Winter has arrived and the snowstorm turned the city into a winter wonderland. It's time for those hot cocos and books in front of the fire...
Tonight, I am having "the scholar" over for dinner. He is my go-to guy when it comes to writing, guinea pig for new recipes, best friend and treasured confidant.
He is a writer and an editor by profession. That is why he is here tonight to celebrate his big promotion at work.
He inspires me to write from within. To see past the mundane and appreciate what it could be rather than what it is. After all, we all need to be lifted and transported somewhere much more colourful and bright especially during these times. Stories and pictures do that for me.
Writing, photography and cooking are far from what I do for a living but are all on the same creative vein. It all feeds my soul.
What better way to pass this cold winter night than a warm meal with someone I admire and a great wine to accompany the great conversation we are about to have...
I love fruits! I have it for breakfast every morning and it's what I reach for when I lack time to have a proper meal.
Tonight, I am making a warm mango-butternut squash soup to start and a yummy orange-honey chicken served with vegetables and a simple steamed rice to accompany this sweet and savory dish.
I guess I am in a sugary state of mind... naturally.
Mango-Butternut Squash Soup
- 1 small butternut squash, cubed
- 1 medium mango, peeled and cubed
- 1 small sweet potato, peeled and cubed
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 tsp ginger, grated
- 1 small onion, peeled and cubed
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 tbsp fresh or dried lemongrass
- 1 tsp celery powder
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, optional
- Season to taste
- In a large pot, melt butter and saute onion and garlic for 2 minutes over medium to high heat.
- Add mango and cook for another 2 minutes.
- Add butternut squash and sweet potato. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.
- Mix in ginger, lemongrass and celery powder.
- Pour in chicken stock. Cover and bring to a boil.
- When at a boiling point, lower heat and cook for another 20 minutes or until squash is tender.
- Add cayenne pepper if you like and season to taste.
- Set aside for 5 minutes to cool.
- Blend the soup in the pot with a hand blender or in batches with a stand blender.
- If you are using a dried lemongrass, run the soup into a strainer to remove stringy particles.
- Garnish with mango if you like.
- 1 whole chicken, cut in half
- 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice or in a box.
- 1/4 cup real honey
- 1 tbsp hoison sauce
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1tsp ginger, grated
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- For the marinate, whisk all ingredients into a bowl.
- Pour mixture on to the chicken.
- It's best when marinated overnight. If not, at least a couple of hours.
- Take chicken out of the fridge and let it sit in room temperature for 5 minutes.
- Pour half of the marinating liquid into a cup and set aside.
- Saturate chicken with the remaining mixture.
- Preheat oven to 375 F.
- Roast with skin side up for 20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes, pour remaining liquid and baste. Cook for another 20 minutes.
- Baste and roast for another 20 minutes with a total of 60 minutes in cooking time or until internal temperaure reads 180-185 F.
- Take it out of the oven and cover with an aluminum foil.
- Set aside for about 10-15 minutes before serving.
Make it a great one!