by Erin and Xani
The other night, we decided to get together at Xani's house and cook us up some dinner and spend some time together before Xani goes off on her next trip for work (to LA - stay tuned for some more posts about great LA eats!).
Xani found an Epicurious recipe for Butternut Squash and Noodles with Coconut, Lime and Cilantro Sauce, which not only sounded delicious, but Xani had all the ingredients in her house already! There was, however, one thing we didn't have: dessert. So, before heading to Xani's, we stopped at Dangerously Delicious, a local pie shop, and picked up a few slices for later.
Dangerously Delicious is an adorable little shop in the heart of Federal Hill, which has a wide selection of both sweet and savory pies. While possibly a little overpriced, their pies are absolutely delicious, and the service is always friendly, warm, and personalized. We got two slices to share but we'll get to that in a bit...
As soon as we got home, we started prepping for dinner. Xani chopped the onion and the cut up the butternut squash, while Erin minced the garlic and attempted to seed and mince the jalapeno. This is where the title of this post comes in. In our experience with jalapenos, 9 times out of 10 (or maybe 19 times out of 20!), the jalapenos are a dud. It's not spicy at all - it's like eating a bell pepper! Not this time, though. Erin sliced open the jalapeno and immediately started choking from the fumes. She tasted an itty-bitty piece and it was so spicy she spit it out immediately and directly into the sink! (There wasn't even that moment like, "Is this spicy? (pause) Oh yeah, it's spicy!" - the pain was IMMEDIATE.) This started the endless "It burns us, precious!" commentary from Erin. (Nerd Alert!!)
Orange squash and black nail polish - very Halloween!
Anyway, burning aside, we sauteed up the onions in oil, then added the butternut squash. Then we added chicken broth (previously frozen into one-ounce cubes, for easy use), garlic, and the devil jalapeno (which we left whole so we could remove it later, instead of chopping, for fear of the havoc it might wreak on our dinner). Then we added light coconut milk, lime juice, and red curry paste. YUM! Meanwhile, we boiled up some linguine (instead of udon noodles, didn't have any of those) to the perfect al dente. We tossed the pasta with the sauce, then added chopped cilantro and chopped salted peanuts (the peanuts were our own addition to the recipe).
The dish was very good. As one of the comments on the Epicurious site suggested, a little bit of fish sauce would have added a nice additional dimension to the dish. Also, maybe a bit more curry paste. All in all, though, a great dish.
Final plating of the dish
Then it was time for dessert! From Dangerously Delicious we got two slices: one slice of Strawberry/Apple/Peach pie, and one of Lemon Chess pie. While at the bakery we got a little lesson on Chess Pie, learning that it is a clear custard-based pie, typically made in the South. Neat!
Lemon Chess Pie
Both the pies were great. The Strawberry/Apple/Peach pie was very sweet, and the strawberry was definitely the most prominent flavor. The Lemon Chess was also very sweet, and tasted a lot like a lemon bar.
After dinner we researched how to cure Erin's now-burning hands and arm (she had a mosquito bite on her arm, which she scratched with her jalapeno-hands). We used lots of soap and water, rubbing alcohol, and aloe. How did those cures work out? Let's just say Erin slept in her contact lenses that night. So, the lesson here: wear gloves when dealing with peppers! Even if you think there's no chance in hell they'll be hot, don't take the risk!
Despite the jalapeno drama, it was a really fun time together, as always. Yay BCD sisters!
E & X