingly violent act when she was sixteen, and has never really been able to explain that dark impulse—even to Fabian. Now that Fabian’s dead, why is she still trying?
 
Meanwhile, as Detective Henry Peacher investigates Fabian’s death, he discovers that shortly before he died, Fabian pulled the files of two former patients. One was of Nadine Raines, one of Henry’s former high school classmates. Henry still remembers the disturbing attack on a teacher that marked Nadine as a deeply troubled teen.
 
More shockingly, the other file was of Johnny Streeter, who is now serving a life sentence for a mass shooting five years ago. The shooting devastated the town and everyone—including Henry, who is uncomfortable with the “hero” status the tragedy afforded him—is ready to move on. But the appearance of his file brings up new questions. Maybe there is a decades-old connection between Nadine and Streeter. And maybe that somehow explains what Nadine is doing in Fabian’s office nearly twenty years after being his patient. Or how Fabian ended up dead two days after her return. Or why Nadine has fled town once again.
 
But as Nadine and Henry head toward a confrontation, both will discover that the secrets of people’s hearts are rarely simple, and—even in the hidden depths of a psychologist’s files—rarely as they appear.

Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (July 24, 2018)

My Review:

This is my third book by Emily Arsenault, having read In Search of the Rose Notes and reading and reviewing The Evening Spider for a book tour a couple of years ago. I need to read more of her work as she is an author who creates a good and often creepy vibe with her words. The Last Thing I Told You doesn't have the spooky vibe of the others I've read, but it shares similarities with a dual point-of-view and alternating time frames. Arsenault has crafted a twisty tale in answering the question of who killed Dr. Mark Fabian and how the crime may be related to the past of the two main characters--Henry Peacher, a police detective known for his heroic actions from a shooting at a retirement center five years ago, and Nadine Raines, Henry's former high school classmate who was a patient of Dr. Fabian after a violent incident with a teacher twenty years ago. Henry is trying to piece together who murdered the therapist, partially through two patient files the doctor pulled before his death--with Nadine's name on one of them. Nadine is back in town visiting her mother and stepfather and she's having conversations with the dead doctor in her mind. With her unresolved and troubled past, she is an unreliable narrator with her inner monologue and her suspicious actions after the murder. Both Nadine and Henry are interesting and well-drawn characters, each plagued by their pasts and I enjoyed the way the book unfolded insights into their personalities.

The Last Thing I Told You is not a quick read, or a pulse-pounder of a story--it is a slower moving and character-driven psychological drama rather than a true thriller, but it fascinated me as it unwound and had me guessing and second-guessing who the murderer might be. The tension and pace increase as the story moves along and there were a few good twists--some I saw coming and some I didn't. Overall, an interesting and compelling read that mystery and psychological drama and thriller fans who don't mind a deeper look at characters and a slower build, should enjoy.

-----

Author Notes: Emily Arsenault is also the author of The Broken Teaglass, In Search of the Rose Notes, Miss Me When I’m Gone, and What Strange Creatures. She lives in Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts, with her husband and daughter.
 
Find out more about Emily at her website and connect with her on Facebook.




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Food Inspiration:

The Last Thing I Told You is not a foodie book, but there were a few food and drink mentions like coffee, a gin cocktail, pearl onions, pumpkin pie, a picnic basket and macaroni salad (used as a simile for Nadine's anger), spaghetti dinner, bourbon, a Subway sandwich, Dunkin Donuts, mashed potatoes and turkey, carbonara, knishes, tres leches cupcakes, clafouti, sweet bread, cardamom crisps, oatmeal cookies, apple cider and tequila, pizza (mentioned about five times), Shiraz, butter cookies, popcorn, Sprite, omelets, hot chocolate, Fig Newtons, a turkey club, fried chicken, baby artichokes, orange juice, apples and carrots, sausages, KFC, iced guava juice, pasta salad with ham, cherry tomatoes and mayonnaise, and chocolate cake.


So it's been a stressful couple of weeks for a lot of reasons and although all of the baked goods mentioned sounded good, I didn't want to go down that path for my book-inspired dish--fearing I might not stop once a cookie or cupcake hit my taste buds. I am off of wheat and gluten for a while too, so although pizza seemed to be the meal of choice for several of the characters, I didn't want a traditional pizza. I saw a couple of recipes for no crust/cheese crust pizzas online (like this one) and thought that might be fun and it didn't require turning the oven on in this humid weather. I planned to top the mozzarella crust with with thyme mushrooms and pesto. Unfortunately, two tries did not result in a crisp cheese crust but instead a watery, gluey mess. It could have been my mood, it could have been my mozzarella (I did use fresh mozzarella as the recipe author said he did in the comments), or the pan, but regardless of the whys, it just was not the recipe for this day/week. I aborted my pizza plan, picked out my thyme mushrooms and admittedly, ate some of the less watery mozzarella bites, and decided on the spaghetti dinner mentioned the book--only made with zucchini noodles, pesto and the thyme mushrooms. A healthier choice anyway--although someday I will try that crustless pizza again. ;-)


Zucchini Spaghetti with Pesto & Thyme Mushrooms
By Deb, Kahakai Kitchen
(Serves 2)

2 large zucchini, ends trimmed
2 Tbsp olive oil
a pinch of sea salt
pesto of choice, store-bought or homemade (I used this leftover basil pistou)
Thyme Mushrooms (recipe below)

Use a spiralizer, julienne peeler or regular vegetable peeler to slice or shave zucchini into noodles. Heat a large saucepan over medium heat, add oil and zucchini noodles, tossing to distribute the oil. Cook until noodles are slightly softened, about 2 minutes.

Remove from the heat, stir in the pesto--tossing until the zucchini noodles are well-coated. Fold in the thyme mushrooms and serve.

-----

Thyme Mushrooms
By Deb, Kahakai Kitchen
(Serves 2)

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
8 oz fresh mushrooms (button or crimini), sliced
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves (or 1 1/2 tsp dried thyme)
sea salt and black pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and mushrooms and sauté until the mushrooms have browned--about 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in thyme and cook for another minute or so. Season to taste with salt and pepper.


Notes/Results: Very simple but very tasty with lots of flavor from the pesto and the thyme mushrooms. Although it was my second choice as a dish, it made a quick, easy and satisfying dinner for a grumpy person on a humid night. If you don't have a spiralizer, you can use a peeler for wider thin noodles, or stack and slice them for a more spaghetti-like experience. The mushrooms are tasty on their own as a side dish too. I used a lighter hand with the pesto--about 2 tablespoons as I didn't want it to overpower the mushrooms and it all worked well together. I would happily make it again.


I'm sharing this post with the Weekend Cooking event at Beth Fish Reads, a weekly event that is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share. For more information, see the welcome post.


Note: A review copy of "The Last Thing I Told You" was provided to me by the author and the publisher, Harper Collins, via TLC Book Tours. I was not compensated for this review and as always, my thoughts and opinions are my own.

You can see the stops for the rest of this TLC Book Tour and what other reviewers thought about the book here.