Saturday, January 10, 2009

Pumpkin Stuffed with Potato, Pea, & Mushroom Curry and Rice + Toasted Pumpkin Seeds (week of January 4 - 10)

Stuffed Pumpkin

Preheat oven to 350°.

Cut lid as for jack-o'lantern from

  • 1 small pie pumpkin
and scoop out seeds. Prick all over inside with fork and rub interior with
  • butter
  • salt, pepper, mustard powder (to taste)
Add pre-cooked filling (leftovers with a handful of rice and some water - see below) and bake until pumpkin is soft (35 minutes or longer).

Potato, Pea, & Mushroom Curry (with added Red Butter)

We adapted another recipe from Sam Stern's Real Food/ Real Fast for this week's pumpkin filling. We started with a basic curry of potatoes, peas & mushrooms and then mixed in Red Butter Sauce to fill a couple of pumpkins - baked them - YUM!

Heat in a large pan

  • 2 Tablespoons peanut oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • Pinch of salt
Cook gently until soft, about 2 minutes.
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds, crushed
  • ½ teaspoon mustard seeds, crushed
Cook and stir for 2 minutes. Add
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 green chile, de-seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 medium cold cooked potatoes, cubed
  • 3 tomatoes, roughly chopped (or an eqivalent amount of canned tomatoes)
  • ¾ lb. button mushrooms, washed, stalked and sliced
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped
Cook over very low heat for 10 minutes, stirring so it doesn't burn.
  • 1 cup defrosted peas
plus a little water if they're dry. Cook 3-4 minutes. Sprinkle with additional cilantro.

[For pumpkin filling, stir in red butter sauce:

Melt in a large pan

  • 6 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • Pinch of salt
and cook gently for 2 minutes.


  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon chlii powder
  • 3 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 cardamom pods (or 1¼ teaspoons ground
and cook until onions are soft.


  • 2 (15 oz) cans crushed tomatoes
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon freshly grated ginger
and stir. Bring to a boil. Simmer on reduced heat for 10

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup plain yogurt
Reduce heat.
  • ½ cup rice
and some water. Fill pumpkin, cover with pumpkin lid and bake.]

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

Rinse and pull pulp from seeds. Soak in salted water for an hour, then drain in seive and spread seeds on cookie sheet. Bake at 350° until they start "popping" - about 10- 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Or here's an alternative method, from our local CSA

  • To toast pumpkin seeds, wash them in a sieve immediately after removing them from the pumpkin and clean off the pulp as much as possible.
  • Then toss the seeds in a tablespoon of oil and put them on a baking sheet.
  • Sprinkle on salt, as well as any spices or seasonings you might like, and bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes for crispy seeds, or at 250 degrees for an hour for chewy ones.
  • Check on them in the middle of baking to stir, if necessary.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

West African Chicken-Peanut Soup + Blueberry Lemon Pound Cake (week of December 28 - January 3)

West African Peanut Stew

My older daughter got this spicy, and very easy, recipe from her friend and made it for my birthday. And then made it again, by universal request, the following week.

  • 2 cups uncooked rice
cooked in
  • 4 cups water
  • pinch salt

In large skillet, over medium heat,

  • 4 Tablespoons Oriental (dark) sesame oil
  • 2 cups (or more) diced chicken breast
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
and sauté over medium heat until onion is translucent and chicken is cooked.
  • 1 Tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • ½ cup tomato paste
  • 1 (15 oz.) can chopped stewed tomatoes
  • ¼ cup plus 2 Tablespoons chunky peanut butter
Heat through, but don't boil. Serve hot with rice.

Blueberry Lemon Pound Cake

My younger daughter made my favorite cake to hold (all!) my candles. This recipe is adapted from one in Mollie Katzen's Moosewood Cookbook. The original has a full pound of butter and 3 cups of sugar, but this version is plenty rich - and so good with the blueberries we picked this summer.

Preheat oven to 325° and lower the oven rack. Butter and flour the bottom and sides of a 10-inch tube or bundt pan.

In a large bowl, at high speed, cream together until light and fluffy
  • 1¼ cups butter, softened
  • 2 ½ cups sugar
Add, one at a time, beating well after each,
  • 6 eggs
then set aside.

Sift together in a separate bowl
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
Mix in another bowl
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
Add dry and wet alternately to butter mixture, mixing by hand – just enough to blend thoroughly without beating, beginning and ending with dry. Before adding the last of the dry, toss lightly in it
  • 2 cups frozen blueberries
then fold into the batter gently.

Spread batter into the buttered pan. Bake 60 minutes or more, until a sharp knife inserted all the way down comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then turn out onto a plate. Cool as long as you can before slicing.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Philadelphia Pepper Pot

(potato and green pepper soup)

from Blue Moon Soup: a Family Cookbook, by Goss and Dyer. My daughter has loved this beautifully illustrated children's cookbook for years. I've loved the soups she's made from it!


  • 3 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 5 cups of water
until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain, but SAVE the BROTH, and set potatoes aside.

Heat in a soup pot, on medium heat
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
(Or, if you are making bacon bits for the optional garnish, cook bacon in the soup pot, then discard most of the grease, leaving enough to sauté the vegetables)

  • 1 small leek, chopped (1 to 1½ cups)
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped parsley
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon.

Add half the potatoes and half the broth and stir. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

In a blender or a bowl, blend or mash 1 cup of the soup until thick and smooth. Add another ½ cup of broth if soup too thick.

Return the blended soup to the pot. Add the rest of the potatoes and broth, and stir.