Roasted Winter Squash, Locked and Loaded

Roasted winter squash with smoked bacon, poblano peppers, onions and toasted cumin seed..

Winter Squash, Roasted & Loaded

Winter Squash, Roasted & Loaded

Split a firm, thick-walled winter squash lengthwise through the stem.  Remove seeds and pulp, oil lightly and season with sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper.

Place the squash halves into a skillet or onto a baking sheet along with half of an onion, half of a poblano,  half of a red bell pepper and additional chunks of peeled squash and roast at 400 degrees until the peppers are blackened.

The squash halves might need more or less time depending, but don’t let them cook until they collapse.  Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook diced, thick-cut smoked bacon in a heavy skillet with a spoonful of whole cumin seeds.  Add roasted vegetables, toss in some roughly-chopped fresh cilantro and taste for salt and pepper.  Add a little vegetable or chicken stock to keep things moist.

Place roasted squash halves on a plate and fill with the vegetable mixture.  Serve with charro or black beans on the side if you like.

Corn Spaghetti with Duck Egg Aioli

Gluten-free, 100% corn spaghetti with fresh herbs, roasted vegetables and a rich duck egg aioli..

Corn Pasta with Egg Sauce

Corn Spaghetti with Duck Egg Aioli

Make a traditional aioli, substituting pastured duck eggs for chicken eggs, and using a bold garlic such as Chesnok red.  Add minced fresh opal basil, oregano, frisée (curly endive), a tiny bit of fresh lemon juice and plenty of sea salt and cracked pepper.  Set aside.

Boil one quart of filtered water with one teaspoon sea salt for every 4oz of corn spaghetti.  Swirl the water, add the pasta and cook al dente, about 7 minutes. Drain, but do not rinse.  Keep warm.

Broil 3/4 inch-thick slices of heirloom tomato seasoned with sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper until brilliant red and blistered. Hold in warm oven.

Meanwhile, quickly sauté onions and Italian roasting peppers in a bit of oil over high heat until just softened.

Toss the pasta with the sautéed vegetables, then stir in the aioli.

To serve, arrange pasta in the middle of a large plate and use a spatula to place the broiled tomato on top.  Shave a little Pecorino over all and garnish with additional minced herbs.


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Bengal Lentils with Pea Shoots and Wild Pomegranate

A traditional, healing dish of sprouted lentils in a spicy, savory tomato sauce with toasted whole spices, onions, peppers, pea shoots and wild pomegranate seeds.

Bengal Lentils with Pea Shoots and Wild Pomegranate

Bengal Lentils with Pea Shoots and Wild Pomegranate Seeds

Sauté whole hulled cardamom, coriander, cumin, fenugreek, bay leaf and true cinnamon in ghee or clarified until fragrant and the seeds begin to “pop” in the in pan.

Add diced white onion, peppers and plum tomatoes and cook, stirring continuously until the oil separates, about 5 minutes.

Add turmeric, paprika, black pepper, freshly-grated ginger and wild pomegranate seeds and simmer gently for 5 minutes.

Add raw, sprouted lentils, pea shoots and chopped cilantro and stir to combine.

Note: if feeding a crowd, you could easily extend this dish with simmered chickpeas

Serve over aged basmati rice or with naan if desired.

This post is part of the Pennywise Platter Thursday at The Nourishing Gourmet


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Wild pomegranate seeds are sometimes used as a spice known as anardana (which literally means pomegranate (anar) seeds (dana) in Persian), most notably in Indian and Pakistani cuisine but also as a replacement for pomegranate syrup in Middle Eastern cuisine. As a result of this, the dried whole seeds can often be obtained in ethnic Indian Sub-continent markets. The seeds are separated from the flesh, dried for 10–15 days and used as an acidic agent for chutney and curry production. Seeds may also be ground in order to avoid becoming stuck in teeth when eating dishes containing them. Seeds of the wild pomegranate daru from the Himalayas are regarded as quality sources for this spice.

Pan-seared Lamb Chops with Mint, Garlic and Grape Tomatoes (a recipe in progress)

I stuck my hungry face in the fridge this evening and spotted 3 lamb loin chops that had been marinating in olive oil, rosemary and garlic for a couple of days.

I threw the chops into a super hot skillet with some of the oil & a tiny bit of butter and seared them to a perfect rare+ doneness, then tossed in some halved grape tomatoes, slivered garlic and lots of fresh mint, sea salt and freshly-ground pepper.

I hadn’t planned on posting anything tonight, but this primal, ad-hoc dish was so good that I wanted to document it for future development  🙂

Pan-seared Lamb Chops with Mint, Garlic and Grape Tomatoes

Pan-seared Lamb Chops with Mint, Garlic and Grape Tomatoes


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Vegetarian Black Bean Chili

Simmered black beans with red and white quinoa, toasted cumin, onions, tomatoes, New Mexico and poblano chiles, garlic, oregano and wedges of avocado, all served up in baked corn tortilla shells..

Black Bean Chili

Vegetarian Black Bean Chili

Soak dried black beans and quinoa in filtered water overnight.  Drain, rinse and cook in vegetable stock until just done.

Sauté cumin seeds, chopped chiles, garlic and onions in a heavy skillet over medium heat until browned and fragrant.  Add chopped tomatoes and poblano peppers and cook 5 minutes.

Add garlic, Mexican oregano, 1/4 teaspoon each cloves, allspice and cinnamon, cooked beans and quinoa and simmer 20 minutes; keep moist by adding bean-cooking liquid as needed.  Adjust seasoning with sea salt and freshly-ground pepper.

Meanwhile, lightly coat small corn tortillas with oil and press into the wells of a jumbo muffin pan.  Bake at 400 degrees until crisp and browned.

To serve, spoon chili into tortillas shells and garnish with avocado wedges, a squeeze of fresh lime and hot sauce.


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