I'd like to take this opportunity to update you on some of my upcoming projects and also say thank you for all the support, love and laughs we have been sharing!
In Winter’s Kitchen: Growing Roots and Breaking Bread in the Northern Heartland, launched like a New Years rocket, with swell reviews in several papers including The Wall Street Journal. Both it and The Birchwood Café Cookbook, have hovered on the Midwest Independent Bookseller’s list for several weeks.
A great evening at The Bockley Gallery with friends and treats!
Looking forward, 2016 brings two new projects:
- A preserving book that follows Minnesota’s Bounty: The Farmers Market Cookbook, for saving the season’s flavors when winter’s winds howl. To this project, Mette Nielsen, brings on her Danish knack for Nordic flavors to simple, sweet and savory recipes and her gorgeous photos bring these brilliant flavors to the page.
- I’m also honored to be working with Sean Sherman, aka Sioux Chef, in a remarkable collection of pre-Colonial indigenous Native American recipes. Drawing on research, his personal stories, and professional experiences, Sean’s un-modernist food is straightforward, brightly seasoned, beautiful, delicious and perfectly suited for the way we want to eat today.
Winter Featured Recipe
Curry Squash Soup: Taking Hot Sweet Spice Trail, Low and Slow
If there’s one reason to love winter, it’s because it IS the season to cook. So I keep messing around with some of my old favorites, updating combinations and experimenting with new flavors. Like this recipe from my college days for a curried squash soup. As with all soups, stews and braises, you can’t rush browning onions and shallots. Over low heat, their natural sugars caramelize and create a soft, sweet, lush base. This curry combo is just right for blistering cold weather we’re suffering right now. Sweet potatoes are equally good here, too. Here it’s garnished with a little pistachio oil and nuts, hazelnut or walnut oil works nicely as well. Or simply finish it with flaked coconut.
This soup is rich and hearty enough for a main dish with good bread and a big salad or paired with a sandwich or pizza. It will keep a couple of days in the refrigerator, so don’t hesitate to double the quantity for more. I confess that I ripped this recipe off my friend’s mom who used to make it with heavy cream (OMG it was good). So you can try that too if you’re in the mood.
Serves 4 to 6
- 2 tablespoons sunflower or vegetable oil
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 1 small shallot, diced
- 1 to 2 tablespoons curry powder, to taste
- 2 pounds winter squash, peeled, seeded and cubed
- 3 cups vegetable stock
- 1 cup coconut milk
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 to 2 tablespoons lime, to taste
- Chopped cilantro for garnish
- Pistachio or hazelnut oil for garnish
In a large deep saucepan or stockpot, heat the oil over low and slowly brown the onion and shallots until tender and beginning to turn a pale caramel color, about 10 minutes. Stir in the curry powder and cook for about 30 seconds. Add the squash and the stock and enough water to just cover the vegetables. Bring to a simmer and cook until the squash is very tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Using an emersion blender or working in batches, puree the soup. Return to the pot, add the coconut milk and season to taste with salt, pepper and lime juice. Warm the soup and serve garnished with the cilantro, nut oil and nuts.
So that's the scoop! Thanks again and as always, happy cooking!
What a wonderful fall it has been! I want to thank you all for your support of my new website and also to all of you who came out to support us for the launch ofThe Birchwood Cafe Cookbook.
I'm excited to share my first newsletter with you, especially because I'd love your feedback on some new recipes! Recipes are stories with happy endings based on memories of a favorite meal. But what goes into creating a recipe is often more about luck and desperation than most writers care to admit.
Holiday Cheer in a Jar
This is a great time of year to cook; a time of hunkering in, simmering stews and baking breads. The holidays are galloping towards us but there’s still time to make a few special gifts. These preserves can be made last minute, because they take but a few minutes to prepare. Great for Thanksgiving and they’ll last until Christmas.
Mette Nielsen, the amazing photographer and fabulous cook, and I are working on a preserving cookbook and we’re posting some of the recipes in process. Give these a try. We’d love to know what you think!