Pumpkin Soup with Fried Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin Soup with Fried Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin Soup with Fried Pumpkin Seeds

This crowd-pleaser is exactly the kind of sultry, comforting indulgence you want on a cold Autumn night. It's great for a crowd because everyone gets their own individual pumpkin, and each component can be made ahead of time. 

Ingredients

For the soup:

1 large sugar or pie pumpkin cut half and seeds removed and reserved (plus 4 small ones if you are making pumpkin bowls)

1 tablespoon olive oil

salt and pepper

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 small shallots chopped

1 teaspoon fresh thyme chopped

4 cups chicken broth (or veggie broth if you desire)

1 cup coconut milk + 1 cup water or 2 cups water

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper or more or less to your liking

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1 tablespoon pure maple syrup

pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

For the fried pumpkin seeds:

1 tablespoon coconut milk

1 tablespoon flour

reserved pumpkin seeds from above

1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder

1/4 teaspoon brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon pepper

salt, to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Cut your pumpkin in half or into fourths and reserve the pumpkin seeds for later. Place the pumpkin on a baking sheet and rub the pumpkin with 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. 

  2. Chop off the top portion of the garlic head to reveal cloves. Peel any excess paper/skin off from the bulb of garlic. Pour about a teaspoon of olive oil on top the garlic cloves and cover with foil. Roast both the pumpkin and garlic together on the same baking sheet for 45 minutes, or until the pumpkin is fork tender and the garlic golden brown and soft. 

  3. Remove from the oven and allow everything to cool five minutes. Squeeze garlic out of the paper skin into a small bowl and mash well with a fork, set aside.

  4. Scoop your pumpkin out, removing all the cooked flesh, leaving the shells in-tact. Puree with 1 cup of the chicken broth, puree until completely smooth.

  5. Heat a large pot over medium heat and add the butter and shallots. Saute the the shallots until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the thyme and cook another 30 seconds. Add the pumpkin puree, remaining chicken, coconut milk, water, cayenne, nutmeg, maple syrup and crushed red pepper. Bring the soup to a low simmer and simmer 15-20 minutes.

  6. To fry the pumpkin seeds. Add the reserved pumpkin seeds to a bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon coconut milk and 1 tablespoon flour. In a small bowl combine the chipotle chili powder, pepper and brown sugar. Place a skillet on the stove top and set to medium heat, add the olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the pumpkin seeds into the pan, but be careful!

  7. Stir the pumpkin seeds around in the skillet with a spoon or spatula continuously until they expand and start to brown. Once the seeds are browned remove from the skillet and place on a paper towel to drain. Toss with the chili powder and a good pinch of salt. Taste and season accordingly.

  8. To assemble the soup, ladle the soup into bowls (or your roasted pumpkins) and top each bowl with a dollop of pesto, a sprinkle of pumpkin seeds and if desired drizzle with coconut milk. 


About the Chef

Stephanie Goldfarb is a Chicago-based chef and national food television personality specializing in seasonal, globally-inspired cuisine. Recognized as the winner of Food Network’s America’s Best Cook competition, and a celebrity chef on Kitchen Inferno and NBC’s Food Fighters, Goldfarb delivers unique and relatable culinary experiences to discriminating and casual diners alike. As the owner of the successful Seven Species Supper Club & Catering, she enjoys the challenge of building brand new menus each month that inspire both repeat clients and newcomers, and seeks opportunities to utilize new ingredients, techniques, and approaches in accessible ways.

Out-of-the-Box Ways That You Should be Eating Your Bananas

Out-of-the-Box Ways That You Should be Eating Your Bananas

Out-of-the-Box Ways That You Should be Eating Your Bananas

As a professional chef, I’m always looking for inspiration from distant places to captivate my guests’ attentions. But sometimes, the best inspiration comes from the ubiquitous, everyday items I see in my pantry. Bananas are a great example.

Of course, everyone loves them sliced into fruit salads, blended into smoothies, and mashed into pancake and bread batter, but there is so much more potential locked away in that yellow skin! For example, bananas’ natural sweetness lends itself perfectly to savory applications. Try throwing in large slices of just ripe bananas into Caribbean yellow curry with onions, potatoes, chilies, and green bell peppers.

Bananas also make an incredible base for homemade ketchups and bbq sauces. Crunchy Filipino lumpia just out of the fryer practically necessitates a generous slather of banana ketchup. And if you loved peanut butter and banana sandwiches as a kid, then you’ll love Chinese style cold soba peanut noodles with bananas, cilantro, lime, and spring onion.

The It’s a classic Western taste profile in an Eastern delivery system. Banana’s are also lovely dehydrated in a low oven overnight, and turn into crispy snacks or garnishes without any effort at all.

Lastly, try using chunks of banana as a base for fruit chutneys and salsas, similar to the ways in which mangoes and coconuts are used. The sweetness will balance out any sharp or hot flavors and compliment your main dishes beautifully.


About the Chef

Stephanie Goldfarb is a Chicago-based chef and national food television personality specializing in seasonal, globally-inspired cuisine. Recognized as the winner of Food Network’s America’s Best Cook competition, and a celebrity chef on Kitchen Inferno and NBC’s Food Fighters, Goldfarb delivers unique and relatable culinary experiences to discriminating and casual diners alike. As the owner of the successful Seven Species Supper Club & Catering, she enjoys the challenge of building brand new menus each month that inspire both repeat clients and newcomers, and seeks opportunities to utilize new ingredients, techniques, and approaches in accessible ways.

Thai Style Fried Bananas

Thai Style Fried Bananas

Thai Style Fried Bananas

Fried bananas are a popular dessert and snack food in Thailand and throughout Southeast Asia. The dish is more often known as goreng pisang in Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, and surrounding countries.

It's difficult to make fried bananas as good as those sold by street food vendors in Thailand and elsewhere. That said, this recipe is as close as it can get. It gets rave reviews from Thai and Singaporean taste testers. It can be served with coconut ice cream, but vanilla ice cream works too, or just enjoy them hot from the pan.

Ingredients

  • 2 to 4 regular bananas

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 cup rice flour

  • 1/4 cup cornstarch

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 3 tablespoons dry shredded unsweetened coconut

  • 1/3 cup cold water

  • 1/3 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 large egg

  • Few drops vanilla

  • 3/4 cup sunflower oil

Directions

  1. Place oil to a depth of 3/4 to 1-inch into a small skillet or wok and heat.

  2. Meanwhile, prepare the bananas by peeling and slicing them in half. Then slice each section in half again, but lengthwise this time.

  3. In a medium mixing bowl, place all-purpose flour, 1/4 cup of rice flour, cornstarch, salt, and two tablespoons of the shredded coconut and stir to combine.

  4. In a measuring cup, mix together cold water with baking soda and pour into bowl with flour mixture. Add the egg and the vanilla. Stir well to create a smooth batter.

  5. Place remaining 1/3 cup rice flour in a separate, dry bowl and add remaining one tablespoon shredded coconut. Mix well and set next to the batter.

  6. Dip banana pieces first in the batter, then gently dredge them in the rice flour-coconut mixture. This last step helps firm up the batter and is the secret to creating a crisp (rather than soggy) coating. Your bananas are now ready for frying.

  7. Carefully place coated bananas in the hot oil. Fry approximately one minute per side, or until batter puffs up slightly and turns light to medium golden-brown. Remove from heat and drain on paper towel.

  8. Serve your fried bananas as soon as possible as is or with a side of coconut or vanilla ice cream on the side. For a fancier presentation, place them on a serving platter and sprinkle with confectioners' sugar.


About the Chef

Stephanie Goldfarb is a Chicago-based chef and national food television personality specializing in seasonal, globally-inspired cuisine. Recognized as the winner of Food Network’s America’s Best Cook competition, and a celebrity chef on Kitchen Inferno and NBC’s Food Fighters, Goldfarb delivers unique and relatable culinary experiences to discriminating and casual diners alike. As the owner of the successful Seven Species Supper Club & Catering, she enjoys the challenge of building brand new menus each month that inspire both repeat clients and newcomers, and seeks opportunities to utilize new ingredients, techniques, and approaches in accessible ways.

Why Persimmons Are Giving Pumpkin Season a Run For Its Money

Why Persimmons Are Giving Pumpkin Season a Run For Its Money

Why Persimmons Are Giving Pumpkin Season a Run For Its Money

Super-sweet, bloomy, and delicious both raw and cooked, persimmons are a sure-fire way to get a seasonal “wow!” from your guests.

In the west, persimmons are sold under two names: Fuyu persimmons, which are squat with a flat base (similar in shape to a tomato) are sweet and can be eaten when they are either firm or soft.

Hachiya persimmons, which are longer and taper to a blunt point, (similar in shape to an oversize acorn) have an unpleasant astringent taste when unripe, and can only be eaten when completely soft.

Fresh Fuyus are generally firm enough to slice and munch like an apple. They work well in salads or baked in pies and cakes, and can even be sliced thin and dehydrated into crunchy chips.

Ripe Hachiyas, on the other hand, are often too squishy to bite into without making a mess. They are perfect spooned out of their skins and incorporated into jams or compotes.

Both varieties are lovely paired with fresh cheeses, herbs, smoked meats for savory applications. Think the autumnal version of melon and prosciutto. I love them best though eaten right out of hand!


About the Chef

Stephanie Goldfarb is a Chicago-based chef and national food television personality specializing in seasonal, globally-inspired cuisine. Recognized as the winner of Food Network’s America’s Best Cook competition, and a celebrity chef on Kitchen Inferno and NBC’s Food Fighters, Goldfarb delivers unique and relatable culinary experiences to discriminating and casual diners alike. As the owner of the successful Seven Species Supper Club & Catering, she enjoys the challenge of building brand new menus each month that inspire both repeat clients and newcomers, and seeks opportunities to utilize new ingredients, techniques, and approaches in accessible ways.

Cinnamon-Broiled Persimmons

Cinnamon-Broiled Persimmons

Cinnamon-Broiled Persimmons

This dish is simplicity and elegance in one dish. Nothing beats ripe persimmons, except for when they have a slightly crunchy, sugary, caramelized exterior. This is a beautiful fall dessert that will make you wish persimmons were available in every season.

Ingredients

  • 4 Fuyu persimmons, firm and ripe

  • 1 cinnamon stick

  • 1 inch piece of peeled ginger

  • 2 star anise pods

  • 1 vanilla bean, cut lengthwise with beans scraped out

  • 4 tbs honey

  • ⅓ cup boiling water

  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced

  • 2 limes, zested and juiced

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degree. Cut persimmons in half horizontally (you can leave the skins on).

  2. Place cut-side-up in a baking dish. Combine cinnamon, ginger, star anise (if using), vanilla, honey, lemon zest and juice and boiling water in a bowl, then pour over persimmons.

  3. Cover with tinfoil and bake for about 45 minutes, or until persimmons are soft. Check on the persimmons halfway through cooking time and if they are looking dry you can top up with a little more liquid if needed.

  4. Switch oven to the broiler. Remove tinfoil and spoon honey syrup over the top of the persimmons, then return to the oven to grill for 5-10 minutes or until the tops are caramelized and browned.

  5. Divide persimmons between serving plates and serve with a dollop of yoghurt, crème fraiche or scoop of ice-cream on the side. Drizzle over syrup from the baking dish, and serve with a wedge of lemon or lime to squeeze over just before eating.


About the Chef

Stephanie Goldfarb is a Chicago-based chef and national food television personality specializing in seasonal, globally-inspired cuisine. Recognized as the winner of Food Network’s America’s Best Cook competition, and a celebrity chef on Kitchen Inferno and NBC’s Food Fighters, Goldfarb delivers unique and relatable culinary experiences to discriminating and casual diners alike. As the owner of the successful Seven Species Supper Club & Catering, she enjoys the challenge of building brand new menus each month that inspire both repeat clients and newcomers, and seeks opportunities to utilize new ingredients, techniques, and approaches in accessible ways.

When It Comes to Cauliflower, We've (Thankfully) Come A Long Way

When It Comes to Cauliflower, We've (Thankfully) Come A Long Way

When It Comes to Cauliflower, We've (Thankfully) Come A Long Way

It’s incredible what good marketing, time, and proper cooking techniques can do for a vegetable. Not long ago, cauliflower was on every child’s fear list, and was scarcely present on restaurant menus. Most of us were either boiling it to death, or serving it unceremoniously raw on crudite platters.

We know better now. Cauliflower can withstand deep frying, broiling, searing, and pureeing. It is inexpensive, has a long shelf-life, and acts as a deliciously porous sponge, soaking up aromatics and spices like a champ.

Deep fried florets coated in flour and cornstarch tops my charts and can be adorned with General Tso’s or Buffalo Wing-style sauces. Roasting cauliflower retains its inviting texture while imparting deep caramelization. Toss florets in olive oil, fresh chopped garlic, oregano, and onion powder and roast until they turn brown and crispy for an irresistible side dish.

Cauliflower is also perfect for purees and mashes because its starch content adds richness and body. Pureed soups, like butternut squash, benefit enormously from the addition of cauliflower. If your diners love mashed potatoes, they will also love cauliflower mashed with white beans and cloves of whole, roasted garlic.

This healthier alternative packs in flavor and can be made far in advance, unlike mashed potatoes. No matter what the application, just make sure you choose fresh cauliflower with firmly bound florets that don’t have a ton of dark patches on it.


About the Chef

Stephanie Goldfarb is a Chicago-based chef and national food television personality specializing in seasonal, globally-inspired cuisine. Recognized as the winner of Food Network’s America’s Best Cook competition, and a celebrity chef on Kitchen Inferno and NBC’s Food Fighters, Goldfarb delivers unique and relatable culinary experiences to discriminating and casual diners alike. As the owner of the successful Seven Species Supper Club & Catering, she enjoys the challenge of building brand new menus each month that inspire both repeat clients and newcomers, and seeks opportunities to utilize new ingredients, techniques, and approaches in accessible ways.

Roasted Cauliflower Sliders

Roasted Cauliflower Sliders

Roasted Cauliflower Sliders

Ok, so it’s not a burger, but when treated correctly, cauliflower can be just as substantial. These sliders are fresh yet indulgent, and will please any crowd! Adjust the heat level as-desired, and if you are feeling generous, spring for the brioche buns instead.

Ingredients

  • 1 head cauliflower

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika

  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme

  • ¾ cup Greek yogurt

  • 2 tablespoons Sriracha

  • 12 slider buns, halved

  • ¾ cup hummus

  • 3 cups sprouts

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. Break the cauliflower into large florets (about 3 inches wide) and then cut the florets into ½-inch-thick slices. (The cauliflower slices will be about the size of a slider bun.)

  3. Arrange the cauliflower slices in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt, pepper, smoked paprika and thyme.

  4. Roast until the cauliflower is golden brown and tender, 17 to 20 minutes. Toast the buns in the same oven while the cauliflower roasts, and set aside.

  5. In a small bowl, whisk the yogurt with the Sriracha to combine.

  6. Open the slider buns and spread a layer of hummus on the bottom half of each bun. Top each with a piece of roasted cauliflower.

  7. Spread a layer of spicy yogurt on the top half of each bun and place ¼ cup sprouts on top of the yogurt. Close the buns and serve immediately.


About the Chef

Stephanie Goldfarb is a Chicago-based chef and national food television personality specializing in seasonal, globally-inspired cuisine. Recognized as the winner of Food Network’s America’s Best Cook competition, and a celebrity chef on Kitchen Inferno and NBC’s Food Fighters, Goldfarb delivers unique and relatable culinary experiences to discriminating and casual diners alike. As the owner of the successful Seven Species Supper Club & Catering, she enjoys the challenge of building brand new menus each month that inspire both repeat clients and newcomers, and seeks opportunities to utilize new ingredients, techniques, and approaches in accessible ways.

Photo cred: Pinch of Yum

Red Bell Pepper Bliss

Red Bell Pepper Bliss

Red Bell Pepper Bliss

Bell peppers are mainstays in most of our produce drawers at home, and in professional kitchens. They form the base of mirepoix and sofritos that elevate our sauces and soups, fill out our fajitas, and get stuffed with everything from sausage to rice.

Red bell peppers are fully ripened versions of yellow and green bell, resulting in their sweeter, fruitier flavor.  Try roasting red bell peppers over high flames until their flesh is totally charred, seal them in a paper bag for 10 minutes to allow the black bits to steam away from the tender flesh inside.

Peel away the skin, and reveal super sweet, smokey flesh that can be used in everything from posole, to tacos, to middle eastern dips like muhamarra. Raw red bell peppers are delicious thrown into salads, and are equally nice baked right onto pizza, stir fried with soy and sesame, and even naked open face with eggs and cheese for a spectacular brunch dish!


About the Chef

Stephanie Goldfarb is a Chicago-based chef and national food television personality specializing in seasonal, globally-inspired cuisine. Recognized as the winner of Food Network’s America’s Best Cook competition, and a celebrity chef on Kitchen Inferno and NBC’s Food Fighters, Goldfarb delivers unique and relatable culinary experiences to discriminating and casual diners alike. As the owner of the successful Seven Species Supper Club & Catering, she enjoys the challenge of building brand new menus each month that inspire both repeat clients and newcomers, and seeks opportunities to utilize new ingredients, techniques, and approaches in accessible ways.

Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Soup

Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Soup

Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Soup

This recipe is a classic for a reason. Warm, satisfying, and soulful, it’s packed with flavor, color, and body. The addition of red wine vinegar plays so nicely with the natural sweetness of the bell pepper, and the heavy cream balances it all out.

Ingredients

3 large red bell peppers
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped onions
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried
3 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1/8 teaspoon red chilli powder
Toasted sunflower seeds for garnish

Directions

Roast bell peppers over a gas flame until they become charred, and remove their skin, seed and membranes. You can also roast them on a sheet tray in the oven at 450 degrees. Chop the roasted bell peppers in one inch pieces.

In a soup pot add olive oil and add onions and garlic and saute until they become soft and translucent. Add fresh thyme sprig. Add the vegetable broth and bring the mixture to a boil.

Add chopped roasted bell peppers. Let it simmer for a couple of minutes until the bell peppers have become soft and tender.

Turn the flame off and puree the soup with a hand blender. It should be smooth.

Add red wine vinegar to the soup for some acidity, and the cream for body. Taste the soup and make sure you like the salt levels. Add chili powder to taste. Serve hot with some crunchy bread.


About the Chef

Stephanie Goldfarb is a Chicago-based chef and national food television personality specializing in seasonal, globally-inspired cuisine. Recognized as the winner of Food Network’s America’s Best Cook competition, and a celebrity chef on Kitchen Inferno and NBC’s Food Fighters, Goldfarb delivers unique and relatable culinary experiences to discriminating and casual diners alike. As the owner of the successful Seven Species Supper Club & Catering, she enjoys the challenge of building brand new menus each month that inspire both repeat clients and newcomers, and seeks opportunities to utilize new ingredients, techniques, and approaches in accessible ways.

Why You Should Give Green Beans a Chance

Why You Should Give Green Beans a Chance

Why You Should Give Green Beans a Chance

Green beans don’t get enough attention in the culinary world, and I think that should change. They are super versatile, tasty, and they are a cinch to cook.

One of my all-time favorite dishes is Szechuan green beans that get “dry fried” in a scalding hot wok with chilies, garlic, soy, and mirin. The high heat prevents them from over-cooking (which is the ultimate faux-pas for this veggie), and the grassy green beans are mellowed out by the salt and heat.

Green beans are also lovely for foodservice kitchens because the can be blanched, shocked, and cooled until they are needed. Green beans pair really well with strong flavors like pecans, balsamic vinegar, blue cheese, white wine, and garlic.

When peas aren’t in-season, I love throwing handfuls of chopped green beans into my risotto, especially if they are kept slightly al dente. And nothing brings more body and volume to a plate than a tangle of perfectly roasted or sauteed green beans. Try dredging them in tempura batter in small handfuls and deep frying little bundles of them together. The presentation is gorgeous, and they hold their shape very well!


About the Chef

Stephanie Goldfarb is a Chicago-based chef and national food television personality specializing in seasonal, globally-inspired cuisine. Recognized as the winner of Food Network’s America’s Best Cook competition, and a celebrity chef on Kitchen Inferno and NBC’s Food Fighters, Goldfarb delivers unique and relatable culinary experiences to discriminating and casual diners alike. As the owner of the successful Seven Species Supper Club & Catering, she enjoys the challenge of building brand new menus each month that inspire both repeat clients and newcomers, and seeks opportunities to utilize new ingredients, techniques, and approaches in accessible ways.

Japanese Style Green Beans with Toasted Sesame Dressing

Japanese Style Green Beans with Toasted Sesame Dressing

Japanese Style Green Beans with Toasted Sesame Dressing

This is an elegant and deceptively simple salad that will leave you curiously addicted to green beans. The dressing can be made ahead of time, and you'll want to make a double batch to keep in the fridge. Trust me.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups green beans, ends trimmed
  • 2 tbs vegetable oil
  • ⅓ cup toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey
  • 1 tablespoon mirin
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce or tamari
  • Salt to taste

Directions

  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat. Throw in the green beans and allow them to cook for just a minute or so, or until they just begin to blister.
  2. Place the rest of the ingredients in a food processor and process to a paste; be careful not to overprocess into tahini-like smoothness — you want it to have texture.
  3. Toss with the green beans and serve warm, or room temp.

About the Chef

Stephanie Goldfarb is a Chicago-based chef and national food television personality specializing in seasonal, globally-inspired cuisine. Recognized as the winner of Food Network’s America’s Best Cook competition, and a celebrity chef on Kitchen Inferno and NBC’s Food Fighters, Goldfarb delivers unique and relatable culinary experiences to discriminating and casual diners alike. As the owner of the successful Seven Species Supper Club & Catering, she enjoys the challenge of building brand new menus each month that inspire both repeat clients and newcomers, and seeks opportunities to utilize new ingredients, techniques, and approaches in accessible ways.

Butternut Squash is the G.O.A.T of Fall Produce

Butternut Squash is the G.O.A.T of Fall Produce

Butternut Squash is the G.O.A.T of Fall Produce

I know, none of us are ready for summer to go. But with the movement from August to September comes an incredible bounty of gorgeous produce that makes up for the drop in temp.

For me, Butternut Squash is the king of all of it. It’s beautiful, healthy, and hearty enough to adapt to every cooking application I can think of. The natural sweetness is delicious when paired with other sweet items such as apples, onions, even brown sugar.

But to me, Butternut Squash is at its best when highlighted with savory elements such as curry, chiles, garlic, and fish sauce. I love Middle Eastern flavors stuffed inside the cavity of Butternut Squash, such as lamb, cinnamon, saffron, and basmati rice. It’s also incredibly tasty when paired with strong cheeses like gorgonzola and Pecorino.

A perfect side to any main dish is deeply caramelized squash, especially when roasted with purple onion and garlic. I love steaming Butternut squash and pureeing it with salted butter and chicken stock or dashi because it creates a glossy, vibrant sauce or puree, depending on the amount of liquid used.

And if you are lucky enough to own a spiralizer, Butternut Squash noodles are surprisingly satisfying and filling, especially when simmered in spicy, roasted garlic tomato cream sauce. Lastly, please remember that it’s not just about the flesh! Butternut squash skin is absolutely delicious when deeply roasted; no need to worry about peeling!


About the Chef

Stephanie Goldfarb is a Chicago-based chef and national food television personality specializing in seasonal, globally-inspired cuisine. Recognized as the winner of Food Network’s America’s Best Cook competition, and a celebrity chef on Kitchen Inferno and NBC’s Food Fighters, Goldfarb delivers unique and relatable culinary experiences to discriminating and casual diners alike. As the owner of the successful Seven Species Supper Club & Catering, she enjoys the challenge of building brand new menus each month that inspire both repeat clients and newcomers, and seeks opportunities to utilize new ingredients, techniques, and approaches in accessible ways.

Persian Lamb-Stuffed Butternut Squash

Persian Lamb-Stuffed Butternut Squash

Persian Lamb-Stuffed Butternut Squash

Dried cherries, pistachios and ready-cooked rice make an easy, flavorful stuffing. Roasted butternut squash is the perfect cooking vessel, with extra-easy cleanup!

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups basmati rice
  • 2 butternut squash, halved lengthwise
  • 4 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • ½ large yellow onion, minced
  • ½ lb ground lamb
  • ¾ cup roasted pistachios or almonds, coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup finely chopped green onions
  • ⅓ cup chopped dried cherries
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¾ tsp ground cumin
     

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Boil the rice according to the package instructions, and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, using a metal spoon, scrape out seeds and membranes from squash halves. Using a sharp knife, score the flesh. Place squash, cut side up, on prepared pan, spacing evenly. Brush cut sides with 2 tbsp oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in preheated oven for 35 minutes.
  3. Remove pan from oven and add red pepper alongside squash. Drizzle pepper with 1 tbsp (15 mL) oil. Roast for 10 minutes.
  4. Heat some oil in the bottom of a heavy saute pan, and cook the onions until they are brown and soft. Add the ground lamb and cook until it begins to brown. Add the rice, pistachios, green onions, cherries, cinnamon, cumin and the remaining oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Remove pan from oven and spoon rice mixture into squash cavities. Roast for 15 to 18 minutes or until squash is fork-tender and stuffing is warmed through.

About the Chef

Stephanie Goldfarb is a Chicago-based chef and national food television personality specializing in seasonal, globally-inspired cuisine. Recognized as the winner of Food Network’s America’s Best Cook competition, and a celebrity chef on Kitchen Inferno and NBC’s Food Fighters, Goldfarb delivers unique and relatable culinary experiences to discriminating and casual diners alike. As the owner of the successful Seven Species Supper Club & Catering, she enjoys the challenge of building brand new menus each month that inspire both repeat clients and newcomers, and seeks opportunities to utilize new ingredients, techniques, and approaches in accessible ways.

How to Expand Your Horizons with Exotic Dragon Fruit

How to Expand Your Horizons with Exotic Dragon Fruit

How to Expand Your Horizons with Exotic Dragon Fruit

All fruit is beautiful, but some fruits are just more gorgeous than others. Dragon fruit is one of those beauties that is prized more for its color than it’s flavor, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing! It’s outrageously hot pink, and the inside flesh (which comes in either stark white or magenta) is dotted with beautiful little black seed specks.

Dragon fruit indicates a kind of tropical luxury in any dish featuring it, and pairs incredibly well with other warm-weather fruits like pineapple, melons, stone fruit, and berries. Dragon fruit is stunning to look at, and mildly sweet. It is often compared to kiwi because of the seeds and white flesh, but I think it tastes more like a subtle melon.

Try using Dragon Fruit in a semifreddo for dessert. It can also be diced an incorporated into a winter salsa, perfect for adorning seared scallops. Dragon fruit can also be cooked down with cranberries and served as a compote on the side of grilled or roasted meat. Basically, anywhere you want a pop of dramatically speckled sweet fruit, Dragon fruit is your friend!
 


About the Chef

Stephanie Goldfarb is a Chicago-based chef and national food television personality specializing in seasonal, globally-inspired cuisine. Recognized as the winner of Food Network’s America’s Best Cook competition, and a celebrity chef on Kitchen Inferno and NBC’s Food Fighters, Goldfarb delivers unique and relatable culinary experiences to discriminating and casual diners alike. As the owner of the successful Seven Species Supper Club & Catering, she enjoys the challenge of building brand new menus each month that inspire both repeat clients and newcomers, and seeks opportunities to utilize new ingredients, techniques, and approaches in accessible ways.

Dragon Fruit Power Bowl

Dragon Fruit Power Bowl

Dragon Fruit Power Bowl

This vibrant magenta smoothie bowl is as delicious as it is beautiful. Dragon fruit doesn't have much flavor (but loads of color), which lets the other ingredients, like delicately sweet almond milk, tangy kombucha, and tart pineapple shine.

You can't go wrong with tropical fruit toppers, but pineapple is quite striking when paired with pistachios and bee pollen. Fizzy kombucha makes the texture of this easy smoothie bowl quite unique and addicting, as well as super healthy.

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 4 ounces frozen fresh pineapple chunks (about 1 cup)
  • 3 ounces pink dragon fruit flesh (from about 1 pink-fleshed dragon fruit)
  • 1/4 cup kombucha
  • 1 ounce fresh pineapple slices (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1/2 tablespoon unsalted roasted pistachios
  • 1 teaspoon bee pollen

Directions

  1. Whisk together almond milk and chia seeds in a serving bowl. Chill until thickened, about 15 minutes, whisking once after 7 minutes.
  2. Combine pineapple chunks, dragon fruit, and kombucha in a blender. Process on high until smooth, about 1 minute.
  3. Push thickened chia mixture to one side of serving bowl; pour smoothie into empty side. Garnish with fresh pineapple slices, pistachios, and bee pollen.

About the Chef

Stephanie Goldfarb is a Chicago-based chef and national food television personality specializing in seasonal, globally-inspired cuisine. Recognized as the winner of Food Network’s America’s Best Cook competition, and a celebrity chef on Kitchen Inferno and NBC’s Food Fighters, Goldfarb delivers unique and relatable culinary experiences to discriminating and casual diners alike. As the owner of the successful Seven Species Supper Club & Catering, she enjoys the challenge of building brand new menus each month that inspire both repeat clients and newcomers, and seeks opportunities to utilize new ingredients, techniques, and approaches in accessible ways.

Stop Staring at Those Beautiful Heirloom Tomatoes and Eat Them!

Stop Staring at Those Beautiful Heirloom Tomatoes and Eat Them!

Stop Staring at Those Beautiful Heirloom Tomatoes and Eat Them!

This season is a blessing and a curse. We spend all winter salivating over the idea of perfectly ripe tomatoes, and as summer ends we are so overrun that we start giving them away/forcing them upon anyone close enough to catch one.

Plus, sometimes I feel overwhelmed by gorgeous produce to the point where I hesitate to do anything more to it than wash it and eat it out of hand. Why mess with a good thing? Heirloom tomatoes are a perfect example of produce I just want to stare at. Sea salt, black pepper and olive oil are really all you need to savor your heirloom varieties, freshly plucked from the vine. But preserving these beauties for snowy days is beyond simple.

A simple pickling liquid of vinegar, salt, and sugar will do the trick, especially for any stubborn green tomatoes that refuse to ripen. My all-time favorite tomato preservation method is chow chow, which is sweet, herbaceous, and laced with earthy onions and chilies. It’s a perfect fridge condiment that can stand in for salsa or ketchup on burgers.

Try making up a quick batch of butter-based dough, roll it out into a circle, and form it around perfect slices of heirlooms. Dot with a touch of goat cheese and bake or grill until everything is nice and bubbly and brown. Galette perfection, fit for a brunch or bbq crowd!

And when in doubt, cheese (think bouratta, parmesan, and goat), spicy green olive oil, sea salt, and fresh herbs can turn heirlooms into a full-blown meal.


About the Chef

Stephanie Goldfarb is a Chicago-based chef and national food television personality specializing in seasonal, globally-inspired cuisine. Recognized as the winner of Food Network’s America’s Best Cook competition, and a celebrity chef on Kitchen Inferno and NBC’s Food Fighters, Goldfarb delivers unique and relatable culinary experiences to discriminating and casual diners alike. As the owner of the successful Seven Species Supper Club & Catering, she enjoys the challenge of building brand new menus each month that inspire both repeat clients and newcomers, and seeks opportunities to utilize new ingredients, techniques, and approaches in accessible ways.

Heirloom Tomato Salad with Pickled Fennel and Chilies

Heirloom Tomato Salad with Pickled Fennel and Chilies

Heirloom Tomato Salad with Pickled Fennel and Chilies

This is a farmer’s market fever dream of a salad. It contains some of the greatest hits of late summer! The pickled, sour fennel plays gorgeously off of the super sweet heirlooms. And nobody would hate you if you added some salty aged cheese into the mix.

Ingredients

Pickled fennel:

  • 1 medium fennel bulb, cored, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt

Assembly:

  • 2 pounds large heirloom tomatoes (about 3), cut into wedges
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, preferably heirloom, halved
  • 2 tablespoons white balsamic or Sherry vinegar
  • 7 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 2 Cubanelle peppers or Anaheim chiles, sliced into 3/4" rings, seeded
  • Fennel fronds (for serving)
  • Fresh basil (for serving)

Directions

For pickled fennel:
Bring vinegar, sugar, salt, and 1/2 cup water to a boil in a medium saucepan, stirring to dissolve sugar and salt. Pour vinegar mixture over fennel and let cool; discard sachet. Cover fennel and chill at least 12 hours.


For assembly:
Combine large and cherry tomatoes, vinegar, and 6 tablespoons oil in a medium bowl; season with salt and pepper. Let sit at room temperature 30 minutes.


Before serving, heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a medium skillet over high heat. Cook Cubanelle peppers, tossing often, until charred in spots, about 4 minutes.
Serve tomato salad topped with peppers, pickled fennel, fennel fronds, and basil.


About the Chef

Stephanie Goldfarb is a Chicago-based chef and national food television personality specializing in seasonal, globally-inspired cuisine. Recognized as the winner of Food Network’s America’s Best Cook competition, and a celebrity chef on Kitchen Inferno and NBC’s Food Fighters, Goldfarb delivers unique and relatable culinary experiences to discriminating and casual diners alike. As the owner of the successful Seven Species Supper Club & Catering, she enjoys the challenge of building brand new menus each month that inspire both repeat clients and newcomers, and seeks opportunities to utilize new ingredients, techniques, and approaches in accessible ways.

It's Time to Welcome Romaine Back into Your Life

It's Time to Welcome Romaine Back into Your Life

It's Time to Welcome Romaine Back into Your Life

We know what you’re thinking; the word “Romaine” has had a tricky amount of pressure added to it this year. However, according to our Procurement team, supplies are on the higher side with good signs coming from both demand and quality!

If you ate a salad in the past 20 years, chances are you had a tiny voice in the back of your head that told you to choose a dark leafy green. 

While spring mix, spinach, and kale are often hailed as the salad bar's nutritional powerhouses, the truth is that Romaine is, as far as vitamins and minerals and all that good stuff is concerned, actually very comparable (and in some ways better) to its "superstar superfood" cousins. Plus, that crunch just can’t be beaten.

Once you welcome Romaine back into your life, you'll open the door to some of my all-time favorite dishes that just wouldn't be the same without it. Try a crisp, satisfying Romaine crunch on a BLT salad. And there's the almost meaty char that develops when you throw fat wedges of romaine on the grill.

Romaine is also a perfect vessel for kung pao chicken lettuce cups and bun-less burgers. And romaine lettuce magic doesn’t stop at solid foods. Throw handfuls of it into smoothies and boost up your vitamin and mineral content!


About the Chef

Stephanie Goldfarb is a Chicago-based chef and national food television personality specializing in seasonal, globally-inspired cuisine. Recognized as the winner of Food Network’s America’s Best Cook competition, and a celebrity chef on Kitchen Inferno and NBC’s Food Fighters, Goldfarb delivers unique and relatable culinary experiences to discriminating and casual diners alike. As the owner of the successful Seven Species Supper Club & Catering, she enjoys the challenge of building brand new menus each month that inspire both repeat clients and newcomers, and seeks opportunities to utilize new ingredients, techniques, and approaches in accessible ways.

Crunch Romaine Fattoush

Crunch Romaine Fattoush

Crunch Romaine Fattoush

Toasty pita chips, crisp romaine, and cool cucumbers make for a Middle Eastern–style salad recipe that comes together on the fly. The texture in this salad makes it substantial for a vegetarian main dish, but grilled chicken would be lovely on top too.

Ingredients

  • 5 teaspoons za’atar, divided
  • ⅓ cup plus 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 6-inch pitas, sliced in half crosswise, torn into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 romaine heart, halved lengthwise, then cut crosswise ½ inch thick
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 Persian cucumbers, cut lengthwise into quarters, then crosswise ½ inch thick
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves with tender stems
  • 1 cup parsley leaves with tender stems
  • ½ cup torn dill
  • ½ cup mint leaves
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  • Sumac (for serving; optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Mix 4 tsp. za’atar into ⅓ cup oil in a small bowl. Spread out pita on a parchment-lined baking sheet, drizzle with za’atar oil, and toss until evenly coated. Bake, tossing once, until golden and crisp, 12–15 minutes. Let cool.
  2. Whisk lemon juice, honey, remaining 3 Tbsp. oil, and remaining 1 tsp. za’atar in a large bowl.
  3. Add romaine, onion, cucumbers, tomatoes, cilantro, parsley, dill, mint, and pita chips to vinaigrette and toss to coat; season with salt.
  4. Transfer to a platter. Top with queso fresco and sprinkle with sumac if using.

About the Chef

Stephanie Goldfarb is a Chicago-based chef and national food television personality specializing in seasonal, globally-inspired cuisine. Recognized as the winner of Food Network’s America’s Best Cook competition, and a celebrity chef on Kitchen Inferno and NBC’s Food Fighters, Goldfarb delivers unique and relatable culinary experiences to discriminating and casual diners alike. As the owner of the successful Seven Species Supper Club & Catering, she enjoys the challenge of building brand new menus each month that inspire both repeat clients and newcomers, and seeks opportunities to utilize new ingredients, techniques, and approaches in accessible ways.

The Powers of Pineapple

The Powers of Pineapple

The Powers of Pineapple

Working a gorgeous tropical fruit like pineapple into recipes injects instant sunshine into life, and it couldn’t be easier to use. Pineapples can be eaten raw in salads and salsas or sprinkled with chili flakes and lime zest for a Latin-inspired treat. The high acid and sugar content of pineapples makes for perfect marinades and tenderizers for meat. It can even cook fish for ceviche!

Whether added to a favorite barbecue sauce recipe, or muddled with oil, garlic, onion, and herbs, these fruits transform grilled, roasted, fried, or broiled proteins. Fresh pineapples are also sturdy enough for end-of-summer grilling. One of my favorite interpretations is smoky, chipotle-glazed pineapple as a filling for grilled fish tacos.

Pineapple is also totally classic in American and Asian barbecues and stir fries. The natural sweetness compliments grilled and smoked meats beautifully, and the natural acids also work as a great tenderizer. Of course, we can’t forget about the pina colada. Try elevating your poolside drink by blending roasted, deeply caramelized into it. That burnt sugar taste is the absolutely perfect accompaniment to rum! Or, you know, just pour a blender full of pineapple margaritas into a hollowed-out pineapple, and call it a day.


About the Chef

Stephanie Goldfarb is a Chicago-based chef and national food television personality specializing in seasonal, globally-inspired cuisine. Recognized as the winner of Food Network’s America’s Best Cook competition, and a celebrity chef on Kitchen Inferno and NBC’s Food Fighters, Goldfarb delivers unique and relatable culinary experiences to discriminating and casual diners alike. As the owner of the successful Seven Species Supper Club & Catering, she enjoys the challenge of building brand new menus each month that inspire both repeat clients and newcomers, and seeks opportunities to utilize new ingredients, techniques, and approaches in accessible ways.