a title=”Stuffed Kabocha Squash by The Domestic Front, on Flickr” href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/amusebouches/8379744890/”> This recipe, which is adapted from Dorie Greenspan, may not pass the five year old test (until she TRIES it) but it is one of my favorites. Dorie calls it “Pumpkin Stuffed with Everything Good” and it really is stuffed with, if not everything good, many good things. Things like bread and cheese and bacon and cream and garlic, and just to up the vegetal quotient, I added red chard, which only added instead of detracted. Since it’s nearly impossible to find an edible pumpkin outside the months of October and November, I make it with Kabocha Squash, which I prefer to pumpkin anyway. This dish also looks better in person than it does in photographs, and tastes better than it looks (I must convince the five year old of this). (As an aside – raw vegetables are BEAUTIFUL to photograph, but the second they’re cooked they look far less appealing. C’est la vie.) You can also omit the bacon the make it vegetarian, but please don’t leave out the cheese.
If there’s one dish that I must have on Thanksgiving, it’s stuffing. I like sweet potatoes, but don’t need them. Mashed potatoes always seem a bit superfluous to me. Even turkey is negotiable. But stuffing, with its play of textures and flavors — is the heart of Thanksgiving dinner. Last year I told you about the sacred sage stuffing that my family makes every Thanksgiving. I stand by that recipe. But if, for some reason, you need another stuffing recipe — like you’re going to two Thanksgivings, or your aunt Patricia is already making that stuffing and you need to bring a second one, or you’re having an all-stuffing Thanksgiving meal (what? It could happen!) — I came up with this one for you.
The nice thing about being behind on things is that reminders can feel like discoveries. When editing my Paris photos, I found the pictures I took at a wonderful meal we ate in the Latin quarter at Bistro y Papilles. Located in a small wine store, with a different set menu every night, it was the kind of wonderful meals that makes you feel like you’re really in Paris. The menu that night started with a velvety cauliflower soup, served at the table in a big tureen. We were presented with shallow soup bowls that were garnished with a “salad” with lardons, croutons, cauliflower, herbs and creme fraiche, and the hot soup was ladled over the salad. All the garnishes brought a wonderful textural contrast to the soup, and it was one of the best things we ate that week.
I have been waiting for summer to start since June. But June Gloom deepened into July Gloomed, followed by an August that was generally lovely but far more temperate than this Southern California girl was used to. My tomato plants were uncharacteristically subdued, my peaches never ripened, and All this time I’ve been waiting for the long stretch of hot days, the salad weather, the BEACH weather. But now it’s September 23, and by all accounts summer is officially over. We are moving into apple season, people care that there is a shortage of canned pumpkin, and dinner by the fireplace is starting to seem more appealing than dinner on the deck. So this is a last gasp summer recipe. Celebrating the bounty of the summer that wasn’t. But even a cold summer has its consolations, and one of those consolations is corn. Corn on the Cob is a classic of course, but as a gaptoothed child and later an adolescent with braces, I never really liked gnawing the kernels off the cob. I prefer the flick of a sharp knife and the resulting flow of kernels, with nothing coming between your mouth and bursts of starchy sweetness. Of course, once the corn is off the cob, you can start to experiment with flavors besides just butter and salt. I like sauteing the kernels with some butter and hot sauce, or doing a lime juice, mayonnaise and cheese based elote. But the most decadent corn dish I’ve tried, the one that was like corn on crack with almost overwhelming umami, is David Chang’s Roasted Sweet Corn with Miso Butter from the Momofuku Cookbook. This isn’t that recipe. I did make it once, and it was delicious, but it involved making four separate recipes (and I even fudged one of them) to combine into one dish. What I’m giving you today is an adaptation — lighter and more streamlined, but just as delicious. You still get the incredible umami hit from the miso, the sweetness of the corn, and the smoke of the bacon, but this takes only a few minutes to make, and dirties far fewer dishes
I'm Kate, and between my day job and my home job, life is pretty full. Look around to find some of the recipes, projects, stories and tips that keep me sane on the domestic front. Read more about me here and feel free to email me with any questions or feedback!