Squash Soup With Pork & Apple Salsa

Turban Squash

This beautiful looking soup is made with leftovers and it took me about 10 minutes to make….. and it was delicious! A few nights ago I made an easy meal of roasted squash purée and a roasted pork tenderloin. It is very simple to make, I cut the squash in half, seasoned with salt and pepper and put it in the oven to roast. The pork tenderloin was seasoned with salt and pepper and put in the oven to roast along side the squash. Temperature was 375º and the squash was in the oven for about an hour and the pork for about 30-40 minutes.

Pork TenderloinPink Pearl Applethyme






For the soup I puréed the Turban Squash and heated it up. For the salsa, I chopped up the ends of the pork tenderloin and added a little thyme, olive oil and some Pink Pearl Apple I had leftover from a photo shoot for my preppings.com website where you can find definitions on the ingredients I used.

Squash Soup Pork & Apple Salsa


The tart flavor of the apple made a great addition to the soup and pork and apple is always a good combination. I call this using up leftovers, but in the restaurant business you call this a creative use of ingredients and the nightly special and where you can make your profits.

Happy New Year 2016


Black-Eyed Peas are a traditional good luck dish (see Wikipedia) originating in the Southern part of the United States. Duck is traditionally good luck for the Chinese New Year so I decided to double down on my good luck and make Duck Confit Black-Eyed Peas with slow Roasted Tomatoes.duck.confit









I added sliced garlic and chopped thyme to the cut tomatoes and slow roasted them at 250º for about 3 hours. I cooked the duck legs in duck fat for 3 1/2 hours at 325º.  I cooked the black-eyed peas separately with aromatics and then added the roasted tomatoes and picked duck confit and mixed all together.

Here’s to a Happy 2016!

Wild Mushroom Risotto

Mushroom Risotto

I love when the weather starts to get colder and I can start cooking hardy meals again. The cold weather and the autumn ingredients are coming together right now and I decided to make one of my favorite dishes: Mushroom Risotto. Making risotto for me is second nature because I have done it so many times and it is such a satisfying all in one dish.

Autumn Mushrooms

For this dish I made a classic risotto with Chanterelles Mushrooms cooked with the rice and a roasted Manzanita Bolete Mushroom on top. The Manzanita Bolete Mushroom is similar to the Porcini Mushroom but has a sweeter flavor and is big and meaty like the Porcini.

Seared Ribeye Steak With Mushroom Ragout



Running an online food dictionary has its perks because I get to use the unusual ingredients to create a fun meal. After photographing the ingredients for the Preppings database I get to to figure out how to use them for a meal. Tonight I am cooking a ragout of Hedgehog Mushrooms and Fresh Oaxaca Red Beans, sautéed Loroco Flowers, and seared Ribeye Steak.


Hedgehog Mushrooms (pictured below right) have just started their season and have an earthy flavor and great substitutes would be  Chanterelle Mushrooms and Yellow Foot Mushrooms. Fresh Oaxaca Red Beans (pictured below middle) are one of the types of fresh shelling beans that is similar to Fresh Cranberry Beans with a earthy-slightly sweet flavor and a creamy texture. This is my first time cooking with Loroco Flowers (pictured above and below left). They have a flavor similar to Asparagus and are typically used inside Pupusas. The complex flavor combination of the Loroco Flowers worked well with the steak and mushrooms.

Loroco FlowerFreshOaxacanBeanHedgehogMushroom