December, 2004

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Curry Oil
Dec 13th, 2004

Here is the recipe for the Curry Oil that I drizzled on the Roasted Squash Soup for Thanksgiving. I was hoping for a clear, curry-scented and colored oil, but this recipe ends up more as a layer of oil and a layer of paste. It was a bit much on the soup, so I stirred a tablespoon or two with some sour cream and thinned it with milk and it made a lovely garnish.

I used the rest on curried roasted cauliflower - toss the cauliflower florets with the curry oil, sprinkle with sea salt, and then roast in a single layer on a cookie sheet. But the best thing I made with this oil, and the reason I'll make it again, was a last minute dinner for one out of the freezer. Jim and the boys had their dinners already, I had a tablespoon of curry oil left, enough frozen shrimp for only one person, and some frozen peas. I thawed the shrimp, combined all in a hot pan, and instant yum.


Curry Oil
makes about 1 1/4 cups

1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tbsp fennel seeds
1 tbsp curry powder
1 tbsp ground turmeric
1 cup plus 1 tbsp light sesame oil
1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup pineapple or mango juice
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper


Place the cumin, coriander, and fennel in a spice grinder and grind to a coarse powder. Add the curry powder and turmeric and pulse to combine.

Place a small pan over medium heat. When it is hot, add the 1 tbsp sesame oil. Then add the ginger and garlic and cook until lightly browned. Add the ground spices and cook until they are toasted and very fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the pineapple juice and cook until reduced to 1/4 cup, 5 to 8 minutes.

Transfer the mixture to a food processor, add the remaining 1 cup sesame oil, salt and pepper, and process until smooth.

Transfer the curry oil to a glass container, cover, and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

-Stan Frankenthaler, The Occidental Tourist
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Curried Roast Squash and Apple Soup
Dec 6th, 2004

My contributions to Thanksgiving this year were Curried Roast Squash and Apple Soup with a drizzle of Sour Cream Curry Oil and Cheese Corn Rolls from Columbia. Well the recipe is from Columbia, not the actual rolls, those were from my kitchen.

The soup is I suppose of my own invention, although the idea of roasting squash and making soup out of it is hardly a new one. But I came up with the quanities and combinations myself so I suppose I'll claim it as mine. This recipe serves 2 with enough leftover for lunch for a few days. And if you multiply this recipe by four you will have way way too much for a Thanksgiving dinner first course for 10.


Curried Roast Squash and Apple Soup

1 butternut or delicata squash
1 apple
1/2 a largish onion
6 unpeeled garlic cloves
Olive oil
Curry powder
Salt
Chicken broth (probably one cardboard carton)
Milk, cream, or evaporated milk to taste


Preheat the oven to 400F.

Leaving the peels on, cut the squash in half, scoop out the seed and cut each half info four pieces. Spray a roasting pan with cooking spray and place the squash pieces in it, skin side down. Peel, core, and quarter the apple and add it to the pan. Peel the onion, slice it into sections and add it to the pan as well. Sprinkle the vegetables and fruit with olive oil, salt, and curry powder. Add the unpeeled garlic cloves to the pan - I like to balance them on top of the vegetables rather than letting them touch the bottom of the pan.

Put the pan in the oven. Check it every twenty minutes or so and move anything that looks like it's burning in one spot. Cooking time will probably be around 40 minutes, and you will know it's done when the squash is tender to the touch. The garlic may need to come out earlier.

Let everything cool down a bit and then remove the squash and garlic peels and prepare to blend the roasted items with some chicken broth. I have to do this in batches as my blender is a weenie. Blend with enough broth to make a smooth, blendable, soup. Return to a soup pan and heat over medium-low heat until heated through. Add some milk product (I've used cream, milk, and evaporated milk both whole and skim in this recipe, all with good results) until the soup is as creamy as you like it. Cook for another minute or two until hot and adjust seasonings. A splash of balsamic vinegar is good at this point.

Can be served with a sprinkling of cheese, a dollop of yogurt, or a drizzle of curry oil.

-Kymm
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Mexican Turkey Soup
Dec 3rd, 2004

Frozen chicken carcasses are fairly gnarly. Two lone frozen turkey legs with cold pimply skin aren't really that appetizing looking either. But when you dump them all in a pot with some chopped up veggies and water, some alchemy occurs and all of a sudden you have... soup! Delicious, steamy, aromatic soup. It's enough to keep me stashing away my homely chewed over chicken bones until I have enough for a pot of soup, like this Mexican Turkey Soup.

The only things that make it Mexican really are the addition of jalapeno pepper, garlic, and tomatoes and a squeeze of lime before eating. I put barley in too, which kind of muddies the whole ethnicity of the dish, so mine was a bit confused, but awfully tasty.

I don't know if this is a recipe per se, but here are some guidelines.


Mexican Turkey Soup

for the stock
2 chicken carcasses from roast chickens past
2 uncooked turkey legs
1 onion, quartered, don't bother to peel
2 or 3 celery sticks, chopped in 2 inch lengths
2 or 3 carrots, chopped in 2 inch lengths
Some roughly chopped parsley
Several garlic cloves, unpeeled

for the soup
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped carrots
1 diced zucchini (or any other combination of veggies)
1 minced jalapeno pepper (seeds removed if you don't like hot)
4 or 5 minced garlic cloves
the reserved turkey meat
1/2 cup barley
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
salt to taste
oil for sauteing
lime wedges for serving


Put all the stock ingredients in a tall stockpot with enough water to cover. Simmer without boiling for several hours, until it tastes "stocky" enough for you. Pour the stock into a container and refrigerate (be sure to press down on the veggies in a strainer to get that last bit of goodness out of them). Remove the turkey meat from the leg bones and refrigerate separately. Discard the veggies.

The next day (most likely), pull the stock out of the fridge and skim off the fat on top. Shake the container and watch the stock wiggle like jello - that's good stuff!

To make the soup saute the garlic, celery, carrots, zuchinni, and jalapenos in some olive oil for several minutes in the bottom of your soup pot. Sprinkle over some salt and then add the stock and barley. Cook until the barley is tender (20 minutes or so) and then add the turkey and tomatoes. Cook until everything is warm and the tastes have melded. Adjust seasoning to taste and serve in bowls with lime wedges to squeeze over the soup.

-Kymm
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Rosemary Honey Bread
Dec 2nd, 2004

You know how if you're really not feeling like working out and you say to yourself, "Self, just go ahead and do five minutes." And so you workout for five minutes and then another five and soon you're feeling good and you end up doing the whole thing. You know how that happens sometimes? Well that happens to me in the kitchen too.

It was a recent Sunday and I wasn't really feeling like cooking, but there were still a few hours until dinner time. I poked around the fridge and thought maybe we'd just have sandwiches for dinner, and then I thought no, I can make roasted squash and apple soup, that's easy you just throw everything in the oven to roast and when it's done blend it. So I got everything in the oven and went off to do something else, but then I got started thinking hmmm it sure would be nice to have some bread to go with that soup... You can see where this is going I'm sure. A fine meal was had by all that evening.

Anyway, Rosemary Honey bread is a quick bread, it makes a lovely freeform round loaf, and it tastes very good with Curried Squash and Apple Soup (recipe to come).

My only notes are that I don't think it needs quite as much honey as is called for as it's a little sweet. I might try cutting down the amount of honey and increasing the yogurt just a bit to compensate. And I chose the baking in the oven option rather than the skillet - that sounded a bit scary to me.


Rosemary Honey Bread

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
cup cornmeal
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp salt
3 tbsp fresh or dried rosemary leaves, chopped
1 cup honey
2 cups nonfat plain yogurt


Preheat the oven to 375F. Lightly coat a 9-inch cast-iron skillet or a 10 x 15 inch baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, sift together the whole wheat and all-purpose flours, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the rosemary, honey, and yogurt and stir together to make a firm dough, about 15 strokes. Add more yogurt if necessary; the dough should be fairly wet.

Moisten your hands and knead the dough gently on a floured work surface for about 3 minutes, until the dough is smooth and uniform in consistency. Put the dough into the skillet to fit. Or shape the dough into a round loaf, place on the baking sheet, and cut a -inch deep X across the top, using a sharp knife. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the loaf is nicely browned and has a hollow sound when tapped on the bottom.

Cool for 10 minutes in the skillet or on the baking sheet. Remove from the pan and serve warm or transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

-Sigal Seeber, Light Quick Breads
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