You can bake the custard in one large kabocha squash or pumpkin, slicing it like a pie to serve - or you can prepare several smaller sugar pumpkins, serving them whole or sliced in half. For the most silken custard, do not use "lite" coconut milk. To make the custard more sweet than savory, add 1/2 cup of sugar to the mix. Very granular sugar substitutes will also negatively affect the texture of the custard.
1 kabocha squash or pumpkin
or 2 to 4 small pumpkins
1 cup coconut milk
1/3 cup coconut palm or white sugar
Pinch ground cinnamon
Pinch ground cardamom
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
by Beth Surdut
So good you'll see grown men lick their plates.
Golden beets or red beets or both
One good-sized beet per person
Maché —just a few leaves per serving
Crème fraîche or Greek-style yogurt
Honey to drizzle
Lemon—a few drops into the honey
Separate small plates
Art From the Kitchen ~ Food Paintings and Illustrated Recipes
Painted and Served by Beth Surdut
Prepare a steamer large enough tohold the squash above the water
for 45 minutes. (If water runs low before custard is fully cooked, add more boiling water to the pot.)
Cut a circle around the squash stem to make a lid.Set the lid aside and scoop the seeds and pulp out of the squash.
In a bowl, beat eggs iwith a fork until well-blended, adding the coconut milk and remaining ingredients as you go.
Pour the mixture into the prepared squash shell.
Place the filled squash in the steamer and set the lid next to, but not on, the squash. Cover and steam for 45 minutes. Test the custard with a fork; if it is still runny, re-cover and cook 5 to 10 minutes longer, or until custard is fully set.
Squash Match painted and served
by Beth Surdut
Remove greens, clean and cut beets into quarters.
Steam till easily pierced -- about 8 minutes
Cut into bite size pieces
Smear yogurt or crème fraîche across plates
Sprinkle a light design of greenery
Arrange beets on top
Mix honey and fresh lemon juice to taste
Drizzle delicately over beets and yogurt
Serve beets warm or at room temperature
These recipe paintings feature main ingredients and the essential element of the cook's hands. Inspired by luscious displays of fresh produce at farmers' markets around the world and my pleasure in cooking for friends, the paintings and recipes have appeared in the Santa Fe New Mexican newspaper--FEAST OF COLOR-- Edible Santa Fe Magazine, and The Zenchilada online magazine of food and culture.
If you own a restaurant or market, produce edible goods or cookbooks, do contact me for paintings of your signature items or recipes.
Gift of the Corn Mother was commissioned for the cover of Edible Santa Fe Magazine winter 2009. Shown at Tohono Chul Garden Gallery in Tucson in the CHILES! exhibit in 2014, the framed original (image is 17"x23" with frame 28" x 34") is available for $1900.