Sometimes its worth while to work "hard" in the kitchen. The results and the smell cause joy for all.
Baked Squash Soup with Nuts and Spices
Hard-shell or winter squash in various colors, shapes, and sizes is a frequent sight in the Mediterranean. Winter squash is ideal for soups because it has a naturally creamy texture when pureed with stock. Because winter squash is mild, it's a good idea to enhance the flavor with fragrant spices like cinnamon, cloves, and ginger, as well as nuts and seeds, all of which evoke images of fall and winter.
3 tabs blanched almonds
3 tabs hazelnuts
3 tabs sesame seeds
½ teas ground cinnamon
1 teas ground ginger
1 teas turmeric powder
2 pounds butternut squash, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
2 tabs olive oil
6 cups chicken stock
1 cup plain yogurt
Salt and pepper
¼ cup chopped cilantro
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Put the almonds on a pie plate or small sheet pan and toast for 3 minutes. Add the sesame seeds, keeping them separate from the almonds, and toast for 3 minutes longer. Add the hazelnuts, also keeping them separate, and toast for 11 minutes more, or until the almonds and hazelnuts are browned and the sesame seeds are golden. Chop the almonds. Let the hazelnuts cool slightly, rub off the skins in a clean dish towel, and chop. Mix the nuts and sesame seeds and set aside. Raise the oven temperature to 400 degrees.
Combine cinnamon, ginger and turmeric powder . In a larger mixing bowl toss the squash with the olive oil. Add the spices and mix well. Spread out the squash on a baking sheet.
Bake the squash, covered with aluminum foil, for 20 minutes. Transfer the squash to a large saucepan . Add stock, cover, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
Transfer the squash to a food processor and puree. Strain through a medium-fine strainer, pressing out all the liquid with a wooden spoon. Add the yogurt and mix well. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Sprinkle with nut-seed mixture and chopped cilantro.
And now for fantastic cookies............ 17 min incl. preparations........ hardly a "hard" work
100 gr almost melted butter, 3/4 cup dark brown sugar, 1/4 cup sugar, 2 teas baking powder, 1/2 cup milk, 3 cups flour, 1 egg
warm oven of 360*. Combine well all ingredients . Roll dough and create any shape and form you like. Put on a baking pan covered with baking paper, brush egg on top and bake for 15 minutes or so until brown. you might spread some sugar on top before baking.
Egyptian chicken soup
An Egyptian favorite, hamud has a versatile nature. Although generally served as a sauce for rice, it often appears twice in the same meal, first as a soup, and then again as the sauce. It is basically a chicken soup with celery, lemon and garlic, but other green vegetables find their place in it when they are at hand.
Carcass and giblets of 1 chicken
3-4 stalks celery with leaves, sliced
2 leeks, sliced (optional)
2-3 cloves garlic, slivered
Salt and black pepper
Juice of 1-2 lemons
2-3 zucchini, sliced (op)
3/4 cup rice, boiled (measure uncooked)
Collect a chicken carcass, giblets, and bones to make a rich stock. The giblets must be very fresh, and the bones and carcass those of a chicken prepared the same day, otherwise any meat on them will be hard and dry, and the marrow in the bones very stale. Crack the bones slightly to release more flavor.
There are two ways of preparing this soup. The stock can be made beforehand and strained through a fine sieve, the vegetables then being cooked in the clear broth. However, I usually cook all the ingredients together in the following manner.
Put the carcass, bones, and giblets in a large pan. Add the celery and, if you like, sliced leeks. (The basic recipe is made with celery only.) Add the slivered garlic and cover with about 9 cups water. Bring to the boil and skim the scum off the surface. Season with salt and pepper, and squeeze the juice of 1 lemon into the pan. Simmer gently for about 1 hour. Remove the pan from the heat and discard all the bones, leaving only pieces of chicken in the broth. Add the zucchini, if using them, and cook for 15 minutes longer. Adjust seasoning, adding more lemon juice if necessary. The soup should have a distinctly lemony tang. It is this and the taste of garlic which give it an Oriental flavor
Add cooked rice just before serving so as not to give it time to become sodden and mushy
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Have a great weekend & happy Chanukah