Tag Archives: side

Sweetness, cream, and a bit of spice

Creamy butternut squashThis dish is, if anything, intriguing. It’s not plain creamy, or cheesy, or any of the other qualities that make mac and cheese oh-so-irresistible.   It’s not comforting, either, at least in my book. It makes you think, which is saying a lot for someone who thinks for a living.  But I really shouldn’t be surprised, given who this pretty little creation comes from.Butternut squash plated 

It’s brilliant.  Any idea who I’m referencing now?  I just got his cookbook in the mail, along with a very bendable mini-tripod and some hope that my photography might improve.  And immediately, I nestled into the couch and started to read.  No, he’s not a writer; his prose reminds me of a school boy’s, actually, though it’s improved immeasurably since this one came out.  But he’s hilarious, has turned his fame into a vehicle for championing quality food for everyone, and happens to be a pretty good chef.  
Squash prep
His flavor combinations are familiar, but somehow unlike anything I would have come up myself. They work somehow, in an unexpected way.  So I’m sharing this one with you, because it’s worth trying, just once. Even if you only have whole milk and cheddar in the house, and don’t feel like trekking to the store.
Squash prep 2 
I used a local pear wine in this dish, which worked pretty well, but any white wine will do.  Cream and parmesan, as the recipe originally called for, would have been better than the whole milk and parmesan I actually used, but the flavor was still quite good.  The consistency wasn’t quite what I wanted, but I made do.  If you happen to find yourself in my predicament, make a béchamel sauce with a bit of butter, milk, and cream, and add the nutmeg and cheese to the sauce.  If not, use the cream. Go on — you know you want to.

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Filed under butternut squash, cheese, cream, milk, side

Simplest thing in the world

Mashed potatoes + cabbage sautéed in butter = GENIUS.

Colcannon

Ok. Maybe I’m getting a little ahead of myself. But it’s creamy and a bit crunchy and savory and … have you smelled cabbage when it’s cooked in a bit of butter, and mixed with a bit of salt and pepper? After the first minute or two (when cabbage-haters will ask whether you really plan on feeding them that stink), it transcends its humble reputation and smells warm and golden, somehow. Pure heaven, I say. But maybe it’s just the red hair talking.

The dish I’m talking about is called colcannon. It’s a traditional Irish dish, which can really be made with kale or cabbage, and is filling enough to serve as dinner if you have a bit of bread and cheese on the side. I’ve strayed a bit from the traditional recipe here, with some sautéed onions, garlic, and paprika, and some leftover whey to cook the potatoes in (thanks for the tip, Dad). Either way, it’s worth a try.

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Filed under cabbage, main, potatoes, seasonal, side