A short while ago, we hosted round three of the dinner ‘competition’ that I’ve been invited to join.
The theme for the night was Mexican-fusion. Not so much a ‘formal’ theme, but definitely fun. We decided on the following menu items: spicy black bean tostadas; pumpkin, feta, and pine nut quesadillas; and chocolate coconut molten lava cakes.
The menu was shaped in part by our guests’ dietary requirements: vegetarian; and also onion, coriander, and chilli free. A common juggle amongst today’s dinner hosts! To cater to our party’s needs we also made variations of a few of the menu items, or omitted some of the original ingredients altogether.
I think we fared well and I was particularly pleased with our entrée and dessert dishes. The tostadas were a novel introduction to the night, and the molten lava cakes were too inviting to refuse. Our guests seemed happy!
I’ve been waiting for the perfect opportunity to cook with coconut oil. I love coconut and it seems to be the superfood ‘flavour of the month’. Proselytising many (women at least), it’s being hailed as a mega-electrolyte source, an age-defying elixir, and of course, an aid to weight loss.
Back to coconut oil … I had some carrots in the fridge and so decided to make pumpkin carrot soup. Hence the (coconut oil) opportunity. I would sauté the vegetables in coconut oil and then also add coconut milk, to produce a rich coconut flavour. I would also add ginger and, at the end, chilli flakes and lime. Sounding Thai? I hoped so!
To get the vegetables to liquids ratio right, I sought guidance from Jamie’s Pumpkin and Ginger soup recipe.
Here’s what my recipe ended up looking like:
Coconut, Pumpkin, and Carrot Soup
1T coconut oil
large thumb of grated ginger
1L vegetable stock
200mL coconut milk
chilli flakes to taste
salt and pepper
half a lime
- Cut pumpkin and carrots into chunks.
- Heat coconut oil in a large pot and sauté pumpkin and carrots.
- Add ginger, vegetable stock, coconut milk, and chilli flakes.
- Bring mixture to the boil and then simmer for 40 minutes until vegetables are tender enough to mash or process.
- Mash or process soup mixture, to develop a texture to your liking (smooth or chunky).
- Season with salt and pepper and add a squeeze of lime before serving.