Ginger for the Holidays: Butternut Squash Recipe
With the news about Kate Middleton’s pregnancy this week, everyone is talking about morning sickness. One of the best natural remedies for an expectant mama’s upset stomach is ginger root. Ginger powder is simple, easy to use, and provides a host of wellness benefits – both for pregnant people and non-pregnant people alike! And with Hannukah, Christmas, and the many other wintertime holidays are right around the corner, we figured it’s a perfect time to share a delicious ginger recipe.
To get some ideas on how to incorporate ginger powder into tasty holiday dishes, we spoke with Peruvian Chef Jean Paul Desmaison, owner of Jean Paul’s House; a 1920s cottage-turned-bistro restaurant and market located in Miami.
Chef Desmaison specializes in New World Cuisine. He’s known for using organic, locally grown, sustainable ingredients in simple dishes that let the tastes and textures shine through.
He weighs in below on keeping food and decor simple and shares a delicious butternut squash puree recipe:
Jean Paul, in your restaurant/market, Jean Paul’s House, you’ve created a warm, inviting space for dining, relaxing, and enjoying food in its freshest, simplest forms. For those of us hosting holiday dinners, what would you suggest to give a special, subtle touch to light up regular dining rooms, tables, or plates?
I like simplicity, starting with the menu and keeping with that theme to the décor. I recommend using large, elegant, white plates or trays that will present the food nicely. It is important that the food is not to the edge of the plate, but in the center. When using serving trays, be sure to place the food in an organized way so that it is easy to be served. For the table, I would decorate with ONE important center piece or flower arrangement, again keeping it simple.
It is always a nice touch to have an oversized champagne bucket with some bottles of champagne. You can also add wine and sparkling water bottles, giving all the bottles and the table a nice festive look.
How important is it to you to use organic and locally grown foods?
Organic should be the call for everyone. Why have all these pesticides when we can avoid them? Because I tend to cook simply, letting the flavors, tastes and textures be the stars, it is extremely important to use organic and fresh ingredients every time, simply because the food tastes and is better. Organic farmers and growers are putting more effort in making these products, so the quality is much, much higher.
What is the easiest way to use organic ginger powder in a dinner entree? In a dessert?
The easiest way to use ginger powder would be a soup or a puree. For example, if you make a butternut squash puree and you add a little of the pure organic ginger powder, it will give a nice kick of flavor. Also, you can use it as you use salt or pepper. Some of the ginger powder will always give an extra flavor.
The phrase “farm-to-table” is thrown around loosely these days. What does farm-to-table mean to you?
For me it’s to use great quality ingredients in a way that you take advantage of the quality and flavor. The less ingredients you use and a way to try to only boost the flavors is a better formula.
You bring your Peruvian and French influences to your food. What’s the most unique dish you serve at your restaurant?
I will have to say it is the Eggplant Carpaccio. I haven’t seen that dish anywhere, and I started that dish in 1999 at my first restaurant. When people hear Peruvian food, most think of ceviche. Of course, there are a lot of dishes that have my personal touch that makes them unique, but if I have to choose one, that would be it.
Can you share a simple recipe using organic ginger powder that our readers can try at home, maybe in a side dish for the holidays?
Butternut squash puree is a nice dish to serve during the holidays.
Butternut Squash Puree
- Butternut squash
- Organic sugar
-Wakaya Perfection Organic Ginger Powder
1. Peel the butternut squash and cut it into pieces.
2. Boil the pieces of squash with a pinch of sugar.
3. When tender, strain and puree in a food processor, or by hand if necessary.
4. Place the squash in a pot over med/low heat.
5. Add an organic ginger powder (like Wakaya Perfection), salt and pepper to taste, a small piece of butter, and stir until the the squash concentrates and makes desired puree texture. (You can also add a touch of heavy cream.) The organic ginger powder will give an extra amazing flavor and also a little spicy kick.
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