The recipes for this Mah Jongg Wednesday with the OMs were easy and fun to make. The menu was Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Condiments, Chicken Salad with Feta and Artichoke Hearts, and Yogurt Parfaits with Cherries and Pistachios.

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The Roasted Butternut Squash Soup is a Barefoot Contessa recipe and is delicious!


Serves 4-6
3 to 4 pounds butternut squash, peeled and seeded
2 yellow onions
2 McIntosh apples, peeled and cored
3 tablespoons good olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 to 4 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
1/2 teaspoon good curry powder
Condiments for serving:
Scallions, white and green parts, trimmed and sliced diagonally
Flaked sweetened coconut, lightly toasted
Roasted salted cashews, toasted and chopped
Diced banana

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Cut the butternut squash, onions, and apples into 1-inch cubes. Place them on a sheet pan and toss them with the olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.

Divide the squash mixture between 2 sheet pans and spread in a single layer.

Roast for 35 to 45 minutes, tossing occasionally, until very tender.Meanwhile, heat the chicken stock to a simmer. When the vegetables are done, put them through a food mill fitted with the medium blade.

(Alternatively, you can place the roasted vegetables in batches in a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Add some of the chicken stock and coarsely puree.)

When all of the vegetables are processed, place them in a large pot and add enough chicken stock to make a thick soup.

Add the curry powder, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Taste for seasonings to be sure there’s enough salt and pepper to bring out the curry flavor.

Reheat and serve hot with condiments either on the side or on top of each serving.


The Chicken Salad with Feta and Artichokes is a recipe I made up after seeing something very similar on Fresh Direct.
Serves 4
4 split (2 whole) chicken breasts, bone-in, skin-on
Artichoke Hearts in water
4 ounces Feta cheese cut up into small cubes
Olive Oil
Capers – drained
2 Scallions – green part only, diced
Pinch of Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
Black Pepper
Just a little mayo
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the chicken breasts, skin side up, on a sheet pan and rub them with olive oil. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Set aside until cool.

When the chicken is cool, remove the meat from the bones and discard the skin and bones. Cut the chicken into a 3/4-inch dice.

Place the chicken in a bowl; add all the other ingredients and mix well. Correct seasoning with salt and pepper.

And lastly, the dessert was a recipe from The New York Times.
4 Servings
1/2 pound cherries, pitted and quartered or cut into eighths, depending on the size (about 1/2-inch pieces) (I used frozen cherries since cherry season is long over)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoons mild honey, like clover
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups low-fat Greek-style yogurt
3 tablespoons lightly toasted pistachios, finely chopped (1 ounce)

Combine the cherries and sugar in a bowl and refrigerate for 6 to 8 hours or overnight. The cherries should be slightly softer and sitting in a syrup.

Place a strainer over a bowl and drain the cherries. Reserve the syrup. Divide the cherries into two equal portions. Stir the syrup into the yogurt.

Add the honey and the almond extract and mix together well.

Spoon 1/4 cup yogurt into the bottom of each of four 7- to 8-ounce tumblers or parfait glasses. Distribute the first portion of cherries among the glasses.

Sprinkle pistachios over the cherries. Repeat the layers but do not sprinkle pistachios over the top until you are ready to serve. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour.

Just before serving, sprinkle the remaining chopped pistachios over the top of the parfaits.

Advance preparation: The assembled parfaits will hold in the refrigerator for a day. Sprinkle on the pistachios just before serving.



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