Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Kabocha Kabocha For a Cloudy Day in LA

I hate, no, I loathe cold weather. Crisp weather as some people call it is just not for me. But what I do like about the Fall and Winter seasons are my 3 F's. Fall Fashion & Food. Bundling up in my favorite mod pea-coat and inhaling winter nabe meals (Japanese clay hot pot) and winter vegetables make the season pass so gracefully. It's the fashion and meals combined that make me forget about my irritating hangnails and ashy legs. In eating my way through the cold months, I thought it would be fun to finally cook with a kabocha squash since I've always been in love with the intense fall colors that a kabocha exudes.

This week I present two Kabocha recipes to help you ease your way through the cold months. My kabocha soup was creamy and thick, a perfect soup for a cold rainy day. The Roasted Kabocha with Brown Butter turned out great. But boo to Roasted Kabocha. It's just a bit too dense for me. But carmelized brown butter + maple syrup, now that's heaven. I heart brown butter.

Kabocha Soup
1/2 Kabocha
1/2 onion
1 cup milk
2 cubes chicken bouillon
2 1/3 cups water
1 tbsp butter
salt and pepper to season

Slice onion thinly. Take out kabocha seeds and cut kabocha into large blocks. Place kabocha on a plate and microwave for 4 minutes. Take off skin and slice kabocha thinly. Saute onion slices with butter in a pan. Add kabocha slices in the pan and saute together. Add chicken bouillon and water. Simmer onion and kabocha until soften. Puree soup. Put back in the pan and add milk. Heat the soup over low heat and season with salt and pepper. (original recipe from japanesefood.about.com)

Roasted Kabocha with Brown Butter

1/2 Kabocha
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 cup pecan halves
1/4 cup butter
6 teaspoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
Fleur de sel

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Scoop out seeds and cut the squash into 1/8's. Brush the cut surfaces with oil. Put kabocha cut-side down on a foil-lined baking pan. Roast until the squash is fork tender, about 60 minutes. Toast pecans on a large baking pan until lightly browned, about 6 to 8 minutes. Set aside.

Brown Butter Melt unsalted butter in a small sauté pan over medium heat, cooking it until the water cooks off, then turn down the heat and continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the solids turn golden brown. The whisking ensures even browning. If you have a light-colored pan, that's the one to use, as it makes it easy to see the browning.

Mix the pecans with 1 teaspoon of the browned butter and the sea salt.

Turn on broiler. Turn the kabocha upright with the skin side down. Drizzle each baked kabocha with maple syrup. Put the kabocha under the broiler until the edges are slightly charred and the syrup has a nice glaze, 3 to 4 minutes.

Go crazy with the browned butter over each kabocha, then sprinkle the nutmeg, toasted pecans and a little fleur de sel on each kabocha and serve with vanilla ice-cream.
(original recipe from Los Angeles Times)



Anonymous said...

So if Momotaro was the 'Peach Boy' who's dis guy?


Anonymous said...

where is her clothes, salvation army or good wills... ha ha ha...

Anonymous said...

Kewpie Daisuki!!

Tokyoastrogirl said...

Kewpie-chan chou kawaii desu ne?!?!

Daily Gluttony said...

That kabocha looks goooood...I LOOOOOOVE kabocha! So comforting!

I'm right there wit' ya sister on the crisp weather! Can't stand it. That's the main reason why I choose to stay in LA vs. the Bay Area. Seriously. My family thinks I'm insane.

lilly said...

jeni!!! you still read xanga! yay! i tried to find the pinkberry in ktown but we totally got lost :o( so we ended up at fiore instead. i :heart: the green tea especially with mango. man i might go for lunch again today. hope i run into you there sometime!! maybe we can have a fiore date in the near future ;)

Chubbypanda said...

(o.O) How did you and that recipe site discover my secret kabocha soup recipe!?!?! Brain ninjas! Had to be!

Oh well, I 'spose it wasn't that complicated. I add a little twist with my choice of toppings, which I'll share when I eventually post my version. =b

Both dishes look very well made.

- Chubbypanda

Anonymous said...

I love kabocha! It's so yummy. But i just like it plain and steamed, preferably after it has chilled in the fridge. It tastes like ice cream. my family likes to put mochi in our kabocha juk.

Jeni said...

Anonymous...this is Kewpie. She loves food and is my new friend when I eat alone. Expect to see her with my tacos. Tacostaro???

Anonymous...for some reason I'm thinking you might be my mom. Mom, what happened to your ALL-CAPS?

Anonymous...Kewpie daisuki too!

TAG...osakaastrogirl says, "Kewpie mecha kawaii yo!"

DG...my bro lives up in SF and I go crazy whenever I have to visit. It's toooo cold. No fun no fun!

Hey Lilly. Yes, I still read my xanga updates. I'm sorry you couldn't find the Ktown PB. It's my favorite!!! Let me know when you want to go on a Fiore date. I'm down.

Mr. Chubbypanda,
I'm sorry about the brain ninjas. Wow, I've never gotten that compliment before. I've always wanted to be a ninja and fly off of walls with my black Chinatown kung-fu shoes.

I'm looking forward to your "twist." Yumm!

Anonymous...ooh...chilled in the fridge. Your description sounds like how my mom describes durian only without the a** stentch. Kabocha's are soo cute! Thanks for visiting!

dancing fool said...

Hey girl, how are ya?
Oh yum the Kabocha with brown butter looks amazing. I will have to try that one, so glad you have recipees on here. And I feel you on cold weather, yuck I hate it!

BoLA said...

GIRL! Your Kabochas are HAWT!!! ;)

Jeni said...

Hey Dancing Fool...brown butter is amazing! Hey...we'll be up there in a couple of weeks. Sonoma time!

Thanks BOLA! I had tons of fun with you at the wedding. Fun fun!!!

Yuzu said...

Oh, thanks for posting the kabocha soup recipe! I like kabocha but have never cooked with it. Your soup looks great!

Lael said...

This was one of the first links that came up in my google search, and I'm so glad it did! This was all I needed for inspiration on how to use the kabocha I just bought at an Asian grocery store. I may try both recipes, but definitely the sweet brown butter one! Thanks for sharing. You have a very cute blog.

Anonymous said...

kabocha diaski desu ne!!!! OISHII!!!!!

Darth Mama said...

I just happened upon your blog while looking for the exact recipe for making butter (no exact recipe needed - lol) and discovered this kabocha soup. I immediately made it because I had a kobacha on my counter slated for simmered kabocha drizzled with shoyu. (Honestly, I am tired of simmered kabocha but the hubby loves it). So I whipped it up in no time, and it was incredibly delicious. Soooo delicious. Thanks, for sharing the recipe!

Daryl Furuyama said...

Hey Jeni,

How's it going? Haha, I just picked some kabochas from my back yard and typed "kabocha soup recipe" into google and yours was the 3rd result. Then I looked at the side of the page and saw "Jeni Afuso Photography" and I was like "Wait a second...I know her!" Long time no see though :(


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