Monday, November 26, 2012

Garlic Rice

Favorite side dish, ever.  I eat it plain, with Korean ribs, teriyaki vegetables, or directly out of the pot with a spoon...


Extra Virgin Olive Oil
5-6 cloves of garlic, minced
2 cups of white rice, I use basmatic
4 cups of chicken stock
4 TBS unsalted butter
1 tsp salt
2 tsp garlic powder
6 green onions, chopped


Heat olive oil in saucepan. Use just enough to cover the bottom. Add minced garlic to oil, sauté til translucent.  Add 2 cups of rinsed rice and sauté with garlic until the rice starts to brown, a few minutes. Pour in 4 cups (1 box) of chicken stock and bring to boil.
Cover, turn down heat to low, and cook until almost all the liquid has disappeared(15-20 minutes) . Add green onions to rice along with 4Tbs of butter, salt and garlic powder. Stir and let sit  until liquid fully incorporated.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Simple Butternut Squash Soup

And now? I'm addicted to butternut squash soup.

I know I just posted a Roasted Butternut Squash Soup, I know... but it's fall, and it's yummy, and it's all I can think about.  So here, is an extremely simple variation.  It's a little bit creamier, a little bit richer, and just as tasty.

You're welcome...


1 large butternut squash
4 granny smith apples, peeled, cored and chopped
Olive Oil
4 cups of chicken broth
Sour cream
A handful of chives, minced 
Salt and pepper to taste
4 strips of bacon, cooked and crumbled


Slice off top and bottom of squash, this will help you get a better handle on the rind, which you will then peel off (this is most easily done, by using a serrated peeler, takes the skin right off).  Then, slice the squash in half, lengthwise and remove pulp and seeds.  Cut the rest of the squash in roughly 1/2 inch pieces. 

Coat the bottom of a large dutch oven with olive oil.  When heated, add squash and saute until soft, stirring frequently to prevent burning.  When squash is easily pierced with a fork, add chopped apples. Turn heat to low, and continue to saute until you are able to mash both squash and apples with a fork... 5-10 minutes. Add in 2 cups of the chicken stock, and use an immersion blender to puree squash and apples.  Continue to add in the rest of the chicken stock.  Add salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for 30 minutes. 

When ready to serve, add 1 TBSP of sour cream to the top of each bowl of soup. Sprinkle with 1 TBSP of chives (I use kitchen shears, and snip off chives directly onto bowl), and several pieces of bacon. 

Although I'm not sure there is ever an occasion that warrants it, you could leave out the bacon, substitute vegetable broth, and you've got a simple vegetarian dish...

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Pumpkin Custard Pie

It's no secret that fall is my favorite time of the year. I love the holidays, the traditions, and of course...the food. The best part about the food?  The smells.  Fall means soups, stews, and roasting meats and vegetables. The whole house is perfumed by the smells emanating from the oven.

Yesterday was Halloween-- and as part of the school celebration, the kids classes were having potluck lunch parties.  I made fruit plates, and salads, and my favorite fall treat-- pumpkin pie.

My pumpkin pie is a little different that the traditional, it's much less dense, and more custard like. It's not as heavy, and? In my opinion? Much, much tastier.


Pie Crust

Use your favorite pie crust recipe, mix, uncooked store-bought, or mine (once I post it).  If using pre-made, I prefer the Betty Crocker boxed pie mix.  I use the entire box, adding water as directed, and combining by fork until water is incorporated.  You should be able to gather the dough in a ball and place in an ungreased, deep quiche pan. I use my fingers to spread out over bottom and sides of pan, crimping the top to create an even look.  Prick bottom and sides in a circular pattern with a fork.

1 sugar pumpkin
3 eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 t salt
1 heaping tbsp all purpose flour
1 1/2 t pumpkin pie spice
2 cups whole milk

Cut the top (with stem) and bottom of pumpkin to create a flat surface.  Cut the pumpkin in half, and remove seeds and pulp.  Place pumpkin, center down, on a parchment paper lined jelly roll pan. Pierce the skin with a fork. Roast at 400 degrees for 45 minutes.

Remove Pumpkin from oven and scoop out pulp. Set aside to cool, and raise oven temp to 450 degrees.

In a saucepan, bring milk just to boiling and remove from heat.  Set aside.

In an electric mixer, beat eggs until fluffy and light in color.

In a separate bowl, whisk sugar, salt, pumpkin pie spice, and flour, until combined. Add to eggs and blend until combined. Stir in milk a little at a time.

Add pumpkin and beat on low for 1-2 minutes. Pour mixture into pie shell.  Cover top edge of pie crust with tin foil.

Bake in oven for 5 minutes.  Turn heat down to 350 and bake for 1 - 1 1/2 hours.  After 30 minutes, remove tin foil. The pie is done when the middle is firm, if you jiggle the pan. You can also insert a bread knife into the center of the custard-- if it comes out clean, it's ready.

(Disclaimer: If you wanted to, you could substitute 4 heaping TBS of canned pumpkin for the fresh).