November 21st, 2009 - Barbara Feiner
Each year, the Louisiana Sweet Potato Commission holds a Sweet Rewards Recipe Contest in conjunction with Louisiana Cookin’ magazine.
Last year’s winner in the Soup Category was Sally Sibthorpe of Shelby Township, MO, who wowed judges with her recipe for Ginger Thai Sweet Potato Bisque. This soup makes a zesty Thanksgiving starter, fusing Asian flavors with the natural goodness of America’s sweet potato crop.
All of the ingredients should be available at your local natural and organic food store. Click here for more sweet potato recipes.
Ginger Thai Sweet Potato Bisque
Makes 6 to 8 servings
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 clove minced garlic
4 cups cooked sweet potatoes
2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger root
1 can (15 ounces) coconut milk
2 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon red curry paste
4 tablespoons minced cilantro
4 tablespoons shredded coconut
- Heat oil in a 3-quart saucepan or stockpot on medium setting. Add onion and garlic, and sauté until tender.
- Remove mixture to a food processor or blender. Add sweet potatoes and ginger, then puree until mixture is smooth.
- Return mixture to saucepan. Add coconut milk, chicken stock, salt, soy sauce, lime juice and curry paste. Bring to a simmer, and cook for 15 minutes.
- Stir in 2 tablespoons of the cilantro. Simmer for 2 minutes more.
- Ladle soup into serving bowls, and garnish with shredded coconut and remaining cilantro.
Recipe and photo courtesy of the Louisiana Sweet Potato Commission
Read More:Ginger Thai Sweet Potato Bisque
September 4th, 2009 - Barbara Feiner
Top Chef, one of my favorite competitive cooking shows, has motivated many viewers to sharpen their knives and try their hand at cooking restaurant-quality fare.
The troubled economy has also become a significant incentive, as consumers are dining out less frequently.
If you’re a fan of the Bravo show, you’ll appreciate our weekend recipe, which was inspired by a past season’s “quick-fire challenge.” With only 30 minutes to prepare a dish, the “cheftestants” relied on prepared broths and stocks—a shortcut on which many professional restaurant chefs rely.
That’s the case with Thai Roasted Squash Soup, a sweet and spicy dish that’s infused with traditional ethnic flavors like coconut, curry, fresh ginger and cilantro.
Prep time is 35 minutes, bake time (for the fresh vegetables) is 35 minutes, and cook time is 25 minutes. All of the ingredients should be available at your local natural and organic food store.
Thai Roasted Squash Soup
Makes 6 servings
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 2” pieces (about 6 cups)
1 large sweet onion, cut into eighths
1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger root
3 cups Swanson certified-organic chicken broth
1 can (15 ounces) cream of coconut
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- Heat oven to 425°F.
- Stir oil and curry in “a large bowl. Add squash and onions, and toss to coat. Spread vegetables onto a 17” x 11” roasting pan.
- Bake for 25 minutes, until vegetables are golden brown, stirring occasionally.
- Heat vegetables, ginger, broth and cream of coconut in a 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring mixture to a boil.
- Reduce heat to low. Cook for 20 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.
- Spoon 1/3 of the vegetable mixture into an electric blender or food processor. Cover and blend until smooth.
- Pour mixture into a large bowl. Repeat blending process twice more with remaining vegetable mixture.
- Return all of the pureed mixture to the saucepan. Cook over medium heat until hot.
- Season to taste. Divide soup among 6 serving bowls. Sprinkle with cilantro.
Recipe and photo courtesy of Swanson Broth
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August 15th, 2006 - Barbara Feiner
Vegetarians have long used coconut milk in place of its dairy cousin. Yesterday’s blog entry described one of my favorite recipe ideas.
In the September issue of Bon Appetit, several top chefs offer tips on using coconut milk in their favorite dishes:
- Michael Cimarusti, co-owner and executive head chef at Providence in Los Angeles, makes a delicious smoothie by combining sweetened coconut milk, a banana, a drop of honey, a splash of fresh lime juice and a few fresh mint leaves.
- Food Network star Emeril Lagasse of Emeril’s New Orleans, NOLA and Delmonico Steakhouse (among other highly touted restaurants) adds unsweetened coconut milk to chicken broth. He then “kicks it up a notch” by adding lemongrass, ginger, lime and garlic to create a Thai-style soup.
- And Chef Bruce Sherman of North Pond in Chicago dazzles breakfast aficionados with his pancakes, replacing half the milk in a standard recipe with unsweetened coconut milk. He then tops it off with shredded coconut.
As mentioned yesterday, if you have trouble locating regular or lite organic coconut milk at your local natural or organic food store, you may purchase it online through Amazon.com.
Click here to subscribe to Bon Appetit.
Read More:Nuts for Coconut Milk
May 22nd, 2006 - Barbara Feiner
If you’re like me, you occasionally rely on your local organic food store or restaurant for prepared takeout entrees. With our harried lifestyles, we’re definitely a nation of on-the-go eaters. But while many of us savor wine with our meals, only about 40% of wine drinkers say they’re likely to enjoy a glass at home with their takeout favorites, according to a new study from the Wine Market Council and Merrill Research.
“Wine and food are meant to be enjoyed together—and that holds true whether you’re having a five-course gourmet meal or a takeout burrito,” says wine expert and Master Sommelier Andrea Robinson, author of Great Wine Made Simple and Andrea Immer Robinson’s 2006 Wine Buying Guide for Everyone. Robinson, who also hosts the new wine pairing/cooking show, Pairings with Andrea, on the Fine Living Network, has teamed with the Wine Market Council to share wine pairings for America’s favorite on-the-go eats.
Whether sweet and sour or stir-fried with soy sauce, Chinese food has lots of crunchy-sweet veggies, sometimes with a kick of spice. Pair Chinese dishes with a wine made from the Gewürztraminer grape. The wine’s soft, fruity, spicy flavors complement veggies and contrast nicely with salty soy sauce and spices. Or consider a red wine made from the soft Gamay grape, which complements sweet-and-sour and hoisin sauces. The Gamay’s earthiness also brings out the subtle tastes of soy, garlic and fermented black beans in stir-fry.
Thai chili peppers and curries are some of the hottest, with their heat often toned down by a touch of sweet coconut milk. This makes the hint of sweetness and juicy fruit of a white Zinfandel or white Merlot a perfect choice. The wine’s acidity sets off all the complex layers of curry flavor, while its sweetness and chill cool down fiery curry flavors. Or go a little more exotic with the floral-scented, peachy-fruited and delicately sweet Kabinett-level German Riesling. Known for its delicacy and low alcohol, it won’t fan the flames of the chili peppers’ kick.
Tune in tomorrow for more pairing tips from Robinson.
Read More:Organic Wine Pairings: Chinese & Thai Food