Category Archives: Butternut Squash

Saffron and Sage Risotto with Butternut Squash

Music: Little Miss Queen of Darkness – The Kinks

Here we go! Back to Ina…and the fall.  Love me some butternut squash! This was a flavor bomb in my mouth.  To be honest, it might have been a little rich and, next time, I would take out half the butter. I’d also remove the bacon after it was cooked and add it back in at the end.

What you’ll need:

1 butternut squash (2 pounds)
2 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 cups chicken stock
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
3 ounces bacon, diced
1/2 cup minced shallots (2 large)
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice (10 ounces)
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon saffron threads
4 sprigs of fresh sage
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • Peel the butternut squash, remove the seeds, and cut it into 3/4-inch cubes. Place the squash on a sheet pan and toss it with the olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes, tossing once, until very tender.

  • Heat the chicken stock in a small covered saucepan. Leave it on low heat to simmer.
  • In a heavy-bottomed pan, melt the butter and saute the bacon and shallots on medium-low heat for 10 minutes, until the shallots are translucent but not browned.

  • Add the rice and stir to coat the grains with butter.

  • Add the wine and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Add 2 full ladles of stock to the rice plus the saffron, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Stir, and simmer until the stock is absorbed, 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Continue to add the stock, 2 ladles at a time, stirring every few minutes. Each time, cook until the mixture seems a little dry, then add more stock.
  • Continue until the rice is cooked through about 30 minutes total.
  • Add sage and cook for 2 minutes.
  • Off the heat, add the roasted squash cubes and Parmesan cheese.
  • Mix well and serve.



Filed under Butternut Squash, Pasta, Recipes

San Francisco – Day 5

What a beautiful day!

First Stop

Judy’s Cafe

2268 Chestnut Street
San Francisco, CA 94123-2638
(415) 922-4588

This place is a perfect stop if you are looking for on overwhelming amount of food.  It’s another Marina brunch spot so come early.  We ordered omelets (bacon, avocado, sour cream and cheddar omelet and mushroom, spinach, onion and cheddar omelet) and homefries. The omelet was outstanding but there was no way possible one could finish it.

Second Stop:

La Taqueria

2889 Mission St
(between 24th St & 25th St)
San Francisco, CA 94110

We couldn’t come to California and not eat Mexican food.  Deeply nestled well into the Mission is this well known little burrito spot.  It definitely gets hyped up – but it’s well-deserved.  The counter staff speaks to you in Spanish so either speak it back or order confidently.  We had the pork burrito with cheese and avocado and chicken tacos.  This place has a great atmosphere and I suggest lunch with a beer here.

Third Stop


3198 16th Street
San Francisco, CA 94103-3363
(415) 621-2211

Happy Birthday Ashley! We celebrated for a second night in a row with some old (and new!) friends. This place has wonderful cocktails and very good small plates.  I was so distracted by the company and celebration that I barely ate (and also forgot to take pictures). What I did eat was great and the short ribs really stood out.  We shared the following between 9 people and we were fully content:

  • Ahi Tartar Tacos with Chili and Lime, Mango Salsa

  • Trio of Tartares: Ahi Tuna Taco, Wasabi Hamachi, Salmon Poke
  • Curly Polenta Fries, Spicy Tomato Vinaigrette

  • Halibut Paillard with Cilantro, Ginger, Soy, and Hot Grapeseed Oil
  • Coca-Cola Braised Short-ribs with White Bean Salad

  • Duck Dumplings with Sweet and Sour Dipping Sauce
  • Butternut Squash Raviolis with Sage and Butter Sauce


Filed under Appetizer, Butternut Squash, Duck, Food Anecdotes, San Francisco, Travel Spot

Goat Cheese, Butternut Squash, Melted Onion and Duck Bacon Crostini

There’s got to be a better name for this…anyone? anyone?

In honor of Cathy Erway’s book The Art of Eating In, The Bell House is hosting a launch party complete with a crostini cook-off.  We really wanted to be a part of this but had a conflict.  BOOO! If you can make it you should…there will be lots of good food, music and beer.  A portion of the ticket sales will benefit Just Food & Oxfam relief efforts in Haiti.

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Filed under Appetizer, Breads, Brooklyn Places, Butternut Squash, Cheese, Duck

Vegan (sorta) Feast for The Astral Crew

Music: Celia Cruz – Ritmo, Tambó y Flores

Some of my best memories of NY come from a wobegone time (5 years ago) when I would visit James and his old roommate Greg at their apartment in Greenpoint.  I was much younger then and Greenpoint was only just simmering with the young folk.  They lived in a beautiful building called The Astral. The Astral was built in 1875 as a residence for the Astral oil workers (Pratt Institute was built by the same architects).  (Speaking of oil, Greenpoint was affected by the largest domestic oil spill in the history of the United States – starting with a leakage from the refineries in the 1950’s,  it wasn’t discovered how massive the spill was until the 1970’s when the Coast Guard observed an oil streak up river into Queens)

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Filed under Appetizer, Brooklyn Places, Butternut Squash, Cheese, Food Anecdotes, Sides

Something about Thanksgiving…

Music: Spoon – I Summon You

A few years ago, while I was in graduate school in San Francisco, I couldn’t make it home for Thanksgiving.  I decided to have a small gathering of friends and my cousin Tom (who made a terrific turkey) over my apartment to celebrate the holiday. Orphan Thanksgiving included Tom, my friend Casey, his brother Evan, their friends and a celebrity animal whisperer.  It was my first attempt at hosting Thanksgiving and I really enjoyed it. There won’t be pictures yet because I haven’t made the food this year, but once I do I will post. I have no idea where these recipes came from and I wish I could pay homage to their origins.  What you’ll find here are a bunch of suggestions for great sides to serve 8-10 people. Enjoy!

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Filed under Breads, Butternut Squash, Cauliflower, Potatoes, Recipes, Sides, Travel Spot

Mushroom Ravioli with Butternut Squash Walnut Sauce

Music: The Violent Hour – Seawolf

Mushroom Ravioli with Butternut Squash Walnut Sauce

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Filed under Brooklyn Places, Butternut Squash, Pasta, Recipes

Butternut Squash Soup

Music: Pa Pa Power – Dead Man’s Bones

We had Matt and Rosa over for Halloween.  We wanted to make something hearty and harvesty before heading over to 313 Clinton Avenue (thank you Reclaimed Home!) to check out the Halloween Carnival of Carnage.  We look forward to their productions every year.

I love Butternut Squash and come fall I make up ways to use it.  This was a pretty simple way to make a fall soup that’s hearty enough to be its own meal. I used The Big Book of Soups and Stews as a basis, but, you know, I changed a lot of it.  The shallot thing I borrowed from In. Here’s what I did.


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Filed under Brooklyn Places, Butternut Squash, cookbooks, Recipes, Soup