Cookbook author Michele Morris will be in the store June 21, 2013 5-8 p.m.

An Interview with Tasting Colorado Cookbook Author Michele Morris

When it comes to eating well, many chefs and home-cooks look to their surroundings for inspiration. This can come in the form of centering dishes around nearby ingredients or asking locals for old recipe favorites. The new cookbook Tasting Colorado: Favorite Recipes form the Centennial State does both, and a whole lot more. Best of all, its author Michele Morris will be a part of our June Foodie Walk spectacular on the 21st of this month from 5-8pm. [Read more…]

MMLocal

MM Local: Preserving Summer Sunshine

As all of that gorgeous summer produce is coming into season, we foodies can have a lot on our minds. Hypnotized at our farmer’s markets by bright offerings that grow steadily larger and more flavorful with each passing week, many of us can’t wait to get home and whip them into something delicious. Those long winter months seem a distant memory but there is always the idea of that rather daunting task, canning and preserving summer harvests, lurking somewhere in the depths of our brains. The idea can be stressful, even for the experienced canner, as summer produce can arrive in all its full-fledged glory and be gone in a flash.

Luckily for those of us in Northern Colorado (and across the state) some lovely fellows from Boulder have taken out the guesswork.  In September of 2009, Jim Mills and Ben Mustin launched MM Local, with the vision to fearlessly provide customers with fabulous, local fruits and veggies year-round through preserving.  They partner primarily with small, organic growers across the Front Range and Western Slope to get produce at the peak of its season and then keep their products pure, simple and scrumptious. [Read more…]

Tara Parr and Lauren Dittmann of Raindrop Retreat

Fresh From the First Farmer’s Market

Last Saturday was my first visit of the season to the Larimer County Farmer’s Market at 200 W. Oak.  Excited to kick off the summer season with some delicious dishes, I headed straight to Tara Parr’s booth, Raindrop Retreat.  She always has something tasty to share and is a delight to visit with.  Lauren Dittman is also working in collaboration with Tara this season.  They helped me choose some mustard greens and  a small collection of delectable strawberries.  I’ve never cooked with mustard greens and I wanted to do something more than just saute them.  Returning to my trusted copy of The Joy of Cooking, I found this delicious recipe.

[Read more…]

afghani_mazakebab

For our Cupboard Foodies…a fabulous new restaurant!

Maza Kebab 2427 S. College Ave. Unit B-1 Fort Collins, CO 80525
970-484-6292 open daily for lunch and dinner

The word is spreading about Fort Collin’s most recent restaurant addition, Maza Kebab.  This is not your typical gyro fast food joint, but Fort Collin’s own Afghani restaurant.  Always looking for a new place to eat, I was recently talking to some fellow Cupboard employees.  They said customers had been in that very day looking for the Afghani restaurant in Fort Collins.  Unlikely, I thought.  I promptly searched my phone to verify the truth or falsehood of this notion.  It was true!   A review popped up written by Kristin of Feasting Fort Collins about Maza Kabab, an afghani restaurant opened 4 months ago in Fort Collins.  Well, I had to go!  [Read more…]

The Cook's Soup

The Cupboard Cook’s Butternut Squash-Apple & Curry Soup

Pumpkin and squash soup recipes tend to leave this cook wanting a bit more in the flavor department. This cook wants a soup that can stand on its own for a meal, accompanied by hot cornbread or baked polenta and a green salad or vegetable dish. This recipe for the ubiquitous butternut squash soup takes flavor influences from the south of France and the Near East to yield a more memorable entrée.

 

The Cupboard Cook’s Butternut Squash-Apple & Curry Soup   

Yield:  3 meal-sized portions or 6 first course servings 

 

Equipment List: 

A medium –large pan or stock pot
Immersion (stick) blender or regular blender

Ingredient List:

1 pound of roasted butternut, acorn, pumpkin or any other hard winter squash scooped      out of the skin.
1 granny smith or tart apple peeled, cored and cut into pieces
1 tablespoon of unsalted butter for the pan
2 sticks of celery cut into small dice
2 peeled carrots cut into small dice
½ white or sweet yellow onion cut into small dice
1 clove of diced garlic
28 ounces of homemade or quality low sodium chicken stock
1 teaspoon of Madras curry powder
1 teaspoon of Vietnamese lemon curry powder (optional but recommended)
2 ounces of heavy cream
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
1-2 ounces of diced Murica Curado other mild hard goat cheese
1½ teaspoons of diced fresh marjoram or ½ teaspoon of dried.
Salt and pepper to taste

Garnishes:

Lightly toasted pecans, freshly diced marjoram, and croutons (Substitutions: paprika, parsley, thyme, pumpkin, or sunflower seeds)

Method:

In a medium-large pan over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon of butter then add the celery, carrots, onion, apple, garlic, and a pinch or two of salt, and cook until just fork tender. (Approximately 8 minutes) Do not allow this to burn. Then add ½ of the stock, stirring while allowing this to come to up to heat but do not boil. (~3 minutes) Add the cooked squash and marjoram and incorporate it into the mix.

With the stick blender, process the mixture using a slight up and down motion, being careful not to lift the blender out of the soup while it is still running. Makes a mess! Process until it is somewhat smooth. Then add the remaining stock and the curry powders and process once again for about 1 minute. Allow this mixture to come to heat and simmer uncovered for about 10 minutes.

(Note: This base soup can be held at this stage for later service or allowed to cool and stored for a day in the refrigerator. It also could be put in the freezer for later use.)

A few minutes before service, reduce the heat to low and add the butter, cream, and cheese stirring constantly until the cheese and butter melts. Then process with the stick blender for 30 seconds to 1 minute to incorporate the ingredients and give the soup a bit of body. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.

Service:

Put a handful of croutons into warmed soup bowls and ladle soup over the croutons. Garnish and serve.

 

NOTE:  The Cupboard Cook will be at the Fort Collins, Colorado store on October 14th from 12:00 noon to 4:00 pm, to help celerate the Cupboards anniversary. The Cook will be demonstrating the preparation of this soup along with some other tasty treats. Those in the area please  stop by have a taste and learn something too.