Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Does your dinner need...more cowbell?

I was running along this evening, contemplating and somewhat racing, the butternut squash I had baking away in the oven. I had thought I'd take the baked squash that I had seasoned with some gobi masala spices and stuff it with some arugula, good organic goat cheese and some cheeky chutney from Saturday. But as I ran, the cold ripping and biting through my tights and across my face, the meal just didn't sound like the right thing to warm me up. I knew the combination would work as I was inspired by a salad I made for Sunday supper, a Cider glazed Butternut Squash Salad w/ Arugula, Goat Cheese, Roasted Hazelnuts and an apple vinaigrette. And of course, the chutney has not been far from my mind since I made it. Naturally I wanted to take the leftover ingredients I had (half an uncooked butternut squash, arugula, goat cheese) and combine it with the chutney to create something new. My idea was good, but not great. The wind started to blow and I shivered and I thought about what my dad had been eating for lunch, which had looked very delicious at the time Tomato-Basil soup and a grilled sandwich. And that is when it struck me: I need more Cowbell! Seriously, that is what I thought but what I meant was, Eureka! I realized that a play on tomato soup and grilled cheese was in order. And thus was born what I consider, at least in part, the best recipe I have ever come up with: Curried Butternut Squash Soup and (this is the best best recipe of which I speak) Goat Cheese, Arugula and Chutney Quesadilla. The soup was good, but the quesadilla was amazing and really simple. I had a small side of roast brussel sprouts to make a well rounded delicious and flavorful meal. My dinner needed more cowbell and boy did it get it!

Butternut Squash Soup
Ingredients:
1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and halved
2 cups vegetable stock
gobi masala, garam masala, cinnamon to taste
salt to taste
a small squirt of Vanilla Agave

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400. Place the squash halves, cut side up in a baking dish. Fill the pan with 1-2 inches of water. Sprinkle gobi masala and a little olive oil over the squash. Bake until tender. In a saucepan, combine the stock and the butternut squash. Using an immersion blender, puree until smooth. Once the combination is smooth, start spicing! I added a dash of garam masala and a smaller dash of cinnamon. A good whack of salt and a small squirt of vanilla agave. I brought it to a simmer and got to work on my quesadilla. When serving, feel free to top with a cooling spoonful of plain yogurt or sour cream, which balances the spices well.

The best quesadilla ever (at least for today)
Ingredients:
Earth balance
1 brown rice tortilla
Arugula
A good soft goat cheese
Cheeky Chutney
optional: a few slices of roasted turkey

Directions:
Spread Earth balance on one side of the brown rice tortilla and heat a skillet to medium high. Spread goat cheese thinly across the entire tortilla, pile on a few slices of turkey (or not), a good bunch of arugula and top with a few spoonfuls of chutney (see picture below). Fold in half and grill until golden on both side, with the cheese melty and the ingredients heated through. Cut in half and enjoy, immensely.




Oh yes and one final note, per a question I got about the chutney and preserving it. As Jamie Oliver discusses, you do sterilize the jars. I found that when I put the very hot chutney in the jar and closed them up immediately, that when I opened the jar a few days later, the top was sealed on quite tight. That said, feel free to do the water bath sealing. But then again, it may be alot of effort for nothing since frankly its so good, it probably won't last that long!

2 comments:

  1. Awesome looking meal there.

    Are you still in Hotlanta? Cold wind? Tights? It's still shorts/capri weather in the great white north of NW Montana!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Damn! That quesadilla looks amazing! Your blog is great for a little inspiration...running and food!

    ReplyDelete

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