vendredi 30 mai 2014

Prison-Style Meatloaf – How to Stretch Your Meat Further

The main point of this prison-style meatloaf video is to show you what happens when you make meatloaf like your grandparents did. And no, I'm not accusing your relatives of spending time in the joint. During the Great Depression this type of dish was a popular strategy for stretching what little meat you had, into as filling a meal as possible.

As times got better, people went back to meatier versions, and now only low-budget, high-volume food service operations feature this culinary dinosaur. I did an Italian meatball-inspired version, which was quite nice, but this method will work with virtually any meatloaf recipe.

Most modern meatloaves call for about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of dry crumbs per two pounds of meat, and here we’re using 1 1/2 cups. It makes a significant difference in the texture, producing something much softer and moister. While not as "meaty," this does make for an interesting alternative to play around with. I'm looking at you, family of 10.

As I say in the video, I decided to spike my tomato sauce with too much balsamic vinegar, which rendered it not great. So, if you’re going to follow this recipe, just use a regular pasta sauce, or your favorite meatloaf glaze. I hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 1 giant meatloaf (about 10 large portions):
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 pounds ground chuck
2 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
cayenne to taste
2 large eggs, beaten
2 oz Parmigiano-Reggiano, finely grated (about a packed 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup chopped Italian parsley
1 1/2 cups very dry white bread crumbs (not toasted!)
1 1/2 cups milk to soak (squeeze out excess)
3 or 4 cups of tomato sauce to bake in, optional

mardi 27 mai 2014

Strawberry Ice Cream – This is So Not Cheating

Many people consider this type of strawberry ice cream recipe a “hack” or a “cheat,” because we’re skipping the more time-consuming and sometimes temperamental egg custard step; but even if I didn’t want to save time, and possibly eggs, I’d still prefer this method.

To be clear, I’m only speaking about this specific flavor of ice cream. For deep, dark chocolate, or butter pecan, I’ll take the classic French-style every time. But, for sweet, juicy strawberries, I’m not a big fan of the subtle egginess you get with the traditional method.

For me it muddles the fruitiness, and coats the tongue a bit too much. When I eat a bowl of this on a blazing hot summer day, I want nothing but pure strawberries and cream goodness. To achieve that you need to include a lot of strawberry puree, and all that extra liquid means the texture will not be quite as luxurious. It’s minor sacrifice.

Feel free to skip the 10-second blending of the cream, but I like how it very slightly thickens the mixture. A few seconds too long however, and you’ll have whipped cream, which is going to give you a frozen mousse effect; not something I’m into personally.

By the way, rumor has it that these make some pretty spectacular ice cream sandwiches, if you can get your hands on some shortbread cookies. So, as we head into another long, hot summer, I hope you give this fast, simple, and very delicious strawberry ice cream recipe a try. Enjoy!

12 ounces trimmed strawberries (one of those baskets should get you close)
3/4 cup white sugar
very tiny pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup milk
2 cups heavy cream

lundi 26 mai 2014

Next Up: Strawberry Ice Cream

Celebrating Memorial Day

I want to wish everyone a happy and healthy Memorial Day, and as usual, ask you to take a few moments in between bites of whatever grilled goodness you’re enjoying to remember all the chefs and cooks that serve so bravely feeding our troops in times of war.

I’ve said this before, but it’s the thank-you emails I get from our servicemen and women stationed abroad that I find the most inspiring of all. To be able to provide these heroes with a few moments of entertainment makes my otherwise frivolous existence seem a little less so. Thank you, God bless you, and God bless America!

Photo above is from our No-Bake Cheesecake Flag Cake video

vendredi 23 mai 2014

No bake Oreo Cheese Cake(Updated 13/01/15)

A good friend of mine requested for Oreo cheesecake and found this recipe which uses   low fat yogurt (instead of sour cream or whipped cream) for a healthier treat.
One should still refrain from eating too much even though it's low fat. :P
The texture is soft creamy very similar to ice cream when its under room temperature.

(Recipe adapted from The Baking Biatch )
This recipe yields one 9" round cake (removal base)

200g oreo cookies (excluding cream)
80g unsalted butter, melted (place in oven for 1.5min medium)
1.  Crush oreo cookies in bag and mix with butter 
2.  Fill  9" cake tin and level it (use spoon or hand to make it compact)
     -put in freezer

B) Filling
-250g cream cheese (room temperature)
-100ml water + 2.5tbsp gelatin powder(I used 1.5tbsp) dissolve in micro
  wave-2 min
(can omit if no gelatine)
-250g plain yoghurt (226g whip cream without gelatine)
-75g castor sugar(I used 68g)
-200g oreo cookies (excluding cream)

1.  Whisk cream cheese and sugar till creamy, add gelatine blend well
2.  Add yoghurt and crushed cookies, mix well
3.  Pour into (A) and put in freezer for 2 hours and chilled

*If you prefer a firmer and richer cheesecake, exclude gelatine and replace the plain yogurt with heavy whip cream.

C) Decoration
1. 100ml whipped cream
2. 1 cup of mini oreos

1. Whip cream to stiff and pipe design on cake
2. Keep 12-14 mini oreo and crush remaining(remove the cookie cream) to
    fine powder and dust on cake 

Remarks: I have reduced the gelatine quantity to make it more creamy instead of "jelly" texture.
Keep in the fridge for at least 24hr or more , I find that the texture and taste enhanced after 2nd day.

Curry Chicken


2nd attempt cooking curry and the 1st was when I was in secondary school helping a friend to prepare one big pot of curry for birthday party.

Didn't bother to cook curry cos my mum will prepare for us.
A close of mine requested that I prepare curry chicken for our gathering and i start searching for the recipe and found a instant mix which many have recommended. It's easy to prepare and gives a thick texture for anyone who likes the lemak curry! Must Try!

One A1 instant curry chicken paste
One chicken cut into desired sizes
Shallot x 4
lemon grass x 1stalk slice half / 3"
Curry leave x 2 stalk
Potato x 4 medium size
500ml water
Coconut cream x 1 packet (200ml) or Coconut milk if want it lighter
Chilli paste (Optional) I bought a bottle of ready made sambal paste for extra heat
lady's fingers x 3
Brinjal/Eggplants x 1 (optional)
Oil x 2 Tbsp

1. Heat oil and fried shallot and curry leave to fragrance
2. Add curry paste and stir in potatoes and chicken
3. Add water and let it boil and add coconut milk
4. let it shimmer till gravy thicken

Serve with Rice, bread or roti prata

Asian-Style Grilled Flap Meat Salad – You Heard Me, Flap Meat

Memorial Day marks the official opening of American grilling season, and what better way to celebrate than with this unique, and delicious flap meat? Hilarious name notwithstanding, this classic “butcher’s cut” is every bit as flavorful and tender as flank or skirt steak, and is usually cheaper as well.

This is not something they keep in the meat case, so you’ll have to ask them to cut you a few pounds, but it’ll be worth it, and they’ll think you’re cool. Most people haven’t heard of flap meat or flap steak, but it’s hardly an exotic cut. 

If you like Mexican food, and order carne asada,you’ve enjoyed grilled flap meat. While it did make for some extremely tasty Asian-style lettuce wraps, you can use this in so many other wonderful ways. Half the fun is playing around with different marinades and spices, but regardless of how you flavor yours, you should try this in tacos, as well as for an amazing Philly cheesesteak. 

Just be sure to get that grill really hot before you slap down your flap. This needs to be cooked hot and fast, and as close to the coals as you can get. Since everyone asks, I’m using a charcoal Weber “Q,” which is unfortunately not made anymore. Hey Weber, please make this grill again. Thank you. Anyway, if you’re looking for a fun, new meat for your Memorial Day cookout, I hope you give this grilled flap meat a try. Enjoy!

Ingredients for about 4 portions:
2 pounds flap meat
2 tbsp green curry paste, or as needed
2-3 tbsp fish sauce
2-3 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp coconut milk
freshly ground black pepper to taste
cayenne to taste
salt if needed
Lettuce, carrots, red onions, chopped peanuts, and cilantro leaves for salad
--Marinate for 4-12 hours in fridge, or an hour out at room temp.

*For the dressing, into the reserved meat juices, I added sambal, fish sauce, and rice vinegar to taste. I didn’t measure anything, and neither should you. Taste, adjust, repeat.

mercredi 21 mai 2014

Strawberry Jelly Cheese Cake

This is a pretty dessert with fruits and jelly. Am using Jello powder which I finds it a bit too sweet.
My niece likes it a lot..for kids.
Adding on to the variety of my cheesecake recipes

This recipe yields one 10" square cake 

300g digestive biscuits
140g unsalted butter, melted (place in oven for 1.5min medium)

Prepare Base
1.  Crush digestive biscuits in bag and mix with butter well blend
2.  Fill  9" cake tin and level it (use spoon or hand to make it compact) -put in freezer

1 block Philidelphia cream cheese(250g) , room temperature
40g castor sugar
1/2 cup water +10g(3 tbsp gelatine)*microwave 2 min to dissolve gelatine and let it cool
1/2 Tsp vanilla essence (Optional)
12 strawberry cut half heart shape

Prepare filling
1.  Whisk cream cheese, sugar and vanilla essence till creamy add gelatine blend well
2.  Pour onto (A)
3. Arrange heart shape strawberry on cheese when the jelly is half set(important) or the strawberry wont set in place. Store in freezer

1 box strawberry Jello (I use Tortality )
250ml Hot water 
280ml Cold water 
Prepare Topping
1.  Dissolve jello in hot water and stir in cold water , mix well
2.  Pour over (B) and let store in fridge till jelly set 

You may also like:
Oreo Cheesecake
Mango Cheese cake

Creamy Asparagus & Cauliflower Soup with Hold the Bacon

It's hard to make a plain old vegetable soup with a well-stocked fridge. You want to make a light, healthy, restorative soup, but as you reach in the fridge for the vegetables, your hand has to pass things like butter, cheese, and crème fraiche; not to mention dealing with bacon’s sweet, smoky, siren song.

But this time, I resisted all temptations and somehow managed to keep this fairly pure. I don’t expect you to show the same restraint. However, if you do, you’ll be rewarded with a delicious bowl of soup that despite being dairy-free, looks and feels pretty creamy. We have cauliflower to thank for that.

The soup looks like a classic cream of asparagus, and your eyes will fool your palate to a certain extent. In addition to giving it a nice color, the bumpy superfood also provides a smoother texture to the soup than the less starchy asparagus could achieve alone.

Speaking of nice color, try to get your hands on some nasturtiums. They are quite safe to eat...I’ve heard from several people...and have a very subtle watercress-like flavor. They’re not fried bacon, but what is? Anyway, whether you choose to accessorize this soup or not, I hope you give it a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for about 8 cups of soup:
2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3 chopped cloves garlic (you can also add diced onions, leeks, shallots, etc at this point as well)
*6 cups chicken broth, or water for you vegetarians
1 head cauliflower cut into small florets (about 1 3/4 lb)
2 pounds asparagus, trimmed
salt and pepper to taste
cayenne pepper to taste 
nasturtium petals for garnish
*use more or less broth to adjust soup to your desired thickness.

mardi 20 mai 2014

Crispy onion rings recipe


  • 2 large onions, sliced thickly
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk, milk or beer
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon creole seasoning
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Place half of the flour in a wide shallow bowl, mix the remaining flour with the buttermilk and egg and place it in a wide, shallow bowl and mix the panko breadcrumbs, creole seasoning, salt and pepper and place them in a third wide, shallow bowl.
  • Dredge the onion slices in the flour, dip them in a mixture batter and dredge them in the breadcrumbs.
  • Place the onion slices on a wire rack on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated 425F oven until golden brown, about 12-16 minutes.

Apple Pie with Oat Crumb Topping

A male colleague of mine shared his home bake apple pie and I love it so much that I kept pestering him for the recipe! For those who have a sweet tooth...

Yield: Serves 8
For the filling 
-  6 tart-sweet baking apples such as Granny Smith, peeled, cored & sliced to 1/4 inch
- Juice form 1/2 fresh lemon 
- 1/4 cup or 55g brown sugar
- 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg(optional)
 -1 unbaked pie crust, packaged or from your favorite recipe
For the topping 
- 1/2 cup (65 grams) all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup (55 grams) light brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh or ground nutmeg (optional)
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons (84 grams) cold unsalted butter cut into pieces
- 3/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1/3 cup(40grams)chopped walnuts (optional)

For crust
-2 1/2 cups (350 grams) all-purpose flour
-1 teaspoon salt
-2 tablespoon (30 grams) granulated white sugar
-1 cup (226 grams) unsalted butter, chilled, and cut into 1 inch (2.5 cm) pieces
-1/4 to 1/2 cup (60 - 120 ml) ice water


For the crust
1. Combine flour, salt, and sugar.  Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal
2. Pour 1/4 cup (60 ml) water in a slow, steady stream, through the feed tube until the  dough just holds together when pinched. If necessary, add more water. 
3. Turn the dough onto your work surface and gather into a ball.
4. Divide the dough in half, f
lattening each half into a disk, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for about 
one hour before using. This will chill the butter and relax the gluten in the flour.           
5. Remove one portion of the dough from the fridge and place it on a lightly floured surface.   
6. Roll the pastry into a 12 inch (30 cm) circle. 
(To prevent the pastry from sticking to the counter and to ensure uniform thickness, keep lifting up and turning the pastry a quarter turn as you roll (always roll from the center of the pastry outwards).) Fold the dough in half and gently transfer to a 9 inch (23 cm) pie pan. Brush off any excess flour and trim the edges of the pastry to fit the pie pan. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator.

For the filling
1. Place apple slices in a large bowl and toss with lemon juice. Set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, combine sugars, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg. Pour over apples and toss to evenly coat each slice.
3. Line an 8" or 9" pie plate with pie crust dough and evenly fill with apple mixture.
Pour the apples and their syrup into the chilled pie crust. Moisten the edges of the pie shell with a little water and then place the top crust over the apples. Tuck any excess pastry under the bottom crust and then crimp the edges using your fingers or a fork.

For the topping
1. In a large bowl, combine brown sugar, flour, oats, cinnamon and salt. 
2. Add butter pieces and cut in using a pastry blender, two knives or a food processor until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. .
3. Top the apple pie with crumb crust, pressing lightly to compact and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, covering with foil when the top get brown and crispy, after about 15-20 minutes.

lundi 19 mai 2014

Next Up: Creamy Asparagus and Cauliflower Soup

Classic Split Top Hot Dog Buns – How We Should Be Rolling

When we posted our hamburger bun video last year, I received a bunch of requests for hot dog buns. My first thought was, just take the same dough and shape it into logs instead of rounds. I mean, come on…how hard is that? Turns out, that was just the grocery store talking. I’d been so used to eating those insipid side-split rolls, it took seeing a photo of a lobster roll to remember what a real hot dog buns are supposed to be like.

Don’t get me wrong; if you hand me a hot dog at the ballgame, it’s not like I’m going to throw it back in your face (unless you have Dodger face paint on), but given the choice, this butter-crisped, split-topped bun is the way to go. Thanks to its genius design, the meat and fixings go in the top, which leave three relatively flat sides to toast in butter. How this thing never got patented is the real mystery.

Just be sure to either buy hot dogs large enough to fit your homemade buns, or adjust the size of your rolls to match your favorite wiener. I’m sorry, but people who put short hot dogs on the long buns, and then pinch off the ends of the bread, should be put in jail. Not for life, but at least 3 to 5 years.

You can also make the same number of rolls as you have hot dogs, which apparently is the kind of calculation the hot dog bun industry can’t quite master. Okay, hot dogs come 10 in a package, so let’s do the buns in packs of 8. Seriously, what’s wrong with these people? Anyway, math aside, I hope you give these old-fashioned, split top hot dog buns a try soon. Enjoy!

Please Note: As I mention, this is the exact same dough as our hamburger bun recipe. Click here to watch the official dough video

Ingredients to make 8-10 hot dog buns:
1 package (2 1/2 tsp) dry active yeast (I used Fleischmann's “RapidRise” Yeast)
1 cup warm water (105 F.)
1 large egg
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 pound all-purpose flour (*about 3 1/2 cups)
*Note: add a 1/2 cup of the flour to the yeast and water, and then the remainder before kneading

Bake at 375 degrees F. for about 20 minutes, or until golden-brown

dimanche 18 mai 2014

Cream Cheese Soft bun

Tried this cheese bun at one of the bakery shop and my family loves its.
It was selling at S$1.20 per bun and thought it will be nice to bake it and found the recipe at Sonia website!

The skin was a bit hard after a day but after toasting, it turn soft again. My family loves it and requested me to bake again. My folks had picky taste bud and to hear them liking it, makes me Happy.

(recipe source from Sonia aka Nasi Lemak Lover)
*makes 24 buns (small bun)

Gelatinised dough
100g bread flour
70g hot boiling water

1. Place flour in a mixing bowl.
2. Add hot boiling water and mix with wooden spoon to form a rough dough.
3. Cover bowl with cling film and leave dough to cool in the fridge for at least 12 hour, and up to 48 hours.

To prepare Basic sweet bread dough
1 quantity of above gelatinised dough
300g bread flour
100g plain flour
80g sugar
20g milk powder
1 tbsp instant yeast
½ tsp salt
175g cold water
1 cold grade A egg
60g cold butter, cubed

1. Combine flours, sugar, milk powder, yeast and salt
    together in a mixing bowl.
2. Tear the gelatinized dough into pieces and add
     to the 
bowl along with the eggs
3. Using a stand electric mixer, mix on low speed, adding
    cold water gradually.
4. Mix until dough is well combined and leave the sides
5. Add in the cold butter cubes and mix on medium
    speed until dough is smooth.

6. Shape dough into a ball, leave to proof for 40mins or until doubled.

160g cream cheese
40g sugar
- Beat cream cheese and sugar till creamy and light, set aside. If not using immediately, keep it in the fridge.

Dried cranberries, 48pcs (4pcs per bun), soaked in water for 30mins to soften
Raisins, 24pcs (2pcs per bun), soaked in water for 30mins to soften
* I have make other filling - Pork floss & Lotus paste  

1. Divide bread dough into 40g each and shape to ball, rest for 10mins.
2. Spread the cream cheese filling (appx.1tbsp), sprinkle cranberries and raisins on top,
    seal the dough, place on the paper cup, set aside to rest for 40mins.

3. Bake at pre-heated 160c for 25mins 
4. If crust is hard use butter or milk wash on crust

Mango Cheese Cake (No Bake)

This recipe uses yogurt instead of whipped cream which is "less" fattening but still gives you that creamy texture, not too heavy.
This recipe is a keeper!



This recipe yields one 9" round cake 

(Recipe adapt from The Baking Biatch)

250g digestive biscuits
110g unsalted butter, melted (place in oven for 1.5min medium)
250g cream cheese, room temperature
75g castor sugar( I used 70g)
250g mango yoghurt ( I used 2 tub of meiji mango yogurt)
1 tsp of lemon juice
100g water + 2 tbsp gelatine
(place in microwave 2 min to dissolve gelatine and let it cool)
100g fresh mango cubes (Optional)
125g fresh mango puree (blended from fresh mangoes or get ready one from Phoon Huat)
25g water
25g castor sugar
1tsp gelatin( if lemon juice is added, increase to 2 tsp)
1 tbsp lemon juice for extra tanginess(optional) 
First prepare (A) Base
1.  Crush digestive biscuits in bag and mix with melted butter well blend
2.  Fill  9" cake tin and level it (use spoon or hand to make it compact) -put in freezer

(B) Filling
1.  Whisk cream cheese and sugar till creamy add dissolved gelatine blend well
2.  Add yogurt and fresh mango, mix well
3.  Pour onto the set base and store in freezer

(C)  Topping
1.  Place water, gelatine , mango puree and sugar in Small sauce pan, under small fire , stir well till dissolved 
2.  Pour the cool mixture over the set cheese cake and store in fridge till set for at least 24hrs Or best 2 days

Singapore Home Cook Facebook:
Important: Leave in fridge for at least 1 day to let the cream cheese settle

The mango puree(non sweeten, from Phoon Huat) gave a tangy taste that's not too sweet.
The taste & texture enhanced after 2 days in the fridge.



Lemon Cornmeal Cake (w/ Gluten-Free Variation)

  • 2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour*
  • -1/2 c. yellow cornmeal
  • -2 tsp. baking powder
  • -1/2 tsp. each baking soda and salt
  • -2 sticks (1 c.) butter, softened
  • -1 3/4 c. sugar
  • -1 Tbsp. grated lemon zest 
  • -1/4 c. lemon juice 
  • -4 large eggs
  • -1 c. plain yogurt, stirred to loosen

sugar glaze
  • -1 c. sugar
  • -1/3 c. lemon juice (from 1 1/2-2 lemons)

  • 1. Heat oven to 325F. Grease and flour a 10-cup decorative tube pan or a 12-cup Bundt pan. In medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • 2. In a large bowl beat butter, sugar, lemon zest, and juice with mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time until blended. With mixer on low, alternately beat in flour mixture and yogurt until batter is smooth. Scrape into prepared pan; level top with spatula. Batter will be thick.
  • 3. Bake 55 to 65 minutes until a wooden pick inserted in cake comes out clean. Cool cake in pan on wire rack 5 minutes.
  • 4. Glaze: Whisk glaze ingredients in a small bowl just until combined (sugar will not be totally dissolved). Invert cake from pan onto rack; place rack over a baking sheet. Brush glaze all over hot cake until absorbed (sugar crystals will be evident). Cool completely. Transfer cake to a serving plate and cover. Let cake rest several hours, or overnight (fully cooled, then covered), before serving.
  • Woman’s Day claims this cake keeps for up to four days.  I made it on Saturday, let it sit overnight, and cut into it on Sunday.  It was moist and delicious on Sunday but had begun to dry out by Monday night.  Unless you have 4-6 hungry people to feed, I’d recommend halving this recipe and baking in smaller pan (8-in. round?).

*Gluten-free variation: substitute 2 c. white rice flour, 1/2 c. corn starch, and 1 tsp. xanthan gum for wheat flour.  Prepare pan with rice flour.

mercredi 14 mai 2014

Using Leftovers: Mashed Potato Pancakes

  • -2 cups mashed potatoes (prepared with milk, butter, salt and pepper)
  • -2 Tbsp. all purpose flour
  • -1 egg
  • -1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • -1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • -1 Tbsp fried onion toping, crushed 
  • -1/4 tsp. salt
  • -1/4 tsp. seasoned salt
  • -1/4 tsp. bay leaf powder
  • -pinch of rosemary
  • -pinch of dried chili flakes
  • -vegetable oil

  • 1. Blend all ingredients except potatoes in a mixing bowl.
  • 2. Stir in mashed potatoes.
  • 3. Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a skillet on medium-high.
  • 4. Spoon potato mixture into pan in 1/3 c. amounts and flatten with a spatula.
  • 5. Flip when one side is golden brown and crispy, about 4 min. Keep warm while cooking remaining pancakes.
  • 6. Serve hot with lingonberry jam or applesauce and sour cream.

Roasted Pumpkin Cream Soup

  • 1 1/2 lbs. fresh pumpkin 
  • 2 tsp. fresh sage, minced (or 1 tsp. dried)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. dried rosemary, crumbled
  • 3 shallots, peels on
  • olive oil, for drizzling
  • 1 leek, white and pale green parts only, thinly sliced and rinsed of sand
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 lg. celery stalk, diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 c. white wine
  • 4 c. chicken/veggie broth
  • 1/2 tsp. granulated garlic
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon, or to taste
  • pinch of ground ginger
  • dash nutmeg
  • 1/2 c. evaporated milk
  • 3 Tbsp. heavy cream
  • 3 Tbsp. sherry (optional)
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Garnish with your choice of:
  • -roasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas), chopped
  • -ground paprika
  • -roasted corn (recipe follows)
  • -chopped parsley
  • -heavy cream

  • 1. Cut the pumpkin into large chunks, halve the shallots, and place on a parchment or foil-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with sage, rosemary, salt, and pepper. Roast at 350F until fork-tender and golden.
  • I peeled the shallots, but roasting with the peels on would have been better.
  • 2. While the pumpkin and shallots cool, sweat the carrots, celery, and leeks in butter in a large pot. Season with salt, pepper, and the bay leaf. When the veggies are soft and lightly golden, deglaze the pot with the wine. Let the wine slowly evaporate over low heat.
  • 3. Using a large spoon, scoop the pumpkin out of its skin and squeeze the shallots out of their skins. Add these to the pot. Use a wooden spoon to crush the pumpkin and stir to avoid burning.
  • 4. Stir in the broth and evaporated milk and bring to a simmer. Add the cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and garlic. Cook over low heat until the carrots are fully tender and the flavors have melded, about 5 min. more.
  • 5. Remove the bay leaf and blend the soup in batches (or use an immersion blender). Taste and adjust seasoning, then add the cream and sherry. Heat through.
  • 6. To garnish, swirl 1/2 teaspoon of cream into each bowl. Sprinkle with paprika, then top with a few teaspoons of roasted corn, some parsley, and a few chopped pumpkin seeds. Serve hot, doing your best to wipe that self-satisfied look off your face.

Roasted corn garnish:

  • -1 c. corn kernels (fresh, frozen, or canned…but please, nothing sweetened!  I mean you, Germany!)
  • -1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • -salt and pepper

  • Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.  Spread the corn on the sheet, drizzle with oil, toss, and season with salt and pepper.  Broil 5-6 minutes, watching carefully, until they just begin to look brown and toasty around the edges. Avoid burning—the natural sugars incinerate quickly!