Monday, October 29, 2012

Rock Me Like a Hurricane

What do you do during a hurricane?

I cook.

Homemade Parmesan-Black Pepper Bread and Roasted Butternut Squash Soup.

I went to the grocery store before the hurricane just for necessities... like three pounds of squash and a whole lot of parmesan. Not normal.

Parmesan-Black Pepper Bread
Slightly adapted from Williams-Sonoma's Parmesan-Black Pepper No-Knead Bread

3 cups flour
1/4 tsp. active dry yeast
Black pepper to taste
2 cups shredded parmesan
Extra flour

Combine the flour, yeast, black pepper, and cheese in a bowl. Add 1 1/2 cups and 2 tbsp. water and mix well. The dough will be sticky. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise for 14 hours at room temperature.

Put the dough on a floured surface, sprinkle the dough with a little flour, and fold it over several times. Cover it again with plastic wrap and let it rise 15 minutes.

Shape the dough into a ball. Coat a clean dish towel with flour, put the dough on top of the towel, and cover the dough with another towel.  Let it rise 2 hours.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven (and a baking sheet) to 450 degrees for 30 minutes. Bake the dough on the baking sheet for 30 minutes. The outside will be golden and crunchy; the inside will be slightly moist.

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup 
Slightly adapted from Williams-Sonoma's Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

3 pounds butternut squash
1 onion, sliced
1 apple (I used Gala)
3 cups chicken broth
2 tbsp. butter
Salt to taste
Aleppo pepper, if desired

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Prick the squash all over with a fork, place it directly on the oven rack, and roast for 40 minutes. Then, add the apple to the oven as well. Roast both for an additional 20 minutes and remove both from the oven carefully.

Let the squash and apple cool for about 30 minutes, then pull back the skin, remove seeds, and scoop out the flesh of both.

Cook the onion with the butter over medium-high heat in a saucepan until the onions are translucent and soft (about 10 minutes). Add the stock, squash, and apple. Raise the heat to high and bring the soup to a boil.

Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Add salt to taste. Puree the soup in batches (about 3 cups at a time) and re-heat the soup as necessary. I like to sprinkle a little Aleppo pepper on top.

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