Flashback Friday – What’s Cooking?

Flashback Friday

The following originally appeared on 11/5/07 at Exit 51.

What’s Cooking?

This past weekend saw more kitchen action as I hosted a small brunch. Not sure which I enjoyed more…the food or the time with friends. The combination of good food and good friends is always a winner.

We dined on:

Butternut Squash Soup
Mixed Green Salad with Carrot Ginger Soy Dressing (this is similar to the dressing that comes on your salad in a Japanese restaurant…yum)
Pie

The food was easy to pull together in advance. Try it yourself, you’ll see.

Silky Butternut Squash Soup
Cook’s Illustrated

If you don’t own a folding steamer basket, a pasta pot with a removable pasta insert works well. Instead of pureeing in a blender, I put the liquid and squash back in the pot after straining and pureed with a stick blender.

Makes 1 1/2 quarts, serving 4 to 6

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 medium shallots , minced (about 4 tablespoons)
  • 3 pounds butternut squash (about 1 large), unpeeled, squash halved lengthwise, seeds and stringy fibers scraped with spoon and reserved (about 1/4 cup), and each half cut into quarters
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon dark brown sugar

Heat butter in large Dutch oven over medium-low heat until foaming; add shallots and cook, stirring frequently, until softened and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add squash scrapings and seeds and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and butter turns saffron color, about 4 minutes. Add 6 cups water and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt to Dutch oven and bring to boil over high heat; reduce heat to medium-low, place squash cut-side down in steamer basket, and lower basket into pot. Cover and steam until squash is completely tender, about 30 minutes to 1 hour. Off heat, use tongs to transfer squash to rimmed baking sheet; reserve steaming liquid. When cool enough to handle, use large spoon to scrape flesh from skin into medium bowl; discard skin.

Pour reserved steaming liquid through mesh strainer into second bowl; discard solids in strainer. Wipe out Dutch oven.

In blender, puree squash and reserved liquid in batches, pulsing on low until smooth. Transfer puree to Dutch oven; stir in cream and brown sugar and heat over medium-low heat until hot. Add salt to taste; serve immediately.

{printable recipe}

Carrot Ginger Soy Dressing with Cilantro
Adapted from Dave Lieberman, Food Network

  • 2 medium carrots, peeled, ends trimmed and sliced
  • 2-inch piece ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 shallots, peeled and sliced
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon superfine sugar
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly chopped cilantro leaves, for garnish

Combine the carrots, ginger, shallots, soy sauce, vinegar, water, sugar, and vegetable oil in a food processor and puree until dressing becomes a slightly thick sauce. Season with the salt.

{printable recipe}

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4 Responses to Flashback Friday – What’s Cooking?

  1. I love Dave Lieberman’s recipes! I’m going to have to try this!

    • Wendi says:

      Kitch, I miss his shows. What ever happened to him? And for real, this is one of my most favorite homemade salad dressings of all time. It’s honest to god almost as good as you get out at a restaurant.

      I’m embarrassed to say that another one of my most favorite homemade salad dressings is attributed to Mz. Ray. Grrrr.

  2. biz319 says:

    I love Cook’s Illustrated – I’ve never been let down with any of their recipes – the $35 pricetag to get the recipes online is worth every penny!

    Happy Friday!

    • Wendi says:

      Biz, I appreciate the testing that goes into developing the CI recipes…having been a home tester myself…but I’ve broken up with CI for the time being. I still make the CI recipes that I have but no longer subscribe.

      That said, that recipe for butternut squash soup will not let you down. It’s a little messy but the results are sublime.

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