Friday, November 4, 2011
50 Women Game Changers in Food - #22 Amanda Hesser - Butternut Squash Curry
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Those of us who honed our cooking skills during the reign of Craig Claiborne at the New York Times often shared thoughts of what we'd serve were he to come to dinner. The position he held at the paper was prestigious and more than one of the women on the Gourmet list of Women Game-Changers in food owed their success to him and the coverage they received in the paper. Years later, Amanda Hesser would step into that same position. I suspect that during her tenure as food editor, the menu game was revived and meals were planned with her taking Claiborne's seat at the table. She has strong cooking chops. Although she has a degree in economics and finance, she was almost destined to become a food writer. She was raised in a family where everyone cooked, and while in college she worked in a bakery, delivering bread throughout the city of Boston. She went to Europe to study classic cooking techniques and worked in restaurants and bakeries in Germany, Switzerland, Italy and France. While in France she worked for Anne Willan, founder of the cooking school Ecole de Cuisine La Varenne, and began to write food related articles for newspapers and magazines. She was hired by the Times following the publication of her first book, The Cook and the Gardener. Other books to her credit include Cooking for Mr. Latte, The Essential New York Times Cookbook and a collection of essays called Eat, Memory. The jewel in her crown, however, is the website Food52. Here, among other things, recipes submitted by readers are screened, tested and then posted to the site for voting by the membership at large. Each week one winner is selected to go into an annual cookbook. It is a great place to visit. The site is a treat to the eyes, often good fun and a must read for anyone who loves food and cooking. Amanda Hesser holds position 22 on the Gourmet Live List of Women Game Changers in Food. She's earned it.
I've decided to feature her recipe for Butternut Squash Curry for two reasons. It is, of course, seasonal, but, even more important, it is interesting. This curry is very easy to do and it is a wonderful accompaniment to plain grilled meat or poultry. If you are unable to find curry leaves, simply proceed without them. There is no adequate substitute. Here's the recipe.
Butternut Squash Curry...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Amanda Hesser
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided use
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
3/4 teaspoon lightly crushed cumin seeds
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
3 cups baked, braised or mashed butternut squash
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1 red chili
10 curry leaves
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
1) Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium saucepan. Add onion and cook over medium-low heat until softened. Stir in turmeric, cumin and cayenne and cook for 1 minute. Fold in squash and warm gently.
2) Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a small saute pan. Add mustard seeds, chili and curry leaves. When seeds begin to pop, stir in coconut and remove pan from heat. Fold into squash, and season with salt. Yield: 4 servings.
The following bloggers are also featuring the recipes of Amanda Hesser today. I hope you'll visit all of them. They are great cooks who have wonderful blogs.
Val - More Than Burnt Toast, Joanne - Eats Well With Others
Taryn - Have Kitchen Will Feed, Susan - The Spice Garden
Claudia - A Seasonal Cook in Turkey, Heather - girlichef
Miranda - Mangoes and Chutney, Jeanette - Healthy Living
April - Abby Sweets, Katie - Making Michael Pollan Proud
Mary - One Perfect Bite, Kathleen - Bake Away with Me
Viola - The Life is Good Kitchen, Sue - The View from Great Island
Barbara - Movable Feasts, Kathleen - Gonna Want Seconds
Amy - Beloved Green,Jeanette - Healthy Living
Linda - Ciao Chow Linda, Linda A - There and Back Again
Martha - Lines from Linderhof, Nancy - Picadillo
Mireya - My Healthy Eating Habits, Veronica - My Catholic Kitchen
Next week we will highlight the career and recipes of Nancy Silverton. It will be really interesting to see what everyone comes up with. If you'd like to join us please email me for additional information no later than Monday, November 7th.