Thursday, October 28, 2010

Blog Bites 9: The Holiday Buffet

Towards the end of last year, in a moment of temporary insanity, I declared that I would try 40 new recipes in 40 days and post about each one until the new year. It was a crazy and exhilarating experience. This year, I have better control over my impulsive behavior. Still, I am keen on making the best of what's left of 2010 and cooking and baking to my heart's content.

The rest of the year is packed with holidays so I expect most food bloggers will be churning out festive meals. And our last Blog Bites potluck was so much fun that I decided a good way to celebrate would be to host another potluck buffet.

I took a screenshot of the recipes bookmarked on my computer yesterday and this is what it looks like: there are about 55 recipes in here, and I'm dying to try each one. More are being added to this list on a daily basis, I might add.


Perhaps you too have recipes bookmarked from other blogs that are sitting around waiting to be made. This is your chance to try any recipe from another blog and bring it to the holiday buffet. You have almost 2 months to send in entries (yes, this is a double edition) and depending on how many entries arrive, I might do a string of round-ups or one massive holiday buffet.

The Rules
  1. From now until December 25, try ANY recipe from another blog. 
  2. The recipe has to come from another blog; that is the whole premise of Blog Bites, so please turn to other blogs for inspiration.
  3. Write a post telling us about the recipe you tried, with the following (a) A link to the recipe on the inspiring blog (b) A link to this post (the event announcement).
  4. Please write a post specifically for this event.
  5. Please do NOT copy a recipe word for word from another blog- that would be both illegal and unethical. Let's all give credit where credit is due.
  6. Please make sure your entry meets all the rules above. Then, send me the link (URL) of your entry at the following e-mail address: OneHotStove AT gmail DOT com
  7. You can send in as many entries as you like.

I will kick things off with my very first entry to BB9: butternut curry soup inspired by this recipe from Not Eating Out in New York. This blog has a nice feature- it rates recipes by cost, health factor and environmental impact. If you live in or around NYC, you might be interested in the local food event listing in the left side-bar.

Coming to the recipe: For the last three weeks, ever since winter squash made an appearance at the local market, I have been buying one medium butternut squash every week. Each is large enough that I can cut it and cook it, and use it in two different dishes that week. So far, one butternut squash was made into soup and quesadillas, another went into chili and dal and so on- it is simply a wonderful versatile vegetable with a sweet buttery taste.

A whole butternut squash can look formidable- you look at it and wonder, how on earth am I going to cut this thing without an axe and without losing a digit or two? These two tutorials were very helpful, and now I've combined some of the tips to come up with a method that works for me, as follows:
  1. Cut off slivers at the top and bottom. 
  2. Stand the squash upright and carefully cut it down the middle into two halves. 
  3. Scoop out seeds and innards and discard (you can save the seeds and toast them).
  4. To cook, either use the microwave or oven. I use the former because it takes only minutes.
  5. Place the halves in a dish that will fit in your microwave. Pour in some water, to create steam. 
  6. Microwave for 8-12 minutes, a few minutes at a time until the squash is fairly tender. 
  7. Cool and store in the fridge until use. To use, peel (much easier now that it is cooked) and cut into cubes. 

Curried Butternut Squash Soup

1. Heat 2 tsp. oil and saute a large minced onion with salt and pepper.

2. Add the following and saute for 2 minutes:
  • 1 chopped tomato
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp. Sri Lankan curry powder (or your favorite masala)
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. red chili powder (optional, but the heat contrasts well with sweet squash)
3. Add cubed butternut squash (4 cups or so, half of a medium squash) and saute for 2 minutes.

4. Add 1 cup thick coconut milk and 2 to 3 cups water or vegetable stock. Simmer for 10 minutes. 

5. Blend the soup using an immersion blender. Garnish if fresh herbs if desired and serve. 

For something so simple, this soup has incredible flavor- you must give it a try. I served it with egg pulao. 

I'm looking forward to eating down my bookmarks by the end of the year, and here's hoping you will join me for this special edition of Blog Bites.

28 comments:

  1. Hi Nupur, thanks for giving 2 months :) definitely I am going to post 1 recipe at least hahaha, wow, your Book marks are just like mine, My kids tease me, your favourite is taking too much space, either cook or delete!!, Ooops I will scream my head off, they are scared of me, I am definitely try to post some of them which I have already tried.
    This one sounds delicious, I too have squash stocked up, will try your SL powder.

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  2. wow nice theme,..soup looks delicious,..

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  3. That's sounds like fun Nupur, only if I get my lazy self to post something. Will definitely try to make something for the event. I also have a ton of recipes that I have to try.

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  4. Nupur with that many bookmarks you sure are going to be cooking a lot. On seeing one of mine there. I just double checked if the recipe was written clearly so you have success at it :). You will bring out the magic of Masala Baigan I'm sure. All the best for this event I think I will be able to participate in this one.

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  5. I'm a cyber-packrat, I have 1130 recipes bookmarked. Time to get cracking!

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  6. I love butternut squash soup.. so simple yet so flavourful. Interesting way to cook it though, I usually halve it and then cook it in the oven. This seems like its quicker. Good idea.

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  7. I just checked and (GASP!) have 1876 recipes bookmarked and the list keeps growing! Isn't that sad?? :) I can't wait to join in again for the next two months. :)

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  8. The tomato sauce with onion and butter (on your list) is great -- but it makes a LOT and I haven't figured out how to use the leftovers effectively. Maybe Blog Bites 10 will be a pantry-clearout again? ;-) Looking forward to joining the potluck!

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  9. Hmmm....a potluck - I love potlucks! :)

    Wish you and your family a very Happy Diwali!

    Miri

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  10. Nice! I didnt know cooking butternut squash could get that easy. I hadnt introduced it to my kitchen yet because of the dreaded cutting part. thanks!

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  11. Oh no!! This challenge just reminded me that I have lost all my bookmarks recently... So many wonderful ideas lost forever. I'm sure in two months I will find something inspiring for a festive buffet, and other people's entries will be a first class contribution to rebuild my 'to-do' list. Looking forward to it!

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  12. We grew lots of butternut squash, and a relative, suchrine du berry, this year. An additional tip for prepping the squash: if you're going to be using it for a soup, or anything where you want it well cooked and pureed, use a sharp knife to poke a few holes, then bake it whole for an hour (or a bit more) until it's tender. Once it cools a bit, cut it in half and scoop out the tender flesh, no peeling required!

    I might have to get to work on some butternut squash quesadillas now,that sounds great.

    Also, butternut squash stores amazingly well, so you may want to up your weekly purchases while you can still find them at the farmers' markets so you can enjoy local squash all winter long!

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  13. I am starting afresh with my bookmarks....lost all mine when the hard disk crashed. Maybe this time, I will be more organised with them!

    That said, have a couple lined up for the holiday potluck.

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  14. Sounds like I might be able to join in in this one :-D enough time.

    Wish you a very very happy Diwali Nupur. Sending warm wishes to you and your near and dear ones.

    hugs

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  15. Happy Diwali to you and your family (particularly Dale) and all your readers, Nupur. Thanks for all the wonderful reading on your site, may it live forever!

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  16. Jayasri- I look forward to your entry!

    notyet100- Thanks!

    Pavani- Good to know you have to-try recipes too, do participate if you get a chance :)

    Anjali- Yes, eggplant season has passed here but I still hope to try the recipe :) I hope you can participate!

    Vicki- Oh my that has got to be some kind of a record!!! I wish you a long long life so you can try em all :)

    Inji- The oven method works very well, but yes, this is much quicker.

    janet- OK you win!! Do join us and make a dent in that number ;)

    bek- Hey you! How are ya? I made that tomato sauce and it was quite good but nothing too special, I thought. I used the leftovers for another batch of pasta a couple days later :)

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  17. Miri- Happy Diwali to you too- hope you had a wonderful celebration!!

    Mangala- Yup, it is easy once you figure out a method that works for you :)

    Caffettiera- Sorry to hear that :( but they are all out there in cyberspace waiting to be rediscovered! Hope you find them!

    Melissa- Storing them is a wonderful idea- thanks, I did not know that. Baking them just takes so long, hence this route, but yes, roasting does develop the flavors.

    aqua- I look forward to your potluck dishes!

    Soma- Happy Diwali to you and your family too! Hope you enjoyed a wonderful holiday weekend!

    Kamini- Thank you so much for the wishes. Dale went to a Diwali party yesterday and enjoyed himself :) I wish you and your family a wonderful year ahead!

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  18. Have so many recipes bookmarked to try...this is sure going to be fun. Will send in my entries soon.

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  19. Gosh I don't even know how many I have bookmarked!!this is one nice way to clear them :).Count me in ,will most probably flood you with entries ;) and thanks for the 2 months time..

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  20. hi nupur,
    first time to your wonderful space. very funky presentation, cool write up,fab pics and of course the recipes are awsome. Keep up the good work !

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  21. Hi Nupur,

    I made the curried butternut squash soup last night. Like all the recipes I've tried from your website, it's definitely a keeper!

    Thanks,
    Maithili

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  22. Not exactly a holiday food. Was wondering if I can send it.

    http://relishingrecipes.blogspot.com/2010/12/kutchi-dabeli.html

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  23. Hi Nupur,Mailed you my entries.Hope u got them..Happy holidays :)

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  24. Hi Nupur

    Soup looks very delicious.

    Have sent you my entry now. Will try to send some more:-)

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  25. hi Nupur. Posted an entry yesterday (http://servedwithlove.blogspot.com/2010/12/baked-vegetables-in-white-sauce.html)

    The recipe per se is not from any blog but the main idea is from Raaga's blog. Let me know if you'll accept it and I will link it right away.

    Wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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  26. aqua- yes, this would be a welcome entry. Thanks. Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year to you too!

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  27. Nupur

    This is my entry

    http://www.bongcookbook.com/2010/12/better-than-anything-chocolate-cup.html

    Original Recipe:http://www.cupcakeproject.com/2008/02/better-than-sex-cupcakes-chocolate.html

    Happy Holiday and have a fantastic New Year

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  28. Thanks Nupur. Just updated the post with your event link.

    http://servedwithlove.blogspot.com/2010/12/baked-vegetables-in-white-sauce.html

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