Geek Chef

I cook, I talk, I geek

Feeding the Masses, First Course February 11, 2010

Filed under: Food — geekchef @ 12:55 am
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I had a birthday feast last weekend. I was hoping for pictures, but none have surfaced yet. I promise to post as soon as they are passed on to me.

I will post each course separately.

Roasted Squash Soup

6 cups butternut squash, peeled and diced
3 cups vegetable broth or chicken
1 cup white wine
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees, toss diced squash with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Pour squash into a large baking dish and spread into an even layer. Roast squash until it starts to brown, turn oven to broil for a few minutes to brown further. Remove from oven and add wine, scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen juices.

Transfer contents to a large pot, add stock and set to a low temperature. Use a hand blender to purée the contents, adding more stock if necessary. If you do not have a hand blender, you can use a regular blender in batches. Add nutmeg and ginger, raise heat to medium and let soup cook until just starting to boil. Reduce back to low and carefully add cream. Add more salt and pepper to taste.


Adaptation February 3, 2010

Filed under: Food — geekchef @ 3:12 pm
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I had a joint birthday lunch with my mom at the De Young Museum in San Francisco. She had the seafood pot pie and really enjoyed it, so I figured I’d work up a recipe for her – and you.

Seafood Pot Pie

1/2 pound shrimp, shelled and cleaned
1 filet of salmon, cut into chunks
10 large sea scallops
6 ounces of crab meat
1 cup dry white wine
10 baby red potatoes
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1 finely chopped leek (white and pale green parts only)
1 diced fennel bulb
1 8-ounce bottle clam juice
2 tablespoons fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
1 cup heavy cream
2 large egg yolks

2 cup sifted flour
pinch of salt
1/2 cup butter or shortening
4-6 teaspoon ice water

Sift flour and salt, cut in butter or shortening with knives or dough blender until dough is in chunks,  like small peas, not too small or the crust will be crumbly. Sprinkle in cold water a little at a time while tossing lightly with a fork to form a ball. Chill until ready to roll.

Boil potatoes in water for about 15 min, potatoes should be slightly tender but not completely done. Cut potatoes into quarters, sprinkle with salt and pepper and sauté in a large saucepan with olive oil. When potatoes are slightly golden on the edges, add leeks and fennel, adding more oil if necessary. When fennel and leeks are soft add wine and clam juice and lightly scrape the pan to loosen any bits on the bottom.  Add bay leaf and thyme and let fluids cook down.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix cream and egg yolks. When liquid has cooked down a bit, add the seafood and cream mixture. Lower heat to low and let sit while rolling out the dough.

Take dough from fridge and roll out into a large circle about 1/4 inch thick. I recommend rolling out onto a piece of parchment paper, it makes it easier to transfer to the pie.

Pour seafood stew into a large ramekin, casserole or oven safe container and place dough on top. Push edges of the dough against the dish to seal and place in oven. Bake until the dough begins to turn golden, about 20 min, you can brush it with an egg wash for a glossier coat.

I used the leftover dough and rolled it out, brushed it with olive oil and  topped it with grated cheese and then cut it into strips for crackers to dip, very yummy.


Lunch July 28, 2009

Filed under: Food — geekchef @ 3:12 pm
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Even though I love everything that goes into sandwiches, I’m not really a sandwich person. I like things that are a little less conventional. I also prefer to go with something light for lunch, unless I have the luxury of an afternoon nap.

Here are a couple of my favorite sandwich alternatives.

Salad Wrap

1 tortilla
handful of veggies
slice of cheese
protein of your choice
salad dressing

Throw everything into the tortilla and wrap it up, easy! This is a great way to eat something light but have it ‘feel’ a bit heavier. I imagine this would be a good kid meal as well.

Italian BLT

tomatoes (fresh and/or sundried)
fresh mozzarella
pesto mayo

I use thin slices of focaccia, usually cut one piece down the middle. Then pile on the pesto, mozzarella and tomatoes. Also adding a little oil and balsamic – basically making a caprese sandwich. Very nummy.

Unless I have pesto on hand, I make large batches a couple times a year and freeze it, I buy a small jar of premade pesto and mix in a little mayo. Not much, just a little to add a creamy tangy flavor. If the word mayo turns you off, then call it aioli.