An evening of Myth and Poetry

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February 1, 2017  in Trinidad, CO

​And the winners are...

Paul Agnew's

Sam gave me hints of a recipe and let me run with it so, here are my edits, Sam. :)

 Beef-Stuffed Butternut Squash        

​​Ingredients                                                                                                     1 butternut squash

½ pound ground beef [227g]

2 eggs

1 tsp salt [4.25g]

¼ tsp ground black pepper [1g]

4½ (combined) tbsp butter [64g]

⅓ cup soy sauce [79mL]

2 tbsp pure maple syrup [29.5mL]

1 tbsp oil (I use safflower) [14.8mL]

1½  (combined) cup water [355mL]


Cut butternut squash lengthwise in half.  Scoop out the seeds and put face down in a baking dish with 1 cup [237mL] water.  Bake squash at 350°F [177°C] for 1 hour or until tender (adding more water if necessary).  Allow to cool to a comfortable temperature to work with your hands then cut squash halves crosswise into quarters and scoop centers to create individual boat shapes.  Add ½ tbsp [7g] butter to reserved scooped squash and mash until smooth.

In a bowl, beat two eggs, then add ground beef, salt and pepper.  Mix thoroughly.  Add squash and mix again until well combined.  Spoon squash-meat mixture into the squash boats.

Melt 2 tbsp [28g] butter in a skillet over a medium flame.  Working with two squash boats at a time, place each, meat-side down (this can be accomplished with the help of a thin spatula to hold the meat mixture in place while turning over) in the skillet and allow to brown for 10 minutes.  (You can cook all four at once if your skillet will accommodate them. In this case use 4tbsp [56g] butter, all of the soy-syrup emulsion, and ½ cup [118mL] water in the following instructions.)

Meanwhile, combine soy sauce, maple syrup, and safflower oil in a medium mixing bowl and whisk vigorously until an emulsion forms (ingredients thoroughly mixed so that oil will not separate). 

When squash quarters are browned, pour ½ of the soy-syrup emulsion into skillet, lifting the squashes gently to allow the liquid underneath them.  Cook for 10 minutes more or until the syrup reduces to half its volume.  Add ¼ cup [59mL] water, mixing around the squashes and then turning the squashes over (meat-side up).  Cover and allow to steam 20 minutes. 

If you're working in batches of two squash quarters at a time, repeat with second set of squashes or, alternatively, work simultaneously in a second skillet.

Remove squash quarters to a cutting board, meat side down.  Using a paring knife, gently cut away skin then, with a chef's knife cut into ½ inch [1.25cm] slices, the meat should be cooked through.  Place slices on a plate and spoon syrup-sauce from pan(s) over the slices, allowing it to pool around them on the plate.   

with Meatballs

Cooking Challenge 10.29.19 

You have winter squash, ground beef, zucchini, carrots, fresh ginger and sage, any dried herbs except garlic or onions, maple syrup, bone broth, oats, butter, salt, black pepper, cream, eggs, baking powder/soda, rice capellini pasta, cabbage, snow peas, shoyu.
You don't have to use all of the listed ingredients but CANNOT ADD anything else.
You've got 5 days, GO!!!!
Best recipes get a copy of my poetry book, "Life at the Far End"

(This is really my own riff on Paul's suggestion of a recipe, fun to borrow his inspiration!)


Sam Koumi's

the Muse

Beef-Stuffed Butternut Squash

Creamy Ginger Pasta Primavera with Meatballs

​​Ingredients                                                                                                    2 cups [364g] butternut squash, cubed small
2qt [1.9L] + 1 cup [355mL] water
1 egg
½ pound [227g] ground beef
1 tsp [4g] (combined) dried rosemary-ground
2 [8.5g] tsp salt
½ tsp [2g] ground black pepper
2 – 1inch [2.5cm] sections ginger
¼ pound [113g] butter
¼ cup [33g] + 1 tbsp [8g] brown rice flour
2 carrots
2 tbsp [30mL] pure maple syrup
2 tbsp [30mL] oil (I use safflower)
1 cup [152g] snow peas
1 medium zucchini
½ cup [118mL] heavy cream
½ cup [118mL] whole milk
3 tbsp [38g] minced fresh basil + leaves
½ pound [454g] dried rice pasta (I've found "Jovial" brand holds up best)


​​In a large saucepan, combine 1qt [.9L] water and cubed butternut squash.  Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.  Drain, reserving water.

 In a medium mixing bowl, beat egg then add ground beef, ½ tsp [2g] dried rosemary, ½ tsp [2g] salt, ¼ [1g] tsp black pepper.  Mix thoroughly.  Peel and mince one 1-inch [2.5cm] piece of ginger.  In a small skillet, melt 1tbsp [14g] butter.  When the butter is beginning to brown, add the minced ginger and cook for 1 minute longer.  Pour butter-ginger mixture into ground beef and mix until well combined.  Set aside to allow spices and beef to marry. 

 Peel carrots, cut into 3-4-inch [8cm] lengths and slice thin.  In a medium skillet melt 3 tbsp [43g] butter with maple syrup.  Turn flame to low and add carrots, stirring to coat.  Cook for 20 minutes or until carrots soften and brown, turning frequently to avoid burning.  Remove carrots from pan and set in a slightly warm oven to keep.  Add ½ cup [118mL] squash-water to the warm pan and whisk, lifting the syrup from the bottom of the skillet and mixing with the water.  Set aside.

 Cut zucchini into quarter slices and snow peas into ½ inch [1cm] pieces.  Chop remaining ginger into thin sticks. Heat oil in a large skillet.  Add zucchini and snow peas and sauté until beginning to brown.  Add cut ginger and allow to cook for 1 minute more before adding butternut squash.  Sautee for 5 minutes.  Push vegetables to one side of skillet, clearing a space to melt 2 tbsp [28g] of butter.  Add 1 tbsp [8g] rice flour to melted butter and mix to make a roux then add remaining rosemary, salt, and black pepper and allow the roux to toast slightly.  Slowly pour the remaining carrot glaze into the roux whisking it smooth as you go.  Add cream and milk and whisk well before incorporating the vegetables and minced basil into the sauce with a wooden spoon.  Turn flame to low and allow to simmer gently, adding squash water as the sauce thickens.

 Measure ¼ cup [33g] rice flour onto a dinner plate and shake until evenly distributed.  Form ground beef mixture into 8-10 balls and dredge meatballs through flour until coated entirely.  In the skillet used to glaze the carrots, melt 2 tbsp [28g] butter then place the meatballs evenly spaced in the pan.  Allow to brown 1-2 minutes before turning with tongs.  Turn twice more to allow all sides to brown then cover the skillet and allow to cook 3 minutes longer or until a sample ball is cooked through when cut.  Remove from pan and set in warm oven to keep with carrots.  Add ½ cup [118mL] squash water to warm skillet, whisk to lift meatball drippings from the pan, then pour skillet mixture into vegetable sauce as a thinner.  Continue to simmer sauce and vegies. 

 In a medium saucepan, bring 1qt [.9L] water to boil.  Add pasta and cook until tender.  Drain. 

To assemble:                                                            
Spoon sauce from vegies onto dinner plates.  Place a mound of pasta in the center of the sauce pool then spoon vegies on top of the pasta.  Line meatballs around the plate's border and use carrots to accent.  Sprinkle minced basil for color.  Garnish with full basil leaves.  

Creamy Ginger Pasta Primavera