EDITOR’S LETTER. 01 January 2010

With the launch of LITTLE MAGAZINE back in October, 2009 was a fantastic year. For 2010, I hope to continue to bring engaging, entertaining, diverse, and new material to the blog as the the premise of LITTLE MAGAZINE is to inspire growth, knowledge, and creative expression through the sharing of informative art.

I’ve been extremely fortunate to have such wonderful contributors in 2009, and would like to personally thank the following:

Lee Medoff, Gerald Patterson, Sandy Kwan, Sophie Sapp, Hassan Said, David Nayfeld, Tony Sison, Lindsey Adams, Sara Murphy, Brandan Decoteau, Peter Boardman, Sergio Chavez, Brandon Solem, Elisa Gonzalez

Without the talent of these extraordinary individuals, the making of LITTLE MAGAZINE would not be possible. Thank you.

Cheers to a happy and prosperous 2010!

M.


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THE FOODIE SECTION. Butternut Squash Double-Header by Sophie Sapp

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Food encompasses one of life’s most sacred rituals. What we eat, the quality of our food, and the care in its preparation determines our energy levels, our health; our livelihoods. I’m very fortunate to have several foodies in my life, and the following recipes by Sophie Sapp make delicious, healthy everyday meals that work wonderfully as Thanksgiving side dishes as well.


Food Styling and Photography by Sandy Kwan

Butternut Squash Double-Header by Sophie Sapp
Two autumnal recipes to warm you up, spare your wallet, and impress your dinner guests. Neither of these recipes require precise timing or quantities, so trust your tastebuds and don’t worry if you don’t follow the directions exactly.

Serves 2-3, twice!
Optionally vegan.

Recipe 1: Curry-Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
This is a remarkably easy and quick autumn recipe; the spices really complement the sweetness of the squash. It also happens to be richly satisfying, healthy and inexpensive to make! The only equipment you’ll need is a blender.

-1 large butternut squash, peeled,* seeded, and cut into approx. ¾ inch cubes

*Be very careful peeling and cutting the squash, it is very hard and it is easy for the knife to slip! I use a large sharp knife for this: cut the squash in half the short way, and set the flat ends on the cutting board. Remove the peel in long strips from top to bottom all around the squash, and then in smaller pieces on the rounded parts.

~4 c broth (veg or chicken, homemade or from a box)

~3 T olive oil

-1 T curry powder, plus a little more to taste

-1 t cumin, ground

-½ to 1 t salt, to taste

-½ t black pepper, or more to taste

-1 t medium hot ground chili, I like chili de arbol or cayenne

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Toss the squash in a bowl with the olive oil, salt and pepper, and spices until well coated.

Spread the squash on a cookie sheet, as close to one layer as you can get it.

Put the sheet on the middle rack in the oven, and cook until the squash is very tender, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon to move the cubes around a little. When is it done? Probably in about 45 minutes to an hour. Press a piece with that wooden spoon, it’s done if it squashes easily! Or just use my preferred method, and taste a piece, being careful not to burn your tongue (as I always do).

Divide the cooked squash into two equal parts, and put half aside (you’ll use this for the second recipe, below — be patient!).

You will probably have to do the puréeing in two batches, unless you are using an immersion blender. So put half the squash into the blender, and add about half of the broth. Purée until very smooth. If the purée is very thick, add some water and blend some more. Taste it and see if you like the texture. If it is still too thick, just add some more liquid.

Return the purée to a medium/large heavy pot, and repeat the same process with the other half. Return it to the pot and stir until the soup is well-mixed. It is not too late to add a little more liquid if it still seems too thick (I like it quite thick, so a spoon almost stands in the bowl!). Adjust spices and salt to your taste, heat and serve!

This soup is wonderful with a variety of toppings. Try crème fraîche, toasted pepitas, crumbled bacon, scallions, grated cotija cheese, chopped chives, or sage! Serve with some good toasted crusty bread.

Any extra freezes very well for later.

Recipe 2: Curry-Roasted Butternut Squash with Greens and Beans
This meal is a great way to transition last night’s leftover squash into a whole new dish; the combination of beans, greens and squash is healthy, hearty and colorful on the plate.

-½ roasted butternut squash from Recipe 1

-½ lb dried beans, cooked to your taste and mostly drained of their cooking liquid*

*Something rich, creamy and dense is best, such as pintos, yellow eyes, or a firm soup bean like vallartas (I always use Rancho Gordo’s heirloom beans, cooked in the Rancho Gordo manner, of course: www.ranchogordo.com).

-1 bunch cooking greens (I prefer Tuscan kale or chard), cleaned, ribs removed, and the leaves sliced into thin ribbons.**

**Stack the leaves flat, start at one end and roll into a cigar shape, cut once the long way and then, still holding the roll in place, cut across the short way into thin ribbons; this is called a chiffonade. If you are using chard, also cut the stems into small pieces crossways, and add these to the pan a few minutes before you add the leaves.

-2-4 cloves garlic, sliced

-1 small onion or 2 shallots, chopped

~2 T olive oil

-½ t cumin, ground

-splash of vinegar (I like to use apple cider vinegar)

-salt and pepper to taste

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. When it shimmers, add the garlic, onion, and cumin and sauté, stirring often, until fragrant and beginning to soften.

Turn the heat down to medium-low, and add the greens and a big pinch of salt.

Stir until the greens are lightly coated with oil. Add a splash of vinegar and stir some more.

When the greens begin to shrink and wilt (about 3-5 minutes), add the cooked squash and beans.

Cook, stirring occasionally, until everything is heated and well-mixed. Taste to ensure that the greens are tender. If not, cook a little longer. Add the pepper, plus a little more vinegar and salt if you like.

Serve alone or over rice. Or try it with another grain; I like it with something chewy like farro or wheat berries. Keeps very well for tomorrow’s lunch!

Sophie Sapp’s Blog: TheSuperTaster
Sandy Kwan’s Blog: FancyFoodFancy

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