It's Time to Take Your Butternut Squash Game to the Next Level

It's Time to Take Your Butternut Squash Game to the Next Level

It's Time to Take Your Butternut Squash Game to the Next Level

Butternut Squash is beautiful, healthy, and hearty enough to adapt to nearly 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 also 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!

 Photo by  Food52

Photo by Food52

Butternut Squash Wedges with a Sage Hazelnut Pesto

Sage and butternut squash are a classic pairing. This is my riff on that pairing - a combination of squash wedges roasted at a very high heat topped with a hazelnut, sage, and ricotta salata pesto-ish topping. The finished dish is great hot or at room temperature.

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup sage, chopped

  • 4-5 tbs olive oil (up to 5 tablespoons)

  • 1 clove garlic, smashed

  • ⅓ cup hazelnuts, toasted

  • 2 tbs ricotta salata, crumbled

  • Salt

  • 2 butternut squashes [about 3.5 lbs total when unpeeled]

  • 2 tbs olive oil

  • 1 tsp sugar

  • 1 tsp salt

  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne, depending on taste (up to 1/2 teaspoon)

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 500 and place a rack in the lowest slot in the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment.

  • Peel the butternut squash, cut in half lengthwise and remove the seeds.

  • Cut each squash half in half widthwise, right where the slender part curves out to the bulge. Cut each quarter into about 1 inch wedges and place in a bowl.

  • Toss squash with olive oil, sugar, salt, and cayenne. Place in a single layer on baking sheet. Roast for 10 to 15 minutes until caramelized.

  • Remove from oven and flip over. Bake another 10 to 15 minutes until caramelized on the other side and cooked through. The pieces on the edges of the baking sheet will caramelize first so you want to move around during the baking time.

  • While the squash is roasting, make the pesto:

  • Warm 3 tablespoons olive oil, sage, and garlic in a small pan over very low heat just until the oil bubbles. Pour in a small bowl, reserving the garlic clove.

  • Place the toasted hazelnuts in a food processor along with the garlic clove and process until a fine crumble and add to the bowl (alternatively, you can do by hand or in a mortar and pestle).

  • Add the cheese to the bowl along with 1 to 2 tablespoons more olive oil and stir until combined and salt to taste. This is not a traditional pesto -- more nutty than herby and not so much oil.

  • Once the squash is roasted, place in a large bowl and toss with pesto to taste. Dig in.


Chef Steph bio photo.jpg

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.

What to Do with Grapes for the Holidays

What to Do with Grapes for the Holidays

What to Do with Grapes for the Holidays

I’m all for using unique, unfamiliar ingredients on my menus, but the thing that really gets me excited is re-thinking and finding new uses for typical, expected ingredients. Grapes are a perfect example of a totally familiar food that is a perfect canvass for elevated culinary interpretation (and good news, they are growing really well right now).

Need a little spike of freshness on your bruschetta or pizza? Try pickling grapes with champagne vinegar and scattering them at will. The pop of juice is familiar, but the zing of pickling liquid cuts through heavy cheeses and sauces. I also love baking grapes (especially Concord grapes) directly into fresh breads and cakes.

Try dotting fresh cornmeal cake with jet black grapes, or upping your bread service with rosemary, sea salt, and black grape focaccia. Could there be a better way to start a meal? Well, maybe if it’s served with some fresh grape and caramelized shallot conserve.

Of course, grapes are also gorgeous mixed in with chicken or tuna salad, frozen into ice cubes for visually-beautiful cocktails, and popped directly into your mouth!

Pickled Grapes

Add these gorgeous spicy-tart grapes to an antipasto platter or cheese plate or stir them into chicken or mixed green salads. Guests will love the complex flavors. But the best part: prep time is 10 minutes and "pickling" happens in the fridge in just a few hours.


Ingredients

3 cups seedless green grapes (about 1 lb.)

3 cups seedless red grapes (about 1 lb.)

6 (4-inch-long) fresh rosemary sprigs, divided

2 cups white wine vinegar

3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons kosher salt

2 teaspoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper

Directions 

Pack grapes into a large jar with a lid. Add rosemary. Bring vinegar, next 4 ingredients, 1 cup water, and remaining 2 rosemary sprigs to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Remove from heat, and discard rosemary sprigs. Pour hot vinegar mixture over grapes. Cover loosely, and let cool to room temperature (about 30 minutes). Seal and chill 1 hour before serving. Store in refrigerator up to 1 week.


Chef Steph bio photo.jpg

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 Sweet Potato and Apple Soup with Wild Rice, Kale Chips, and Crunchy Bits

Creamy Sweet Potato and Apple Soup with Wild Rice, Kale Chips, and Crunchy Bits

PA Monthly Menu

The key to keeping up winter soup hype: soup crunchies! This Sweet Potato and Apple soup is taken to another level when topped with wild rice, crispy kale chips, and other crunchy bites. Add this soup from Chef Steph to your own menu ASAP.

2 Soup.jpg

Creamy Sweet Potato and Apple Soup with Wild Rice, Kale Chips, and Crunchy Bits

  • 1 stick butter

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 onion sliced into ½-inch rings

  • 5 garlic cloves peeled

  • 2 large sweet potatoes peeled

  • 2 apples peeled

  • 1 large potato peeled and quartered

  • 1 teaspoon dry chili flakes

  • 2 to 4 cups veggie broth (depends on desired consistency)

  • Salt and pepper

  • 1 bunch scallions, sliced thinly

  • 1 cup wild rice, cooked

  • 3 Fresno chilies, sliced thinly

  • 1 cup dry roasted peanuts

  • 1 bunch lacinto kale, washed, dried very well, and cut into ribbons.

For the soup crunchies:

  1. Heat an oven to 375 degrees and line 2 baking trays with parchment paper.

  2. Melt half a stick of butter in a small pot. Place the scallions, rice, chilies and peanuts in a large bowls, and drizzle half the butter over everything to coat. Add a pinch of salt and pepper, mix, and pour out onto one of the baking trays.

  3. Add the kale to the same large bowl, coat with the rest of the butter and a pinch of salt and pepper, and pour out onto the other baking tray, separating all the ribbons into one layer. Do not crowd.

  4. Bake both trays in the oven, mixing the ingredients every 7 minutes or so, to encourage even browning. Remove from the oven once each tray is nicely toasted. Set aside.

For the soup:

  1. In a medium-sized pot, sauté butter, olive oil, onion, and garlic on low-medium flame until onion becomes translucent.

  2. Add sweet potatoes, apples, potato, and chili flakes. Mix, cover and cook until everything becomes tender (about 30-45 minutes). Let cool slightly.
    Use a stick blender to puree the soup until smooth.

  3. Stir in broth until it reaches desired consistency. Add salt, pepper, and chili flakes to taste, check for seasoning, and allow to simmer for 20 minutes. Serve hot and garnish with some kale chips and soup crunchies.


Chef Steph photo.jpg

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.

Restorative Golden Milk with Turmeric and Ginger

Restorative Golden Milk with Turmeric and Ginger

PA Monthly Menu

Save the eggnog and hot chocolate for December, turkey day diets deserves a drink that’s going to soothe the food coma most are about to experience. Chef Steph’s specialty restorative Golden Milk is filled with health benefits and will allow you to leave plenty of room for seconds. Enjoy!

instagram-In-Stream_Tall___Golden Milk.jpg

Restorative Golden Milk with Turmeric and Ginger

Ingredients

  • 1 box of store-bought oat milk

  • 1 tablespoon of freshly grated turmeric (use a microplane)

  • 1 tablespoon of freshly grated ginger (use a microplane)

  • 1 whole cinnamon stick

  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon

  • 2 tsp cracked black pepper

  • 1 tsp salt

  • Sweetener of choice (I prefer maple syrup)

  • Optional: black tea bags, a shot or two of rum

Directions

  1. Add all of the ingredients to a medium saucepan, and allow to come to a simmer. Start with a few splashes of sweetner, and keep adding more, according to your desired level of sweetness.

  2. Whisk the mixture and cover it with a lid, allowing it to steep for at least 5 minutes.

  3. At this point, you can add a few tea bags if you want more of a “chai” tea, or a few shots of rum, if you need a kick.

  4. Pour into mugs, and garnish with a dusting of cinnamon.


Chef Steph photo.jpg

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.

Southeast Asian Brussels Sprouts with Fresh Herbs and Cashews

Southeast Asian Brussels Sprouts with Fresh Herbs and Cashews

PA Monthly Menu

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, it’s time to think about which healthy sides are going to compliment the cozy, comfort food everyone will be enjoying.

For PA’s Chef Steph, Brussels Sprouts are at the top of the must-add-to-the-menu list. See how she incorporates Southeast Asian-influenced flavors onto a heaping plate of roasted Brussels below.

Brussels 2.jpg

Southeast Asian Brussels Sprouts with Fresh Herbs and Cashews

Ingredients

  • 2 tbs very thinly sliced cilantro stems, plus 1/2 cup leaves

  • 3 tbs chopped mint

  • 2 lbs brussels sprouts (smaller ones are better)

  • 2 tbs olive oil

  • ½ cup fish sauce (adjust to taste -- some fish sauce brands are saltier)

  • ¼ cup water

  • 2 tbs rice wine vinegar

  • 2 tbs lime juice (from 1 lime)

  • ¼ cup sugar

  • 1 garlic clove, minced

  • 2 red bird’s-eye chiles, thinly sliced, seeds intact

  • ½ cup roasted and salted cashews

Directions

  1. Combine the vinaigrette (below), cilantro stems, and mint in a bowl, and set aside.

  2. Heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Heat 2 tablespoons oil (or just enough to evenly coat the bottom of the pan) in 2 oven-safe wide skillets (12 to 14 inches) over medium heat. When the oil slides easily from side to side of the pan, add the brussels sprouts cut side down. When the cut faces of the sprouts begin to brown, transfer the pan to the oven to finish cooking, about 15 minutes.

  3. The sprouts are ready when they are tender but not soft, with nice, dark brown color.

  4. When ready to serve, divide the brussels sprouts among four bowls (or serve it all out of one big bowl), top with the dressing to taste and cilantro leaves, and toss once or twice to coat. Top with cashews.


Chef Steph photo.jpg

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.

Let There Be Brussels Sprouts

Let There Be Brussels Sprouts

Let There Be Brussels Sprouts

Good news! Reports from the field are showing Brussels sprout supplies to be plentiful with outstanding quality. All the more reason to take all these recommendations from PA’s Chef Steph and never stop turning Brussels sprouts into magic this season.

Chef Steph’s Corner

Raw Brussel sprouts are tender, pleasantly bitter, and tough enough to handle pre-service prep. One of my favorite ways to use them is in place of Romaine lettuce in classic Caesar salads.

Brussels sprouts are also ideal for bite-sized appetizers. Try wrapping some in bacon and drizzling with a syrupy pomegranate molasses and miso reduction.

Roasting is the ultimate way to serve Brussel sprouts. When cooked properly, the outer leaves become crispy and golden, while the insides stay moist and flavor-packed from absorbing the marinades around them.

Though it adds to prep time, I believe that halved sprouts are tastier because the cut-side is easier to caramelize than rounded edges. Try roasting halves with miso, fish sauce, brown sugar, and chili flakes for a Southeast Asian spin.

Brussels sprouts are also very nice when allowed to sear, cut side down on a burning hot cast iron pan. The pleasant, charred effect is unique and visually very pretty.

Lastly, nobody every got mad at a deep-fried Brussels sprout. Try coating yours in sweet and fiery Kung Pao sauce and finishing them with crushed peanuts, scallions, and sesame seeds.

 Photo by Feasting at Home

Photo by Feasting at Home

Brussels Sprout Hash with Poached Eggs and Aleppo Chili Pepper

Start your morning off deliciously with this hearty, flavorful breakfast topped with soft pillowy poached eggs, sprinkled with Aleppo Chili Pepper. Crispy bacon crumbles are optional. And if you can’t track down the aleppo pepper right away, use chili flakes for now. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 3 slices bacon ( optional- or use vegetarian “baco bits”)

  • 4 cups sliced brussel sprouts

  • ½ small onion, thinly sliced

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 4-8 eggs, poached ( or fried)

  • Finishing salt (I love Maldon here)

  • Fresh cracked pepper

  • Pinch Aleppo pepper ( or chili flakes)

Directions

  1. If using bacon, crisp bacon up in a skillet, then set aside on paper towel.

  2. Wipe out pan,  and re-use, heat 1 T oil over med high heat, and add onions, stir for 2-3 minutes.

  3. Add sliced Brussels sprouts and a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Lower heat to medium and stir frequently, until Brussels sprouts are melting and tender, about 7 minutes.

  4. Crumble cooled bacon into the Brussels sprouts, stirring to incorporate. Keep on very low heat while making eggs.

  5. Poach ( or fry)  eggs to desired doneness. Divide Brussels sprout hash among 3-4 bowls. Top with eggs.

  6. Sprinkle eggs with finishing salt, cracked pepper and Aleppo pepper ( or chili flakes). Serve immediately.


Chef Steph_resized.jpg

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.

Every Single Unexpected Way to Use Pomegranates this Season

Every Single Unexpected Way to Use Pomegranates this Season

Every Single Unexpected Way to Use Pomegranates this Season

Let’s face it. Certain foods just have “wow” appeal, and others… not so much. Pomegranates are just one of those foods that make everyone excited. They are visually stunning, offer an awesome crunch to everything from smooth purees to fresh salads, and they are extremely good for you.

Middle eastern and north African cuisines are natural canvasses for pomegranates, but almost every sweet and savory dish on earth can benefit from a touch of ruby red crunch.

Try adding crispy, crunchy pomegranate jewels as garnish for tacos, soups, stirfrys, guacamole, and desserts of all kinds. Nobody would be mad at you for pouring melted dark chocolate on a silpat or other non-stick surface, and dotting it with fresh pomegranate kernels. Once it’s shattered, this antioxidant-rich chocolate/pomegranate bark can be used to decorate cakes, puddings, pies, or just eaten on its own.

Pomegranates can also be juiced for magenta-tinged drinks, sauce reductions, sorbets, marinades, and salad dressings. I especially love using fresh pomegranate juice as a deglazing liquid for pan sauces. It adds instant color and sweetness to any dish, and as it reduces, it gets super syrupy and luscious.

Almost like molasses. And don’t be afraid to pair pomegranate with strong flavors like goat or blue cheese, shaved red onion, and even garlic or fish sauce! And don’t forget about breakfast. Smoothies, acai bowls, oatmeal, pancakes, and waffles all glow from a flourish of pomegranate!


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.

Lamb Chops with Pomegranate & Mint Relish

Lamb Chops with Pomegranate & Mint Relish

Lamb Chops with Pomegranate & Mint Relish

The tart sweetness of the pomegranate relish cuts through the richness of this lamb, and the labneh brings it all together. Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • ½ cup pomegranate seeds

  • ¼ cup chopped black olives

  • ¼ cup plus 2 Tbsp. olive oil

  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 8 lamb rib chops

  • 2 teaspoons crushed fennel seeds

  • ½ cup labneh cheese

Directions

  1. Prepare grill or grill pan for medium-high heat.

  2. Mix pomegranate seeds, olives,  ¼ cup oil and parsley in a bowl; season with salt and pepper.

  3. Rub lamb chops with 2 tbsp. oil, then fennel; season with salt and pepper.

  4. Grill the chops to desired doneness. Serve with relish, a swipe of labneh on the plate, and a drizzle more of olive oil.


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 Pears Are a Recipe for Perfection

Why Pears Are a Recipe for Perfection

Why Pears Are a Recipe for Perfection

With the recent weather disruptions, the market has been a little unstable lately, and as a chef, that makes me want to return to the ingredients and flavors I know best.

Pears are doing extremely well right now, and their subtle floral sweetness and adaptable texture can carry through into many cooking applications. They are delicious roasted alongside pork shoulder, onions, and marjoram, perhaps a splash of Calvados to de-glaze the pot.

Before it gets too cold, try marinating lamb chops in diced, bruised pears, throwing them on the grill with fennel and topped with pear chutney. Pistachios and fresh shallots thrown in right at the end create a zingy pop of color and texture.

And dessert, of course, cannot be missed. I love making a Tarte Tatin-inspired filling of deeply caramelized pears, brown butter, sugar, and a bit of brandy to use as a filling for crepes or poured over vanilla ice cream.

Pears are also beautiful simply poached in cardamom and lime syrup, or with lots of red wine! Lastly, don’t be afraid to pair pears (see what I did there?) with bold flavors like stilton, walnuts, miso, and oinos. The sweetness can cut through just about any umami!


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.

Red Wine-Poached Pears

Red Wine-Poached Pears

Red Wine-Poached Pears

I adore poached pears for Autumn desserts. You don’t have to turn the oven on, and they are so cool and crisp that they mimic the fresh, clean air around us this time of year. Plus, they can be made in advance and then simply adorned with vanilla ice cream. Just the kind of no-fuss offering we all need when we’d rather be playing outside in the leaves than slaving in the kitchen. Pears are a great choice for this dessert because they are floral and firm enough to hold their shape during poaching.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups red wine (I use an inexpensive, medium-dry wine)

  • 1 ½ cups sugar

  • 2 cups water

  • 1 cup orange juice

  • Peels from 1 orange

  • 2 cinnamon sticks

  • A small handful of thyme

  • 6 firm but ripe pears, peeled, cored, stems left intact

Directions

  1. Combine everything, save for the pears in a large, heavy saucepan.

  2. Stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves and the mixture begins to simmer.

  3. Add pears, and bring everything back up to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer slowly until pears are tender when pierced with knife, about 25 minutes.

  4. Transfer pears to a plate or platter. Boil liquid in saucepan until reduced to 3 cups, about 20 minutes for a luxurious sauce.

  5. Sometimes I also add a splash of balsamic vinegar to mine for an extra zing! Serve with vanilla ice cream.


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.

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.