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the sweet scoop
the sweet scoop
Yesterday, I had a fantastic lunch at Houseman restaurant in Hudson Square with a bunch of food industry friends, and the meal was a knockout—from the double-decker burger with caramelized onion and roasted mushroom relish to the French onion soup sandwich, and everything in between. One particular dish stood out as it was like nothing I’ve ever tasted before: the roasted-squash salad. Wow.
Tender, sweet kabocha squash gets coated with a vibrant dressing of herbs, pistachios, feta cheese, and vinegar-plumped currants—creating a bold flavor-texture punch that beautifully showcases the season. If you can’t get to Houseman to experience the real thing soon, lucky for you, Sam Sifton published the recipe for this vegetarian stunner in the Times so you can recreate it at home. Enjoy!
Houseman’s Roasted-Squash Salad
Originally published in the NY Times
Step 1: Put the currants in a small bowl, and pour the white-wine vinegar over them. Allow them to macerate for several hours or overnight, though in a pinch you can allow them to plump up while you prepare the squash. Heat oven to 450.
Step 2: Cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds, peel both halves (if you like: the skin of the kabocha squash is edible) and slice the squash into 1/4-inch half moons. Dress the squash lightly with 1 to 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, and season with the salt. Place the squash on a parchment-lined sheet pan, and roast until soft and caramelized, approximately 15 to 20 minutes, turning the pieces once or twice during the process. Remove the squash from the oven, and set aside to cool.
Step 3: Meanwhile, in a medium-size bowl, combine the fennel seed, sumac and coriander, then
add the parsley and cilantro, and stir to combine. Add 1/3 cup olive oil, and stir to combine. You want a wet mixture and may need to add a couple of extra tablespoons of oil to get it.
Step 4: Drain the currants, reserving the vinegar, and add them to the green sauce. Add the lime juice, pistachios, cheese, 6 tablespoons olive oil and 5 teaspoons vinegar from the pickled currants to the green sauce. Taste, and add more lime juice or vinegar if you like, along with a spray of salt.
Step 5: Place squash on a warm platter, and spoon the dressing over the top.
‘Tis the season for temptations. And for gift giving. So if you’re looking for the perfect holiday present, treat your family and friends to some festive handmade candy. As easy to make as they are impressive, these luscious Bourbon–Sea Salt Caramels can make a thoughtful hostess gift and are sure to delight all the sweets lovers on your list.
Special Equipment: A candy thermometer
Lightly coat an 8×8” baking pan with nonstick spray and line with parchment paper, leaving a 2” overhang on 2 sides; spray parchment.
Bring sugar, corn syrup, and ¼ cup water to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Cook, swirling pan occasionally, until mixture turns a deep amber color, 8–10 minutes.
Remove pan from heat and whisk in sweetened condensed milk and butter (mixture will bubble vigorously) until smooth. Fit pan with thermometer and return to medium-low heat. Cook, whisking constantly, until thermometer registers 240°. Remove from heat and whisk in bourbon and kosher salt. Pour into prepared pan; let cool. Sprinkle caramel with sea salt, cut into ¾” pieces, and wrap individually in parchment paper.
Do Ahead: Caramels can be made 2 weeks ahead. Store wrapped tightly in plastic in airtight container at room temperature. Image courtesy of Bon Appétit
Who doesn’t love a good popsicle? Summer’s ultimate frozen treat that’s fun to eat, easy to make, and reminds us of scorching hot days when we were young—probably with the melting sugary pops running down our faces. Happy as can be.
For a grown up twist on everyone’s favorite childhood chiller, try these creamy Apricot Rice Pudding Pops. And find more mouthwatering recipes for ice pops, paletas, and popsicles in boozy, bold, and fresh fruit flavors at BonAppetit.com.
Apricot Rice Pudding Pops
Recipe adapted from Bon Appétit
Combine milk, coconut milk, cream, lemongrass, ginger, nutmeg and 1/2 cup water in a medium saucepan. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; add bean. Bring to a boil; remove from heat, cover, and let steep for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, place rice and 1/2 cup water in a small bowl; let stand for 10 minutes (to soften and release some starch). Drain.
Strain coconut-milk mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium saucepan. Add rice; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer (do not stir or rice will become too starchy) until rice is very tender, 30-35 minutes. Let cool slightly.
Stir in apricots and sugar. Divide mixture among ice-pop molds. Freeze until beginning to set, 30-45 minutes. Insert a stick into each pop. Freeze until firm, about 1 hour longer. DO AHEAD: Pops can be made 2 weeks ahead. Keep frozen. Image courtesy of Bon Appétit.