Butternut Squash and Honey Pie
There is something special about winter squashes, their unique shapes and sweet, nutty and earthy flavors, that invite you to creatively cook and bake with them. I typically use acorn or butternut squash for pies (and save the dense kabocha for soup as a personal preference). You can boil, steam or roast the squash for this recipe and then whip up the custard in a bowl by hand, set in crust and bake, its that easy! Adapted from www.gastronomersguide.com.
For the filling:
5 large eggs
1/2 c heavy cream
2lbs raw butternut squash, cubed and then cooked (about half of large squash)
2/3 c honey
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
For the crust:
1-1/4 c all-purpose flour
1/4 c fine yellow cornmeal
2 Tbs granulated sugar (or maple sugar)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled, cut into small pieces
1 large egg yolk
3 to 5 Tbs ice water
Combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Mix together with a whisk to aerate. Add butter and work with a pastry blender until mixture resembles course meal. In a small bowl, beat together egg yolk and 3 tablespoons ice water. Drizzle liquid mixture into dry ingredients. Mix until dough comes together. If too dry, 1 to 2 tablespoons ice water can be added. Form the dough into a flat disc and wrap in plastic. Chill for at least 1 hour before rolling.
Preheat oven to 425F. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out pie dough to 1/4-inch thickness. Carefully lay dough into a 10-inch pie pan. Press dough into the sides. Remove excess dough with a knife. Crimp the edge using your thumb and forefingers.
In a large bowl, using a whisk, beat together eggs and cream. Add squash purée, honey, salt, and spices; beat to combine. Pour squash custard into pie shell. Bake for 10 minutes at 425F to crisp the crust. Lower heat to 350F and bake until custard is set and puffed but not cracked, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. A skewer inserted into the center should come out clean. Let cool completely. Serve at room temperature or chilled with whip cream on top.
A summer dressing to drizzle your winter salad greens with. Take note to use light olive oil or a more neutral vegetable oil as a strong flavored oil will not accompany the sweet flavor of the watermelon juice.
1/2 c watermelon juice
1/4 c red onion, diced small
2 Tbs honey
1/4 c rice wine vinegar, red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
3/4 c extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbs fresh basil, chopped (optional)
1 Tbs fresh parsley, chopped (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
Combine watermelon juice, red onion, vinegar, olive oil, basil, and parsley in a blender. Pulse on and off about 30 seconds until combined. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve over mixed salad greens.
You got it right, watermelon soda. This is a general home made soda recipe that works great with the watermelon juice in your share this week but can be used with many other fruits throughout the seasons. You can be in control of how much sugar is included.
lime or lemon juice
sweetener such as sugar, maple or honey (optional)
add 1 oz Creme de Cassis (current flavored liqueur) or Chambord (raspberry flavored liqueur)
Combine as desired and serve over ice. Try watermelon ice cube recipe below. Garnish with a lime or mint.
Watermelon Popsicles or Ice Cubes
These can stand alone for popsicle treats or add to sodas and cocktails and surprise your guests.
2 c watermelon juice
6 Tbs sugar (sub maple sugar) or honey
1 Tbs, 2 tsp lemon juice
Mix ingredients in blender and blend well. Strain in sieve or use cheese clothe to remove solids. Fill popsicle molds or ice cube trays and freeze overnight.
Cress, Red Onion, Mushroom and Chevre Pizza
1/4 c red onion, raw sliced thinly
1/2 - 1 bunch cress (based on preference)
1/2 - 3/4 c mushrooms, chopped
1 Tbs olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Saute mushrooms in butter, once softened add cress for few minutes until wilted. Set aside.
Assemble crust using the following instructions: Coat a smooth surface with flour and cornmeal (just flour ok) so that the dough does not stick to the surface. Form dough into ball and flatten with heels of palms. Stretch dough with hands or use a rolling pin to form shape of cooking sheet (I use a cookie sheet so have to make sure it is a square). Once dough is slightly stretched on surface you can stretch dough in the air with hands by making two fists held together with dough on top. Move each hand up, down and out turning the dough clockwise. Give it some practice and you will be throwing doughs like the professionals. Each dough can be stretched to a 16" round, for thicker crust make smaller.
Preheat oven to 425F. Top the stretched dough with olive oil, place cooked cress and mushrooms evenly across pizza, sprinkle red onions and crumble goat cheese on top. Top with dried oregano, salt and pepper.
If you like light fluffy crust I put my baking sheet on the top of my oven while preheating and let rise. Otherwise set aside in neutral area till oven is preheated to 425F. Cook 10-12minutes until crust is golden brown and cheese bubbles.
Cumin Mixed Vegetable Potato Salad
A seasonal version of the all American potato salad.
4 c Russian Banana Fingerling potatoes, raw sliced into 1/4" slices and chopped
1 lg parsnip, raw sliced in 1/4" slices and chopped
1 c Rutabaga, raw sliced into 1/4" slices and chopped
red onions, minced
2 hard boiled eggs
1/2 c mayonnaise or sour cream
1 tbs mustard
salt and black pepper to taste
In large pot boil potatoes, parsnip and rutabaga until soft. Tip: heat water on stove till just about boiling and then add vegetables rather than adding veggies to cold water. Once soft, drain veggies add to pan and cover with cold water to cool throughout. Drain again and dry in strainer. Chop hard boil eggs and add to vegetables. Mix mayonaise, mustard, cumin, salt and pepper then add to veggies and mix well so that egg yolk mixes well with yolk making a pasty sauce. Cool and let sit overnight for best results (ok to eat right away).
Shiitake Ginger Vinaigrette
2 Tbs ginger, minced
6 Tbs salad dressing oil
4 shiitake mushrooms, minced
1 medium garlic clove, minced
About 1/4 tsp kosher salt
About 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp rice vinegar
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp light brown sugar
Heat the ginger in 2 tablespoons of oil in a skillet over medium-high heat until it sizzles steadily and just starts to turn light brown at its edges, about 2 minutes. Add the shiitakes and garlic, sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper and cook, stirring often until the mushrooms soften completely, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool about 2 minutes. Transfer mushroom mixture to a jar or sealable container to top salad with. Add remaining 4 tablespoons of oil, vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil and brown sugar. Shake well before serving. Yield: 3/4 cup.