Guest Post 1 : Beet Apple Salsa and Curry Pumpkin Hummus

So here's a new thing for Six Course Dinner. For the first time (but not the last?) , we have a guest post. This comes from Ashley North Compton of The Wanderous. You have been reading The Wanderous, haven't you? Six Course Dinner was lucky enough to be apart of The Wanderous a few times over the summer, and now it is time to repay the favor. So here is Ashley's take on some perfect autumn snacking foods, as well as a few gorgeous photos and the sassiest writing to ever grace 6CD. Without further ado....Ashley? If you are ready?


Oh fall, you're back and I am happy for your abundant return.

I think, if nothing else, fall is a celebration of variety. Lots of tonal, saturated colors abound. Many different textures and tastes are available naturally. Bitter and savory mix with natural-sweet [think root vegetables] + spicy. Said spice[s] compliment the crunchiest of apples and the succulent-est (uh...) of squash. I could go on; I will spare you.

Though fall clearly strikes many-a-fancy; there is something a bit sad about the carefree, long, slow summer nights escaping away. Enter :: traditional summer dishes re-imagined with fall-like flavors...

In no particular order- beet apple salsa + curry-pumpkin hummus. Served in tandem to kick the autumnal color-qualities up a notch with an edible dipping mechanism[s] of ones' choosing. Tending towards temperature contrasts, I made homemade [read: slightly crunchy but mostly warm] spelt tortilla chips topped with black sea salt. Natural charcoal on the salt is detoxifying- and also, contrast is pretty. Truly- this duo, separate or together, would be good on many-an item...from a grilled veggie to a rice cracker to within a wrap or atop salad. Dips are sort of awesome that way- they keep for a while and are endlessly malleable to form, or supplement, other dishes at a later date.

Let's start, in a scholarly-alphabetical fashion, with the farmers-market-procured:

Beet Apple Salsa
[makes about 2 c; double/triple to your hearts content].


4-6 medium to large beets
1 gala apple
1/2 red onion
2 fresh cayenne peppers (or 1 jalapeƱo)
1 clove of garlic
2 TB cold pressed olive oil
2 TB red wine vinegar
1 TB fresh lemon juice
sea salt + freshly ground pepper to taste

Peel and steam the beets. Beets are lovely roasted- but steaming keeps a bit more of the crunch. Next, dice the apple, onion and said (now cooled) beets. Mince the garlic and add, then the cayennes after de-ribbing and de-seeding them [unless you are a badass]. Combine with all other ingredients.

Curry-Pumpkin Hummus
[makes about 4 cups as such]


1 can of organic pumpkin
1 can of organic garbanzo beans
[note :: yes, freshly cooking both of the above is preferred...but sometimes annoying]
1 TB tahini
1/4 c. curried cashews [alternatively 1/4 c. raw cashews and about 1/2 extra TB of curry]
4 TB fresh lemon juice
2 cloves garlic
1-2 tsp of fresh ginger
3 TB olive oil
a splash of balsamic vinegar
a splash of authentic maple syrup
1 TB curry powder [to taste]
sea salt + freshly ground pepper, to taste

Combine all in a food processor. Add more olive oil if need-be.

Either recipe is easily doctored and is notably subjective. Consistencies and 'hotness' can be altered to one's liking. The only requirement is both, respectively, must be placed in pretty little bowls.

Not too shabby, I would say. Thanks, Ashley! Job well done! All of those words and photos are property of Ashley North Compton, so show 'm some respect, eh?

If you are interested in writing up a guest post, send me an email and we'll work something out. If the rest are as good as this, I might have time to go on a nice vacation. If only I could afford to...maybe if I sold a kidney....



One Day, These Asian Pears Will Sing


.............................................................................................See this asian pear tree?

It has just found a new home right in that spot. I know because I put it there. I dug the hole to the correct depth. I cleared out all of the old and gnarly roots that were there from some long gone tree or vine. I made sure the tree was level. I checked to see that the bud union faced north. I filled in the hole with rich soil. I built a berm around the tree.

I did it because I wanted to help.

This tree is now apart of the latest addition to Great Kids Farm, a farm owned by Baltimore City Public Schools that helps teach students about the sources of healthy foods as well as supplying the school system with nutritious foods instead of frozen/canned/processed foods. About 25 or so volunteers spent a few hours at this gem of a farm to help plant a 'mini orchard' of apples, plums, persimmons, peaches, and even asian pears.




The hope is that students will come and learn more about where their food comes from as well as directly take part in growing the very food that will end up on their cafeteria tray. It is an amazing thing being done by Baltimore City Public Schools, and more directly, Tony Geraci, the man who started it all (and recent winner of Baltimore City Paper's "Best Public Servant" award). I heard Mr. Geraci talk a few weeks ago about the program and I am very glad to be able to help out.

If you live in the Greater Baltimore area, I urge you to look into supporting this program in anyway way you can. I don't get too political on Six Course Dinner, but this is a cause that is too important to pass by. Helping our city's students get the proper nutrition they need to help stay focused in class has enormous payoffs for everyone. Besides, don't you want to get out to a beautiful farm for an afternoon:







"Ancho Chile Sourdough Brownie Waffles" or "Using Your Sourdough Starter"


You have been using your sourdough starter, right? Good. Because I'm getting pretty excited by mine. Latest creation, the extremely elusive ancho chile brownie waffle. A breakfast years in the making, these waffles can definitely be filed under "fuel in the tank".

ancho chile brownie waffles

I'm not going to post the waffle recipe here, as it is directly evolved from the King Arthur Flour recipe. Simply make a double batch, adding some cocoa powder and 72% chocolate to one batch and three ground up ancho chiles to the other. Top with some strawberries and some freshly whipped whipped cream and serve alongside a few incredible people.

brunch by kvh
above photo by kvh



Salmon with Blueberry Mustard and Sour Cream

salmon with blueberry mustard and sour cream

I know that I have recently done a post featuring salmon. I'll admit it, salmon is probably my favorite fish. I could go on and on about how much I could eat it at any meal of the day, but that is time better spent cooking rather than preaching. So, here is a simple and delicious accompaniment to a nice fillet of salmon.

1 cup blueberries
2 - 3 heaping tbsp whole grain mustard
1 shallot, chopped
2 tbsp butter
salt and pepper to taste

In a pan over medium heat, add butter and cook until melted. Add finely chopped shallot and cook until starting to become translucent. Before the shallots have begun to brown, add blueberries, stirring in to coat with butter in the pan. As the blueberries begin to cook, they will start to soften. When they do, gently crush then with the back of a spoon. When the pan is full of a wonderfully purple paste, stir in mustard. Cook down for one minute to remove excess moisture. Season with salt and pepper and serve with salmon and a nice dollop of fresh sour cream.