Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Spicy Red Kuri Squash Soup

Squash soup

  • 1 ts olive oil
  • 1/2 red onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 hot red chili, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves finely minced
  • 1 small diced and peeled red kuri squash (also known as Japanese squash, orange hokkaido, or uchiki kuri squash)
  • 1 medium sized peeled sweet potato
  • 2 small diced and peeled carrot
  • 4 cups water (or 2 cups water and 2 cups chicken stock)
  • 2TB ajvar (roasted red pepper paste)
  • Salt and pepper
  • crème fraiche, to serve
  • fresh parsley, chopped, to serve

In a large pot, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil. When warm, add the onion and red chili and soften. (ca. 3 to 4 min). Add the minced garlic and continue to cook for 1/2 minute. Add the rest of the vegetables and cook for 2 minutes, stirring. Cover with the water or stock.

Add the avjar and season with salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for 25 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft. Purée the soup. Add more stock or water if necessary.

To serve, add a teaspoon of crème fraiche, and parsley.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Simple Apple Pie

Apple Pie

  • 1 store-bought frozen pie crust, thawed
  • 2 pound tart apples such as Brock or Spencer, peeled, cored and sliced
  • juice of one fresh lemon
  • grated lemon zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 TB brown sugar
Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle.

Unroll pie crust. Transfer to an non-greased 17- by 14-inch baking sheet or a pie shaped baking dish.

Toss apples with lemon juice and zest in a large bowl, and sprinkle granulated sugar over apples. Place apple slices on pie crust. Either arrange neatly (or not so neatly), or fold in dough border over apples if making a galette, pleating dough as necessary, to form a 9-inch round, or simply place in the pie form.

Bake pie 30 minutes, then loosely cover with foil and bake until apples are tender and crust is golden, 25 to 30 minutes more. Sprinkle some brown sugar on top of apples, and bake 15 min more.

Cool to warm or room temperature.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The sour grapes of 2009

The sour grapes of 2009

Yes, there are grapes growing in Maine, and they are even sweet if the summer does not decide to rain out like this year. The harvest (on my house wall) was late this year, but plentiful. It still makes for great fresh pressed grape juice.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Home-made Apple Cider

Apple cider

Fall, the time of apple picking and apple abundance. Cider is readily available, but it is also easy to make at home with the right equipment (e.g. a Breville juicer).

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Onion Chutney

Onion chutney requires only a few ingredients - onions of course (any will do, but red onions give the nicest colour and sweet taste), a vinegar - sherry, red wine, raspberry or balsamic are all ideal, and brown sugar, together with some bay leaves, juniper berries and peppercorns for flavour.

Chop 6 large onions as coursely or finely as you like and heat with a small amount of canola oil in a stainless steel pan until they are soft. Add 1 cup of your chosen vinegar (or a mixture of vinegars) and 1 cup of brown sugar, and drop in a couple of bay leaves and 15-20 crushed black peppercorns and 5 juniper berries. Bring the mixture to the boil and then simmer gently for 1 to 1 1/2 hours until the onions have gone translucent and all the liquid has evaporated.

Pour the hot mixture straight into small (200g) sterilized jars, seal, and store somewhere cool and dark or in the fridge. The chutney should keep for at least 6 months. To ensure the chutney can keep even longer (1 year plus), put the sealed jars in boiling water and simmer for 15 minutes. Line metal jar lids with greaseproof paper to protect them from the vinegar in the chutney.

Monday, October 5, 2009


Cherry Tomato Tart

Fall reminds me of onion tarts, accompanied with young white wine. Onion, caramelized in balsamic vinegar, baked with ham, cumin seeds, heavy cream, eggs on a pizza dough like crust. But, I was lazy and hungry, so a quick and dirty version had to do. I cut some layers of phyllo dough into round shapes, and lines small tart forms. One was filled with onion chutney, and topped with a mix of ff sour cream and (full fat) grated gruyere with some nutmeg. A second was lined with halved cherry tomatoes, and sprinkled with shredded mozzarella and basil. A third was filled with a mix of eggbeaters, sour cream and spices, and the 4th was filled with peeled sliced tiny picked apples, mixed with some brown sugar, ground cloves and a bit of maple syrup. Baked for 25 min in a 425F preheated oven.

Onion Tart
onion tartelette