Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Fuck White Castle.

Fuck White Castle Mini Burgers:

1 lb. Ground Beef- preferably grass fed
1/2 onion chopped fine
1 table spoon worcestershire sauce
1 table spoon kosher salt
generous sprinkle of fresh ground pepper
Dinner Rolls

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Using your hands form small patties small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. You should be able to make about 10 patties. Heat a large skillet, add a small amount of oil to the pan, when pan begins to smoke place patties in the pan. Cook until brown and a little crispy on both sides. At this time you can add cheese if desired allowing it to melt in the last moments of cooking.
Remove patties from pan. Keep fire on under your pan but lower it to med-low temp. Cut dinner rolls in half, and add them cut side down to the pan for 1 minute to heat and crisp the buns.

Add burgers to buns, and add all your favorite condiments! With mini burgers you can have a little of all your favorite burger styles, so have fun. Mix and match and make sure theres lots of different toppings available for your creative culinary desires to run free!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Going back to my roots...

The Husband and I just celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary. Every year we try to do something special and romantic. We’ve gotten all-you-can-eat crabs in Sheepshead Bay, visited my parents (WTF?) gone to Las Vegas so I could compete for Miss Exotic World (again WTF?) last year was one of our best options we went to Ocean City, MD to drink 40s and tequila on the beach with the locals. And this year we thought it would be fun to get back to nature. We would take our city-loving asses into the woods with nothing but a tent, a cooler full of food, a couple sleeping backs and hiking boots. I’m getting back to my roots.

Now, you’re probably saying to yourself, “Peekaboo? The Showgirl? Tent camping??” The answer is YES! Once the glitter is washed off, the sneakers come on, the bra gets thrown on the floor, and the makeup washes completely off and I’m a pretty down to earth boyish kinda girl.

I grew up camping, playing in the dirt, and cooking mud-pies in the back yard covered in whatever I decided to cook. Mud-pie with a side salad of clovers and violets anyone? Sounds delicious…I’ll have two! The funny part of my divided personality is that even at that point of my life I would be cooking my mud-pies while wearing an evening gown complete with socks for boobs. Rolling in the dirt, making up stories about how my husband had tragically left me and my cabbage patch children alone in the woods with no way to fend for ourselves. He was always a truck driver. Strange…since my father was actually a scientist.  But a truck driver was the only thing that would make me being a single mom in the woods believable. Mud was all we had. I had to build ovens, beds out of leaves, dig for food, plant seeds etc. I’m sure that at the end of the day outside I was covered in filth from head to toe! In fact it just made me look like a more believable single mother in the wilderness, so I KNOW I really smudged that grime all over me. That’s what the kiddie pool was all about. After a long day in the yard, my mom would throw me in the pool. I would inevitably try to take the cat with me…Then she would save the violet and clover salad I had made and we would often add them to our actual dinner salad. My mom always encouraged me to eat out of the yard. She taught me that the tiny strawberries in the grass were poison, but mulberries, clovers, raspberries and violets were ok for my experimental cooking.

My love of being outside was fostered by the fact that my parents were and still are outdoors people. We spent every family vacation camping. Part a way to save money, I’m sure, and another part that they truly loved it. We would pack up the car with our camping gear and drive to wherever my Dad felt like. I’ve camped in so many state parks all across the country that I couldn’t count them anymore. And when I got old enough –about 11- I joined the BOY SCOUTS! Yes, I am not a boy, but the girl scouts were for sissies. My mom was teaching me how to cook, and so I had that covered. I wanted to camp, white water raft, go spelunking, rock climb, dive head first into the mud, pee in the woods, and learn how to fend for myself. And…boys were way more interesting than girls. I got along with girls just fine, but I always got along with boys better. Eventually that caused my exit from the scouts as well…but not how you think.

I was an experienced camper in my teens and I even won a scout-cooking contest when I prepared a Cornish game hen roasted on a handmade spit (that I made) over a fire at the age of 13.

Yes, I am a very glittery tomboy.

But ever since my last day of the boy scouts when my best friend –who just happened to be a boy-and I fell asleep talking in the same tent and I was devastatingly kicked out of the scouts for something that never happened, in the most humiliating way possible for a 14 year old girl who had always gotten along with boys better than girls…. I stopped camping.

This anniversary was so exciting because I was going to take it back, and sleep in a tent with a boy, who is my best friend and I might actually do that other stuff too! So…the husband and I loaded up the car with our gear and headed out to Ithaca to camp in one of the State Parks. I was beyond excited! I felt like I was 11 years old all over again as we approached the entrance to the park…paid our $20 and headed our campsite, firewood in hand.

It was about 7pm, I pitched the tent, and he worked on the fire. Then I took over the fire…got that sucker roaring and I began to cook! This was going to be GREAT!! At about 7:30 there was nothing left to do…it was official…we were bored as hell. Holy cow. We both pride ourselves at never really getting bored, I mean we don’t even own a TV…but wow…. this was epic boredom. I started to cook, and we just stared at the chicken on the fire. And stared…and stared…we had a little transistor radio that managed to get a Latin radio station, which we turned on just loud enough to not make too much noise for our neighbors.  We couldn’t wait to eat so we would have something to do. The sun had gone down and it was pitch black outside when I finished cooking. 

The meal I cooked was pretty great!

Here’s a video of it cooking:
video


Yes...we decided to make our night more exciting by popping popcorn! It was super fun to watch, especially when you're as bored as we were!

and...


the recipe for your summer camping trips!

1 chicken cut into pieces.
1 head of radicchio
cauliflower
Zucchini
Baby greens
Fingerling potatoes
Olive oil
Kosher salt
Pepper
mustard
1 lemon

Put a light coating of olive oil on chicken, and then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Arrange chicken on grill over the lightest flame for 15 minutes, and then move to a spot with more flames to cook more thoroughly. Cook for another 20 minutes or so rotating and flipping them about every 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, put the potatoes in tinfoil with olive oil, salt and pepper. Wrap them up tight making a sealed pouch for them. Put the pouch in the coals of the fire. Put it in when you start the chicken. Keep it there until the chicken is done.

While the chicken is cooking cut the Zucchini, halve the raddiccio, and cut cauliflower and place on the grill.

Make a simple vinegrette dressing for the baby greens. Mixing olive oil, salt, pepper, juice of ½ a lemon, and a tiny bit of mustard. And toss greens. Serve grilled Veggies on top of the greens.

Remove potatoes and chicken and serve.

REMEMBER TO DO ALL OF THIS BEFORE NIGHT FALLS! It is very hard to cook and see in the dark no matter how many flashlights you have. It also makes you a lot less scared of HUNGRY BEARS!


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Lamb, lamb, lamb!!!

I can't get enough! I think I may be obsessed with this tender, slightly gamey meat. I can't stop thinking about it, I can't stop ordering it, and all I want to do is cook it and eat it! Last weekend The Husband and I had the incredible Kate Valentine and her beautiful new Husband over for dinner. In keeping with my obsession I attempted a recipe I had never tried. Leg of lamb stuffed with Merguez and swiss chard. I would never normally serve something I hadn't ever cooked at a dinner party, but this recipe sounded so good that I couldn't resist. I took the risk. And...WOW, it was delicious! I had to hold back my excitement as I sliced it for the first time to discover how perfectly cooked it was...just a little pink in the center. I even did a mini victory dance in the kitchen. Mmmmm....my mouth is watering again just thinking about it. 


I served it with a root mash of parsnips, rutabaga, and potatoes and swiss chard sauteed with bacon. And Kate, who is an incredible cook, brought over homemade rhubarb pie for dessert!


I got the recipe from the book: "Fresh from the Market: Seasonal Cooking with Laurent Tourondel"


It's a fantastic recipe book for those who enjoy eating local and seasonal, which I try to do as much as possible. This recipe was in the Spring section, and the only thing I changed was that I used a boneless leg of lamb instead of the shoulder. 


Here's the recipe! Enjoy!!








Ingredients

  • For The Lamb

    • 1 (4-pound) boneless lamb shoulder
    • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
    • 2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper
    • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • Coarse salt
    • 5 tablespoons canola oil
    • 2 lemons, halved crosswise
    • 6 shallots, halved
    • 1 head garlic, halved crosswise
    • 8 sprigs fresh thyme
    • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
    • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • For The Merguez Stuffing

    • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 bunch Swiss chard, leaves and stems separated
    • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 small onion, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
    • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
    • 1/2 pound merguez sausage, casings removed
    • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
    • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
    • 1/2 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
    • Zest of 1 lemon
    • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
    • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

    Directions

    1. Marinate the Lamb: Spread the lamb open on work surface. Score the inside of the meat with a paring knife, making incisions every 3/4 inch and taking care not to cut all the way through the meat. Rub inside of lamb with 1 tablespoon oregano and 1 tablespoon pepper. Turn and rub outside with remaining tablespoon of oregano and tablespoon pepper; drizzle outside with olive oil. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet, cover, and refrigerate for 1 hour.
    2. Make the Merguez Stuffing: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Prepare an ice-water bath. Add chard leaves and cook for 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, immediately transfer to ice-water bath. Cool, drain, and squeeze out excess water; coarsely chop. Chop enough of the chard stems so that you have 1 cup chopped; discard any remaining stems.
    3. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add garlic and chard stems; continue cooking until onions are translucent and garlic is fragrant, about 3 minutes. Transfer onion mixture to a medium bowl; set aside.
    4. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil to skillet and increase heat to high. Crumble sausage into skillet and cook, stirring, until sausage is brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Add chard leaves, reserved onion mixture, rosemary, and thyme; stir to combine. Add panko, lemon zest, mint, and parsley; remove skillet from heat and season with salt and pepper. Spread stuffing on a rimmed baking sheet and let cool.
    5. Roast the Lamb: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Season lamb with salt and bring to room temperature.
    6. Spread the cooled stuffing over the scored side of the lamb. Loosely roll, like a jelly roll; using 5 pieces of kitchen twine, tie lamb at even intervals to secure stuffing.
    7. Heat canola oil in a roasting pan over high heat. Add lamb to pan and cook, turning, until browned on all sides, about 2 minutes per side. Turn lamb so it is seam-side down in roasting pan. Add lemons, shallots, garlic, thyme, and rosemary to pan and transfer to oven. Roast lamb for 20 minutes, turn, and continue roasting 10 minutes more for medium. Transfer lamb to a cutting board, reserving juices in pan, and loosely cover with parchment paper-lined aluminum foil; let stand for 10 minutes.
    8. Place the roasting pan on the stove over medium heat. Add 1/2 cup water and lemon juice and cook, scraping up any browned bits with a wooden spoon, about 2 minutes.
    9. Remove twine from lamb and, using a sharp carving knife, cut lamb into 12 slices. Arrange on a platter and garnish with lemon, shallots, garlic, thyme, and rosemary from roasting pan. Spoon pan juice over lamb and serve immediately.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

DUCK IN BED: The new food movement soon to replace Breakfast in Bed



About a month ago The Husband and I acquired a duck. It was stuffed into a bag of goodies that my mom loaded us up with after a visit to my parents.  We LOVE duck.  There really isn’t much better than the rich fatty meat of a duck.  It’s better than heaven. We decided to make an event of this treat. We called it, “DUCK IN BED”. I roasted it so it was crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside, then we brought it into bed on a platter and tore into it like we were cave men, or at least like we were at Medieval Times Restaurant.  No need for utensils just a bunch of napkins. It was awesome…seriously awesome.

Last Sunday I skipped into the Farmers Market like I was a 5 year old in a toy store, I love the Farmers Market! I spotted the Hudson Valley Duck table where I learned about a type of duck called Lola. Lola is a cross between a Pekin and a mallard. Smaller than the standard Pekin, which is usually about 6 pounds; this little guy was about 3, and a little richer in flavor. Perfect for 2 people, perfect for DUCK IN BED! Here’s the recipe, and if you’d like to find your own Lola Duck, go to www.hudsonvalleyduckfarm.com

 *note: this recipe only works with Lola Duck, if you use a regular sized Pekin you'll need to cook it longer*

You’ll need: Roasting Pan and rack

1 Lola Duck 
Fresh rosemary
Fresh thyme
1 onion
Brussels sprouts
2 chopped potatoes
Salt
Pepper

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

Sprinkle duck with a generous portion of salt and pepper inside as well as on the skin. Sprinkle fresh rosemary and thyme on the duck and inside. Place ¼ of the onion inside the duck. Place in rack. Spread potatoes and Brussels sprouts on the bottom of the roasting pan. Cook duck for 15 minutes breast side up. After 15 minutes flip duck breast side down and cook for 20 minutes. Finally flip one more time turn the heat up to 450 degrees and cook for 10 more minutes to crisp up the skin. Duck should be pink on the inside, and veggies at the bottom should be cooked nicely in the duck fat.

Serve in BED!

*Note: Be sure to save the duck fat at the bottom of the pan in a jar. Duck fat is one of the tastiest fats to cook with! Don’t waste this simple pleasure!!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

STRIPPER TOP TEN: Foods NOT to eat before working at the Club


10)  Canned Tuna 
9)    Onions on anything
8)    Eggs
7)    Lentil Soup
6)    Garlic knots, or rather Garlic “Nots”
5)    Chinese Food
4)    Korean Food
3)    Indian Food
2)    Hot Dogs
1)    Chili 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

I'm a Stripper.


Photo Courtesy: Roxi Dlite


I’m a stripper. I’m a wife. I’m a cook. I’m a dancer. I’m a choreographer. I am an artist.

The last decade of my life has been about one thing…following through on all the seemingly unrelated things that I do in my life, and trying to find the one common bond between them- if any. I keep it real, I stay alive, and I discover all the little nooks around me. Now is my time to come out.

When I was 15 years old all I wanted to be was a stripper. I couldn’t wait to turn 18 go to a strip club and maybe get a job. I turned 18, went to a strip club and felt like I had walked into a long lost home. I didn’t want to leave and at the same time I wanted to run. I stared in awe at the women around me, and was mesmerized by the men watching them. I did not get a job. The Power of Pussy intrigued and haunted me.

For the next five years Russ Meyer, Tura Satana, and strippers were my heroes. I was obsessed with sleaze, porn, camel cigarettes, old man bars, and the underbelly of life. There was an honesty there that I craved. I wanted to get closer to the strippers but I was afraid of something. Until two years ago I never knew what I was afraid of…would I get lost into that world? Was I wrong to think there was something deeper? Or was I being honest with myself in the fact that I liked it?

“The Power of Pussy 
intrigued and haunted me.”

I’ve always lived my life organically and very instinctually. I trust the voices in my head even though I don’t always understand why they tell me to “wait.”

When I was 23, I moved to New York and I discovered Burlesque. I had always been a fan of old Burlesque and was very familiar with the history. In every writing class in college I wrote about burlesque, seedy histories of strippers, stag films from the 60s, or the Golden Age of Porn…like I said, I was obsessed with sleaze and usually it was of the vintage variety. When I found Burlesque being performed in New York it was my way to strip without stripping. I loved it, and I felt like I was complete when I did my first show. Three years later Burlesque was my full time job, and I had discovered my bliss. But, I still wanted to be a stripper.

So, for my 30th birthday I gave myself a present, permission to be a stripper. Not just a stripper…a stripper in the Bronx. Happy Birthday to me! 

To be continued…

Friday, March 4, 2011

"We're actually going to EAT that?": Eatocracy.com's Vintage Cookbook Challenge


Yes, that was the real reaction of The Husband after we went out to get all the ingredients necessary for the Vintage Cookbook Double Dare.  Dinner set in Jello...nothing could sound more disgusting. Oh! Wait! Let's add some lunch meat to it.  Tongue and Blood Loaf, Olive Loaf, and some regular old ham.  Let the 1930s live in our house for one night.  Good thing this is New York City and we can order in back up if necessary, but who knows, maybe it'll be delicious.  Jello was a staple in the American diet for decades! Maybe I should try being old fashioned?  Thanks Kat, for opening my mind to Jello....we...maybe...

Here's the recipe via Eatocracy.com
http://eatocracy.cnn.com/2011/02/28/vintage-cookbook-vault-aspic-supper-salad-challenge/

Vegetable Supper Salad
1 package lemon-flavored gelatin
2 cups boiling water
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped salad
1 cup shredded cabbage
1/2 cup grated carrot
1 green pepper, chopped
Dissolve prepared gelatin in boiling water. Add vinegar and salt. Place in refrigerator Cabinet until mixture begins to thicken, then fold in celery, cabbage, carrot and green pepper. Turn into mold and return to Cabinetuntil ready to serve.
Unmold on crisp lettuce. Serve with thin slices of cold meat for the main course at supper or luncheon. (Any desired vegetables may be used in this recipe.)

DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME! I did it for you... and The Husband and I tried to eat it...but honestly, unless you are over 80 years old or you have an unhealthy love of Jello...it's pretty bad. We ate a piece, tasted the Tongue, and honestly I enjoyed the tongue...much more than the jello.  We then reached for the delivery menus. There was a part of me that thought that I was going to be very surprised, that this recipe might blow my mind with the endless possibilities of Jello.  After all, my Grandma used to serve some sort of Jello salad at every Christmas dinner.  But no, instead of munching down on the Aspic Salad, we ordered Chinese food.

But making it is a different story!  It was the most fun cooking that I had had in a long time. Learning all the rules for getting Jello out of a mold without it breaking, or simply just shopping for a Jello mold! And discovering that The Husband has an unnatural knack for arranging lunch meat on a platter was the best surprise. Yes, he was the one to decorate the plate with Tongue, Olive Loaf, and Ham...pretty impressive I must say!

Here's a couple photos of my finished Jello monstrosity!






Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Pyrex and why I wish I had taken Physics in school.

On Sunday I learned a very important lesson in my kitchen through one of the worst cooking disasters in my kitchen's history.  It made me wish I had opted to take Physics in school.  Maybe I'll go back and take a class one of these days, not only to learn the mechanics of tassel twirling, but to learn how and why a Pyrex casserole dish explodes in your oven.

In my travels this past year, I spent a month in London.  While I was there, some of my favorite moments were spent over Sunday Roast.  Their tradition for Sunday Roast made me so happy.  It's pretty much the same thing as our Weekend Brunch, but I've never really been a big fan of breakfast food (there's really only so many times you can have eggs benedict)  But the Roast is a completely different story! And a leg of lamb is way more delicious to me than stupid eggs. Since I've been home from London, I've cooked Sunday Roast many times for The Husband.  This weekends roast will go down in history.

I set out on Sunday afternoon, a little late, and hoped to catch the last hour of the farmers market.  My plan was to buy whatever cut of meat was left and a bunch of root veggies, head home and turn on the oven.  I left too late however, and missed the market all together.  Feeling adventurous The Husband and I decided we would see what Fairway in Red Hook was like.  I had heard that they carried a lot of local food, and they might, but it is HUGE.  Way too big for me, and the exact opposite of any store I would willingly go into.  We were so overwhelmed that we ran, screaming, "How the fuck do we get out of here!!???"  Big box stores are SO not my thing.  Maybe if it was open 24 hours, I could go at 3am and enjoy it when there's no one in there.  Probably not...over-abundant supermarkets make me a little nauseous.

After that defeat we decided to go to a new butcher shop.  Closed.  Fuck it, we are going to our butcher. We went to our butcher shop, got a beautiful leg of lamb, and I jumped for joy! I even bought a few beef bones for future stock!

We headed home, and I started the roast, rubbed the leg with honey, garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper.  Put it in a Pyrex pan, and popped it in the oven for what was to be an hour and half.  At an hour and 20 minutes into the roast I added a little stock (which was cold) to the pan to add a little moisture to the bottom of the pan, and as I was adding it, the pyrex pan EXPLODED! And I mean EXPLODED! Smoke started billowing out of the oven, The Husband grabbed the fire extinguisher, I screamed, turned off the oven as fast as possible, opened the windows, closed all the doors to the kitchen and placed towels at the bottom of the doors.  There was glass EVERYWHERE.  I'm lucky that I didn't get hit with it. We did not end up needing the fire extinguisher because The Husband and I jumped into action!  The next half hour was spent fanning the smoke out the window, the kitchen was FILLED with smoke.  The smoke faded, as we rescued the lamb from the rubble.  Cut off the pieces that might have touched glass, and crunched the oven closed to worry about in the morning.

It was a disaster, but somehow the roast came out delicious, and perfectly cooked but it still felt like a defeat. I learned an important lesson...do not add cold liquid to pyrex that is already hot in the oven.  In fact, I am going one step farther.  I will never roast in pyrex, only cast iron, or metal.  I recommend that you do the same.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Easy Lunches with Easy Women: Gal Friday!

Last week I had Gal Friday over for lunch.  I asked her ahead of time, "if you could have anything in the world to eat, what would it be?" Her answer, "I'm craving veggies like crazy!!...And and all veggies. mmmmm :)" And that's exactly what I cooked her.  Lots and lots of veggies!  So many veggies...more than any other meal I've ever made.  This lunch turned out so well that I have literally made it 4 times in the last 6 days!  Hot damn, the best salad ever.



Roasted Veggie Salad a la Gal Friday

1 beet chopped into bite size cubes
1 celery root chopped into bite size cubes
cauliflower
2 leeks- green part removed, sliced down the middle and rinsed.
2 carrots peeled and sliced
12 brussel sprouts halved
cabbage- sliced into large pieces
1 acorn squash or delicata squash
5 fingerling potatoes
arugula
radiccio
1 clove garlic minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
salt
pepper
Romano Cheese

**yes, that IS a lot of veggies!**

Preheat oven to 350

Combine all veggies (except for arugula and radiccio and garlic)in a bowl, coat with olive oil, add salt and coarse ground pepper, stir.  Spread veggies onto a cookie sheet so that the veggies are all on a single layer.  If needed use two cookie sheets. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until the veggies start to brown.

While veggies are cooking prepare the dressing.  Mix olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper whisk together.

Place radiccio and arugula on plates, when roasted veggies are done put them on top of the raw greens. Pour dressing on top of all veggies.  Finish with grated Romano Cheese and a little fresh ground pepper.

Enjoy!!

Gal and I always have a great time together, she's a free spirited, down-to-earth kinda girl and I love her! At the end of the lunch the sun had gone down, and it was time for me to pack up for a gig.  Gal left this note for The Husband.  It has made both of us laugh many many times.  This is a perfect example of what makes Gal awesome.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Easy Lunches with Easy Women: Lil Miss Lixx and Leah Alice!

Last week I had a fabulous lunch with two lovely ladies.  I think I'm going to make a point to have at least one sexy woman over to my house for lunch every week.  I'd love to have beautiful women in my kitchen everyday, but I take what I can get.  So, I'm starting something new, Easy Lunches with Easy Women!

Last week I had Lil Miss Lixx and Leah Alice over. We got the gossip out early, then talked about books, movies, and of course a lot about sex, drugs, and rock and roll!  For the first of these lunches I decided to go with something simple.  So here's what I made:

Butternut Squash Soup with Ginger Shrimp

SOUP:
1 large Butternut Squash- peeled, seeded and chopped into smaller pieces
2 shallots chopped (about 1 cup)
3 star anise
2 cloves garlic minced
4 cups chicken stock
2 cups vegetable stock
2 tablespoons kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper
cilantro for garnish

SHRIMP:
1 lb. large shrimp deveined and peeled
3 tablespoons ginger minced
salt
1 tablespoon olive oil

For the Soup: sauté shallots, garlic, and star anise in 2 tablespoons butter until shallots are tender. Add butternut squash and sauté for a couple minutes. Add stocks and cook until squash is tender and falling apart.  Remove star anise.  With an emersion blender (you can use a regular blender as well, just so it in batches) blend soup until thin. Add salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, marinate shrimp in ginger and salt.  When soup is ready to be served.  Heat a pan with olive oil and add shrimp to hot pan.  Cook until slightly browned and pink. (only a couple minutes)

Serve soup in a bowl, add shrimp to soup and garnish with cilantro.