Friday, September 17, 2010

Butternut Squash Cyr Stew with Potatisklimp

How's that for a recipe title?! Don't be frightened, this Swedish-Russian fusion dish is worth the pronunciation and more. Potatisklimp are Swedish potato dumplings and operate quite a bit like matzo balls. Cyr is the Russian word for cheese, and here's why I chose it.

If you're lucky enough to live somewhere where they carry Northern European cheeses, look for LeipƤjuusto. Also known as bread cheese here in the US, this does not melt the way most regular cheeses do. It's also got grill marks which impart a nice texture and flavor that I found went well with the butternut squash soup. I was first introduced to this cheese when I was in Russia, although there let's just say it wasn't made from cow's milk. Anywho, in this recipe you could also use a good Halloumi, but you'd want to add it when the soup was slightly cooler.

Here's what you need:

2 medium butternut squash, sliced in half and de-seeded
3 quarts chicken broth
1 white onion, sliced
4 medium carrots, diced
4 tbsp butter
salt to taste

1/4 cup butter, melted
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup fine bread crumbs or matzo meal
1/2 cup peeled and mashed Russian Fingerling potatoes
1/4 tsp lemon zest
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp salt
2 egg whites
1 lb LeipƤjuusto or bread cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the squash cut side down on a baking pan or cookie sheet and bake for an hour. Remove and allow to cool.

Heat the butter in a large stock pot over medium until melted and add the onions and carrots. Cook until the onions begin to brown and add a few cups of broth. Add a cup or two of squash then more broth and mix, continue to do this until all the squash and broth is mixed uniformly in the pot. Add the salt and bring to a strong simmer.

Mix the egg yolks and butter; add the mashed potatoes and stir well. Add the spices and bread crumbs and mix until uniform, you definitely don't want any lumps. Whip the egg whites into stiff peaks and fold into the potato/egg mixture until even, but strive to not kill the fluffiness of the egg whites.

Take teaspoons of the potato mixture and roll gently into balls with your hands and drop into the simmering soup. Do so repeatedly until you're out of potato dumpling mixture and allow to cook for 5-10 minutes uncovered. Cover and cook another 10. Remove from the heat and add the bread cheese, stirring gently as to not break up the dumplings. This soup is most definitely enjoyed hot and fresh.

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